Tenerife cafe owner says they spoke to Jay Slater the morning he vanished

No caption
-Credit: (Image: LancsLive)


A cafe owner in Tenerife has said she spoke to teenager Jay Slater on the morning he went missing.

The 19-year-old from Lancashire has not been seen since Monday morning (June 17) when he told his friend he had just one per cent phone battery and did not know how to get back to his hotel. His disappearance has prompted a huge search across the north west of the Spanish island, involving the Civil Guard and mountain search teams.

Friday marked the fifth day of intense and gruelling searches in and around the village of Masca, bordered by steep terrain and mountains with just one road in and out. The vast search area - around 30 square kilometres - is focussing on three main areas, Masca Gorge, La Vica, and Las Portelas.

READ MORE: Jay Slater updates - Police searching 'dangerous' location as friends issue statement - latest from our reporter in Tenerife

Jay reportedly asked a cafe owner twice what time a bus was due to arrive in Buenavista del Norte at around 8am on Monday before walking off.

Ofelia Medina Hernandez told Sky News: “I saw the boy in the morning at around 8am. He asked twice what time the bus came. I told him ‘at 10 o’clock’. He came back and asked me again, and I told him again - at 10 o’clock.

“After that, he walked off and I didn’t see him anymore. Later, I went in my car and I saw him. He was walking fast. But I didn’t see him again after that.”

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

She said there have been difficulties with the 'language barrier' when dealing with Spanish police, and that the current 'noise' surrounding the case, which has caught the attention of the media worldwide and caused social media speculation, was impeding the search.

“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.”

The paths can be treacherous, with sheer drops and unpredictable landslips
The rugged landscape close to Masca -Credit:Stan Kujawa

She also praised the British Consulate for their ongoing support, but called on local police in the UK to be more involved.

Civil Defence officers at the search base explained how the vast area was split up into three different ravines and is around 30km wide. Explaining they were doing 'everything we can', a member of the team said: "We still have hope that he's alive, up until the last moment when the last hope is lost. The truth is that we feel a bit frustrated because we can't find him. It's so big [here] that it's very difficult to search in such a steep area. But we're doing everything we can."

A spokesperson for the Civil Guard, who are leading the search, confirmed to the M.E.N that a research of the Masca areas was being carried out on Friday. They could not provide any further update.