Jay Slater's mum says 'I can’t give up on him, I just can’t' as search enters seventh day

Jay, 19, was reported missing after he failed to return to the apartment he was sharing with friends
-Credit: (Image: LancsLive)


The mother of Jay Slater has issued a direct plea to her missing son on the sixth day of the hunt for the British teenager, saying: “We just need you home.”

Debbie Duncan told the PA news agency she has “not slept” since the 19-year-old disappeared on the Canary Island of Tenerife.

She said she did not know whether the Spanish authorities turning down an offer of help from the UK was because they viewed it as “an insult”.

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Jay, from the Lancashire town of Oswaldtwistle, disappeared following an attempt to walk back to his accommodation after missing a bus and was last heard from on Monday morning. He had attended the NRG music festival on the island with two friends before his disappearance.

The walk from Jay's last known location to his accommodation would have taken about 11 hours on foot.

Asked how the family was coping with the situation, Ms Duncan told PA: “We’re not. I’m not coping very well at all.

“I’ve not slept, I’m exhausted. It’s been awful. I can’t give up on him, I just can’t.”

Lancashire Constabulary said it had made “an offer of support to the Guardia Civil to see if they need any additional resources”, which was rejected by Spanish authorities.

Questioned on whether Spanish police should have accepted help from the UK force, Ms Duncan said: “I believe they said they’ve got enough resources and they don’t need the help from English police.

“I don’t know if they find it an insult – I really don’t know. I really don’t know.

“They say they’ve got enough resources to get on with the investigation… I don’t know, I don’t know.”

Asked if her head was spinning from the past few days, she said: “It is, it is.

“People say: ‘Yeah, I understand’ – no, you don’t, you don’t understand.”

Speaking about what message she would have for her son, Ms Duncan added: “We just need you home – we just need him home.”

Family friend Rachel Hargreaves told PA that those close to Mr Slater were staying in Tenerife “until we’ve got an outcome”.

She said: “We’ve got to live in hope haven’t we – you can’t give up on anything can you really.

“We’re here and we’re staying until we’ve got an outcome.”

Addressing the support the family had received from well-wishers, she said: “We’re happy for anyone who wants to help or anyone with information or anything like that – like I say we’re still living in hope that we’re going to get a positive outcome.

“We just feel like we’ll leave it to the professionals now, and that’s the best thing to do.”

The search parties for Mr Slater seemed noticeably smaller on Saturday compared to other days – with only a handful of emergency workers visible in Masca and the surrounding areas.

Firefighters appeared to conduct the majority of the latest searches, as rescue teams, alongside sniffer dogs, set off on a steep gravel track at Rural de Teno Park in the morning.

The NRG festival issued a statement in which it said it was able to “give some practical support” to Mr Slater’s family.

The statement read: “That such a devastating situation has arisen has deeply affected us all.

“We have been able to give some practical support to the members of Jay’s family who have come to Tenerife in such difficult circumstances, and we are inspired by their resilience and determination.”

A GoFundMe page for Mr Slater’s family has raised more than £27,500, and will go towards family and friends staying in Tenerife while the hunt continues.