Mum of Jay Slater says search 'stepped up' in Tenerife amid warning over online 'noise'

Debbie Duncan - mum of missing teenager Jay Slater - gives an interview to ITV News
-Credit: (Image: ITV News)

The mother of missing teenager Jay Slater has said that local police in Tenerife have 'stepped up' their search for the 19-year-old. Jay from Lancashire has been unaccounted for since Monday morning (June 17) when he told a friend his phone battery was down to just 1 percent and he didn't know how to get back to his hotel.

His disappearance has sparked a large-scale search across the north west of the Spanish island. The Civil Guard, mountain rescue teams and various other emergency services are all part of the frantic effort to locate him.

Friday (June 21) saw yet another day pass with "no developments". It marked the fifth day of intensive searches in and around the village of Masca, which is hemmed in by steep slopes and towering mountains, with only one road providing access.

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The vast search area - some 30km - is concentrated on three main locations: Masca Gorge, La Vica, and Las Portelas, according to the Manchester Evening News.

Adding to the difficulties posed by the rugged terrain, which requires the use of helicopters and drones, are the sweltering and extremely dry conditions, with temperatures reaching up to 25C. Civil defence teams were seen planning new areas to search, using binoculars to strategise the next phase of their efforts throughout the afternoon, reports Wales Online.

Debbie Duncan, the mother of Jay who vanished in Tenerife last week, expressed her frustrations about the search for her son during an emotional interview from her apartment on Friday. She revealed that local police has indeed "stepped up" their efforts but noted frustrations due to issues arising from a "language barrier".

Jay Slater
Jay Slater -Credit:

She expressed: "We've been there [the police station] all day today, and I think it's been stepped up," She also described difficulties in communicating with Spanish authorities, saying: "We've had a problem with the language barrier. It's difficult with all the Spanish police and British police; they have to let the Spanish police do the investigation."

Ms Duncan indicated that the hubbub surrounding the case might be detrimental to the search, adding:, "They [the police] have actually said that there's too much noise - that's affecting it. They've got all the plans, their locations. They have got this map they were showing us, all shaded in different colours."

Although she commended the continuous assistance from the British Consulate, she called upon increased participation from local UK police. Despite the ongoing search for the teenager, there are few posters of Jay displayed around Masca, where he was last believed to be.

On Friday, while search efforts were ongoing, the owner of the remote Airbnb where Jay spent his final known evening recounted how he "walked off alone" that morning. The last signal from his phone was pinpointed to a vast mountainous area about half a mile north of Masca, close to the vacation property.