Mayor flies to Tenerife to help Jay Slater's family in search for teenager as disappearance remains a mystery

Shane Yerrell spent two days searching the area where the 19-year-old was last seen
-Credit: (Image: Stan Kujawa)


The family of missing Jay Slater are being helped by a selfless mayor who flew to Tenerife to help with the ongoing search efforts.

Shane Yerrell spent two days searching the area where the 19-year-old was last seen, alongside his devastated dad Warren, 58, older brother Zak, 24, and other family and friends.

He is now continuing to assist the family, including Jay's heartbroken mum Debbie, 55, while planning another trip to the island to rejoin the search, now in its fourth gruelling week.

READ MORE Missing Jay Slater: New update issued by Spanish police in Tenerife search

Shane, who is mayor of Waltham Abbey in Essex and has previously climbed Kilimanjaro and Mount Olympus, said: "They're just living on hope. It's awful - they've got no answers. They don't know whether Jay is alive or dead."

Asked if the apprentice bricklayer's parents are still holding out hope he is alive, Shane added: "Of course. I would be exactly the same. Until you know for sure..."

Shane, 40, flew more than 2,000 miles from his home in Essex to Tenerife last Thursday (July 4) after making contact with Jay's family and offering his help, the Mirror reports.

He has previously helped a number of families suffering difficulties and has raised nearly £200,000 to help people in need since 2011.

He added: "I told the family, 'I've climbed a couple of mountains, I'm no mountain expert by any means, but I've climbed Kilimanjaro and Mount Olympus, so I've done it and I'd like to come and help. We spent the whole day Saturday scaling the mountain and then the same thing again on Monday on a different route.

"They are doing everything to find him. They're not just out for an hour, they're out all day 9.30am until 6pm. We covered miles, but there's still a lot of ground to cover.

"I feel for all of them, his dad in particular. I'm a parent and my child is only a few years younger than Jay. The whole thing is heartbreaking not having any answers. They just don't know.

"I struggled on the mountain and so did his family, but it didn't bother them because their priority is powering through to find Jay. The altitude and the heat makes it really difficult and the mountain is massive. You go over one edge and then there's another bit. It's unbelievable out there. It would take weeks or months to cover."

Shane has been left angry at outrageous criticism the family, from Oswaldtwistle, Lancs, have received from social media trolls, adding: "People should put themselves in their shoes before they criticise them and come up with all these ludicrous fabrications. I could see the toll it's taking on Jay's dad mentally. It's horrible.

"They need to give the family a break. They are a good family, nice decent human beings, and they are desperate to find Jay. I would say to people 'please think before you write or say something and focus on something positive or don't say or write anything at all' because the family do read it and it's being passed back to them and it's really not nice. Imagine the heartache they're going through not knowing if Jay is alive or not and then you read people slaughtering you online."

Shane is now continuing to support the family remotely after landing back in the UK in the early hours of Tuesday morning. He spoke out as Spanish police issued a statement insisting they are still pursuing several lines of inquiry in their investigation into Jay's disappearance, three weeks after he went missing on June 17 after attending a rave at the island's Papagayo nightclub.