Mum of missing teen Jay Slater issues search update and warns of online 'noise'

Debbie Duncan
-Credit: (Image: ITV News)

The mother of missing teenager Jay Slater said local police in Tenerife have "stepped up" their efforts to locate the 19 year old. Jay, from Lancashire, has been missing since Monday morning (June 17) when he informed a friend that his phone battery was at just 1 per cent and he was unsure how to return to his hotel.

His disappearance has triggered a widespread search across the north west of the Spanish island. The Civil Guard, mountain search teams and various other rescue resources are all involved in the desperate attempt to find him.

Friday marked another day with "no developments". It was the fifth day of intense searches in and around the village of Masca, which is surrounded by steep terrain and large mountains with only one road for access. The extensive search area - approximately 30km - focuses on three main areas: Masca Gorge, La Vica, and Las Portelas, reports the Manchester Evening News.

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In addition to the treacherous landscape, which necessitates the use of helicopters and drones, the hot and extremely dry conditions, reaching up to 25C, add to the challenges of the search. Civil defence teams were observed planning new areas to cover, using binoculars to strategise the next phase of their efforts throughout the afternoon.

Debbie Duncan, Jay's mother, who travelled to Tenerife with other friends and family the day after her son was reported missing, spoke from her apartment on Friday. She stated that local police had "stepped up" their search as another day passed without any answers.

Search teams in Tenerife
Search teams in Tenerife -Credit:Stan Kujawa

She said there have been challenges due to the "language barrier" in communicating with local authorities, and the current "noise" from global media attention and social media speculation is hindering the search efforts. "We've been there [the police station] all day today, and I think it's been stepped up," she said.

"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.

"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."

She thanked the British Consulate for their continuous support but called for greater involvement 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, as search operations continued, the proprietor of the secluded Airbnb where Jay spent his last known night spoke about the morning he "walked off alone". His phone's last signal was traced to an expansive mountain region approximately half a mile north of Masca, near the holiday home.

Local search teams from the Civil Defence have spoken about the work they have been carrying out. You can read more about that here.