Mother of British teenager missing in Tenerife has ‘not slept at all’

<span>Jay Slater, 19, ‘ended up in the middle of nowhere’, said a friend who was on the island with him.</span><span>Photograph: Twitter/X</span>
Jay Slater, 19, ‘ended up in the middle of nowhere’, said a friend who was on the island with him.Photograph: Twitter/X

The mother of a British teenager who has gone missing during a holiday in Tenerife has said she has “not slept at all” as the search continues.

Jay Slater, 19, from Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire, was last heard from on Monday morning when he told a friend he planned to walk back to his accommodation after missing a bus, a journey that would take about 11 hours on foot.

Slater’s mother, Debbie Duncan, flew to Tenerife, in Spain’s Canary Islands, on Tuesday morning to search for him. She told the BBC: “I’ve not slept at all, it’s like it’s not real. It was his first holiday abroad with his friends and I was encouraging him to go. I said: ‘You will have a great time.’

“He’s not really a drinker, is Jay, but he had been drinking shorts and spirits that night. Everyone loves being in his company, and he was having a laugh with these guys.

“He wouldn’t have seen the danger. He didn’t have his wits about him, he just wanted to go and have fun.”

Slater’s friend Lucy – who had gone to the island with him to attend the NRG music festival – told the Manchester Evening News (MEN) that he had gone to stay with people he had met on the holiday after a night out.

She said she had received a call from Slater at about 8.15am on Monday after he had missed the bus and was trying to walk back. He had said he was lost, needed a drink of water, and had only 1% battery power left on his phone.

Slater’s phone then cut off. His last location showed as the Rural de Teno park, a mountainous area popular with hikers.

Lucy told the MEN that one of the people Slater had met had driven them back to his apartment in a hire car, and the missing man had not realised how far away it was.

“He’s ended up out in the middle of nowhere. Jay was obviously thinking he would be able to get home from there,” she said. “But then in the morning he’s set off walking, using his maps on his phone, and ended up in the middle of mountains with nothing around.”

Slater was last seen wearing a white T-shirt with shorts and trainers.

A Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office spokesperson said: “We are supporting the family of a British man who has been reported missing in Spain and are in contact with the local authorities.”