'I hope I'm not taking him home in a body bag': Jay Slater's mum feels 'let down' by conspiracy theories about her son

24 June 2024, 08:37 | Updated: 24 June 2024, 12:00

Debbie Duncan with Jay Slater
Debbie Duncan with Jay Slater. Picture: Facebook

By Kit Heren

Jay Slater's mum has said she feels "let down" by conspiracy theories surrounding her missing son, as the search enters its eighth day.

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Debbie Duncan said she "really hope[s]" she will not be "taking my son home in a body bag", after the 19-year-old went missing on the Spanish island of Tenerife.

Jay, from Oswaldtwistle in Lancashire, travelled to the Canary Islands for a weekend music festival with two friends when he disappeared late on the night of June 16.

A fundraiser for him has reached £30,000 - but questions have been posed as to what it will actually be used for, with a discussion raised on a social media page devoted to searching for him.

Ms Duncan said in response: "I am really am saddened by all your comments. You seem to be so bothered about this gofund me page. I really hope I am not taking my son home in a body bag.

Read more: Last person to speak to missing Jay Slater claims he has been kidnapped and ‘something sinister is going on’

Read more: Jay Slater, missing Brit in Tenerife, rang friend to say he'd 'cut his leg on cactus' and 'didn't know where he was'

A search team near the last known location of Jay Slater, near to the village of Masca, Tenerife
A search team near the last known location of Jay Slater, near to the village of Masca, Tenerife. Picture: Alamy

"The funds are not released and won't be if not needed. I really cannot believe the British public are not supporting me in trying to find Jay. This may happen to any of you one day. Very let down by you all."

Ms Duncan later added: "Sorry that you have taken this the wrong way. I am overwhelmed with the generosity. What I meant was VERBAL support. I really hope I don't need this money. If its not needed it all gets refunded to the people who really did care."

The search has been going on for a week, and police in Tenerife announced over the weekend that they were starting to close in on a series of small buildings near to where the teenager's phone was last detected.

After a final phone call made to one of his friends, Lucy Mae, at around 8am last Monday, Jay vanished, with his phone running out of battery shortly after.

Friends say that he sounded disorientated during the call, explaining that he was "in the middle of mountains" with "nothing around", she said.

Meanwhile a former detective who probed the disappearance of Nicola Bulley and led an investigation into Jimmy Savile has offered up his services with finding Jay.

Mark Williams-Thomas, has 'reached out' to Ms Duncan to offer his help.

A fellow partygoer caught Jay on camera stumbling around at a party just hours before disappearing.

Jay was spotted falling over and getting back up at the Papagayo club in Playa de las América not long before he vanished.

The person who filmed him said: "It was a good atmosphere, it was hard dance music and everybody was having a good time vibing away.

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

"I wanted to remember the moment so I started filming, then I saw a lad staggering around in front of me.“You could see him get up off the ground, everyone turned there to look. They looked a bit concerned.

"I had no idea it was Jay at first, he was proper worse for wear. He was with a couple of lads and a girl.”

The man said he was looking back at his videos later and was shocked to see Jay.

"My blood ran cold, knowing he was gone,” he said. "All our mates [had] seen it [news of the disappearance] the next day, we were all shocked".

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

The last person to speak Jay claimed he had been kidnapped and ‘something sinister is going on’.

On his way home, he spoke to his pal Lucy Law to say he was lost and dehydrated and only had one per cent battery on his phone.

He has not been seen or heard from since.

Spanish police have not entertained kidnap as a line of inquiry and are treating him as a missing person.

But Lucy told MailOnline: “The whole thing is just so weird.

"It's been three days now since he was last seen and the more time goes on the more I'm sure he has been taken. At first I wasn't so sure but now I'm convinced.

"He is not stupid if he left the house on his own he would have walked to the road and then tried to flag a car down or stop someone for help."

She also said that Jay called them to say he'd cut his leg on a cactus and didn't know where he was.Lucy said he rang her at approximately 8am, saying he "didn't know where he was", that he "needed a drink" and had "cut his leg on a cactus".

His mobile phone battery was down to 1%, but before the device died he was able to send her a photo of his location.

When she told him to return to where he had walked from, he said he did not know where that was.

He sounded disorientated and explained that he was "in the middle of mountains" with "nothing around".

MsDuncan, earlier issued a plea for people to find her son after a 'false sighting' delayed the search for him on Wednesday.

"It's a nightmare. It's just an absolute living nightmare," she previously 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."

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.

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