Missing Lancashire teen's mum flies to Tenerife and says son was Snapchatting friends before he disappeared

Jay Slater with friends at a music festival last year
-Credit: (Image: Family photo)


The mum of a missing Lancashire teenager has flown to Tenerife as police continue their search. Jay Slater's mum Debbie has said she is ‘beside herself with worry’ after touching down in Tenerife today (Tuesday).

Jay, from Oswaldtwistle, had travelled out for a music festival and holiday with friends. But the 19-year-old son disappeared yesterday morning (June 17).

A desperate search is underway to find him near the village of Masca, in the Parque Rural de Teno, the MEN reports. Speaking from the south of the island where her son had been staying, Debbie said: “I’ve only been in Tenerife for about 10 minutes and I’ve just had a quick chat with someone from the British Embassy and am waiting for them to call back so I know a bit more. The consulate has been really good so far.

“I’m obviously beside myself with worry which is why I’ve flown out here with my eldest son to do anything we can to help. We’re just praying the police or someone finds Jay. I know there’s a mountain rescue team out and a helicopter.

“Nothing’s ever going to be enough when your youngest son’s gone missing but it sounds as if the police here are taking this very seriously and doing the best job they can.”

A police helicopter is being used over the mountainous area, which is popular with hikers. Firefighters and mountain rescuers are also involved in the desperate search as well as drones. Officials at the Foreign Office are supporting Jay's family and a spokesperson for the department also confirmed that they are in touch with the local authorities in Tenerife.

Debbie added: “He’d been at a three-day festival so he would have consumed a fair bit of alcohol but Jay was snapchatting with friends before he went missing and seemed very compos mentis. “I just think it was a question of him not knowing the island well enough because it was his first time here and being a bit disorientated when it came to distances and not realising it was a 10-hour walk from where he went missing to his holiday accommodation.

“I know the last place he spoke to his friend Lucy from was in the mountains and I think the police have got a more precise location now. I imagine they’re also speaking to the people whose place he went back to." She added: “Once I’ve spoken to the British consulate again I’ll be clearer about what I’m going to do but I imagine we will head up north nearer the spot Jay was when he disappeared.”

Jay last spoke to his friend Lucy at around 8am on Monday before his phone died. He had been to stay with people he had met on the island after a night out, Lucy said. But their apartment was 'in the middle of nowhere' and Jay's phone ran out of battery as he set off to walk back yesterday morning. Lucy said the last time she heard from Jay, he said that he needed a drink of water and 'didn't know where he was'.

His phone location was last tracked in the Parque Rural de Teno. Debbie also claimed that Brits with “northern accents” had been phoning her with hidden numbers and claiming they had her son captive and were keeping him because he owed them money.

She said: “Some of the phone calls I’ve been getting have been horrible. I just don’t know why people would want to do things like this. I’ve been getting lots of prank calls. It’s sickening. People ringing me and saying they’ve got Jay because he owes them money.

“But it’s not putting me off and I want to keep this in the news because it’s going to increase the chances of Jay being found safe and well which is obviously what we’re praying for.”