'I just want my baby back': Mother of missing Brit Jay Slater, 19, issues plea after 'false sighting' delays search

20 June 2024, 00:19 | Updated: 21 June 2024, 08:52

Jay Slater's family have warned people about donating to fake pages
Jay Slater's family have warned people about donating to fake pages. Picture: ManchesterEveningNews & Facebook/Zak Slater

By Emma Soteriou

The mother of missing British teenager Jay Slater has issued a plea for people to find her son after a 'false sighting' delayed the search for him in Tenerife.

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Jay Slater, 19, from Oswaldtwistle in Lancashire, had travelled to the Canary Islands for a weekend music festival with two friends when he disappeared late on Sunday evening.

The teenager was attending the 'New Rave Generation' (NRG) festival, but chose to stay behind with a group of strangers he had met instead of returning to where he was staying with friends.

His devastated mother, who flew out to Tenerife to help with the search, said she would not wish what she was going through on anybody.

"It's a nightmare. It's just an absolute living nightmare," Debbie Duncan told ITN.

"It's like a dream - it's like it's not happening, it really is. I wouldn't wish this on anybody. 

"I just want my baby back. Please, just anybody who can help just look for him. There's a massive area up there, massive.

"It's over 48 hours now since he last had any contact with anybody. 

"He's out there somewhere, or somebody knows where he is. We just need to find my baby."

Read more: Sick fraudsters create fake GoFundMe page for Brit teenager missing in Tenerife

Authorities had been searching the mountainous area of north-west Tenerife for the teenager before focus shifted to tourist hotspots Los Cristianos and Playa de Las Americas in the south.

It came after an alleged sighting of him getting out of a taxi.

But it later emerged that the report was incorrect, with police forced to move attention back to the original site.

A picture of Jay shared to Lucy's social media just days before going missing
A picture of Jay shared to Lucy's social media just days before going missing. Picture: Instagram/lu.cymaenew

Jay disappeared after calling one of his friends, Lucy Mae, at around 8am on Monday sounding disorientated, explaining that he was "in the middle of mountains" with "nothing around".

Speaking to the Manchester Evening News about his disappearance, Lucy said: "He's gone on a night out, he's gone to a friend's house, someone that he has met on holiday. 

"One of the people he has met has hired a car out of here, so he's driven them back to his apartment and Jay has gone there not realising how far away it is."He's ended up out in the middle of nowhere. Jay was obviously thinking he would be able to get home from there.

Read more: Horror as smoking headless torso missing arms, legs and head dumped on popular Spanish holiday beach

Read more: Desperate mum of British teen missing in Tenerife 'beside herself with worry' as she flies out to help with search

"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. 

"He rang me saying his phone was on 1 per cent, he said 'I don't know where I am, I need a drink and my phone is about to die'."

A final Snapchat video from Jay has revealed he was smiling and laughing on the evening before he went missing.

A final snapchat video of Jay smiling before going missing
A final snapchat video of Jay smiling before going missing. Picture: Manchester Evening News

Lucy said she is frantically searching for her friend on the island, having made several reports to local police in Tenerife and made contact with the British Embassy.

Lucy has spoken to the people Jay was staying with on Sunday night who said the teen left their apartment around 8 am on Monday. 

"I've never been so worried in my life. I was there all yesterday, a lovely lady messaged me on Facebook and said she had hired a car and would drive me up there", Lucy added.

"We were there all of yesterday, we were driving around looking around everywhere, looking in all the nooks and crannies."

According to friends, Jay attempted to make his way home alone at around 8am across a mountainous area close to Tenerife's Teno Rural Park.
According to friends, Jay attempted to make his way home alone at around 8am across a mountainous area close to Tenerife's Teno Rural Park. Picture: Family Handout

Read more: British teen missing in Tenerife after desperately calling friend from 'the middle of nowhere' after night out

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Speaking from the south of the island, his mother previously said: "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."

She also revealed that she had received "sickening" prank calls from several hidden numbers claiming they had taken Jay and were holding him for ransom.

According to friends, Jay attempted to make his way home alone at around 8am, with friends posting his last known location.
According to friends, Jay attempted to make his way home alone at around 8am, with friends posting his last known location. Picture: Instagram

According to friends, Jay attempted to make his way home across a mountainous area close to Tenerife's Teno Rural Park around 8am while his phone is believed to have switched off 8:50am.

The last known location registered close to the PR-TF51 hiking trail, several hundred feet above the village of Masca in southern Tenerife.

Read more: Three children missing after day out at Thorpe Park as police launch urgent search

He was said to be wearing a white t-shirt, shorts, trainers and a black bag at the time he disappeared.

The British Foreign Office have now said they are in contact with the family.

“We are supporting the family of a British man who has been reported missing in Spain and are in contact with the local authorities,” they said in a statement.

The last known location registered close to the PR-TF51 hiking trail, several hundred feet above the mountain village of Masca in southern Tenerife.
The last known location registered close to the PR-TF51 hiking trail, several hundred feet above the mountain village of Masca in southern Tenerife. Picture: alamy

Posting to a Facebook group set up in an effort to locate him, Jessica Rogers, Jays sister-in-law, noted that the family have "had no updates".

One friend wrote on the Facebook site "I can’t take my eyes off the Masca webcam! Been staring at it for hours thinking somehow he’s just gonna dander down them steps. Stranger things have happened eh"

Another wrote: "Hoping jay is found soon, every mothers worst nightmare."

Temperatures in the south of Tenerife peaked at around 26 degrees celsius on Monday.

'Family❤️' read the caption on Jay Slater's brother's Facebook page, as the hunt for the teen continues.
'Family❤️' read the caption on Jay Slater's brother's Facebook page, as the hunt for the teen continues. Picture: Facebook: Zak Slayter

Before his phone ran out of battery, his last known location registered in the 'Rural de Teno' National Park - a mountainous area popular with hikers.

The park also has a live 24hour webcam which friends have been accessing in a bid to catch a glimpse of the teenager.

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