Missing Jay Slater's family make poignant vow as search ends with dramatic development

Missing 19-year-old Jay Slater with his mum Debbie Duncan
-Credit: (Image: Facebook)

The heartbroken family of missing Jay Slater have been urged to bring in their own big search team to look for the teenager.

His relatives have vowed to stay in Tenerife until he is found after Spanish police called off their hunt for the 19-year-old apprentice bricklayer. As reported by the Mirror, the family are said to be ­“devastated” by the decision to stop the search.

Rachel Hargreaves, who is close friends with Jay’s mum Debbie Duncan, 55, and dad Warren Slater, 58, are on Tenerife to help. On Friday, Rachel's son Brad, 19, who was on holiday with Jay and another pal Lucy Law, 18, revealed he saw his friend slip on some rocks on the way home from a night out on the morning June 7, the day he vanished.

Rachel, who runs the Facebook page set up to gather information on the missing lad, said: “Nothing has changed. We’re still going to go out and search. No one is leaving until we find Jay. We stay, we do what we need to.”

Spanish police on Friday appealed for volunteers to help search the area where Jay was last known to be. However they found nothing and called off the hunt, while insisting the case remains open.

Former British police officer and TV sleuth Mark Williams-Thomas, 54, who is working with Jay’s family, last night told how he has told the family to use cash from a GoFundMe appeal to pay for experts to launch a search.

Jay Slater
Jay Slayter -Credit:Supplied

He said: “The police have put considerable resources into searching for Jay and of course it is very ­disappointing for the family that the search by the police has now ended. I have advised the family to use the GoFundMe money to bring in a large team of experts to flood the area from where we know Jay last was.”

The online fundraiser was set up by Lucy and had last night reached nearly £44,000. TikTok star and amateur ­mountaineer Paul Arnott, 29, has also been helping Jay’s family and yesterday pledged to carry on.

He said: “I think I’m going to move the search to a new area, either tomorrow, Monday or later this evening.” Paul, of Bedfordshire, also raised the idea of bringing in experts, from Britain.

He added: “I wish we could start a GoFundMe and just send search and rescue guys from Scotland out. Maybe Monday I can contact ­Scottish Mountain Rescue and see if we can have a chat about things, but at the moment this is ridiculous. This is mad.” And Paul blasted Saturday’s police search, in which just six volunteers joined around 30 ­professional rescuers. He branded it “a massive PR thing”.

School finance officer Debbie is understood to have been told about the police’s ­decision to stop searching before they confirmed it at 10am. Jay, from Oswaldtwistle, Lancs, had been at a festival the night before he vanished. Two older British men drove him 20 miles to their holiday rental in Masca, before he was seen leaving on foot the next morning. Police have ruled the pair had “no relevance” to his disappearance.

Brad, 19, of, Accrington, Lancs, told how he held a video call with his pal as he tried to get home and saw him slide down some rocks. He added: “I knew he went off the road because I could hear like when you walk on gravel.” But he said they were “both laughing” as Jay did not seem concerned.

A source close to Spain’s Civil Guard said after the search was called off: “If any information comes in that merits a new search though it will be acted upon.”

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