Jay Slater’s mum ‘at wits’ end with worry’ as teenager’s friends blast online conspiracy theories amid continued search

25 June 2024, 23:51 | Updated: 25 June 2024, 23:52

Jay Slater's mum said she was at her 'wits' end' with worry since her son's disappearance.
Jay Slater's mum said she was at her 'wits' end' with worry since her son's disappearance. Picture: Social media/Alamy

By Jenny Medlicott

The mother of missing teenager Jay Slater has said she is at her ‘wits’ end’ with worry and has barely slept since his disappearance, as friends blasted theories circulating online about his disappearance.

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Jay's mother Debbie Duncan, 55, set out on another day of searching on Tuesday as the hunt for her missing son entered its ninth day. 

Extensive search efforts have been underway for Jay, 19, after he was last heard from by his friend Lucy on June 17. 

Ms Duncan and her son's friends flew out to Tenerife to assist in the search efforts, alongside his ex-girlfriend Jessica Ingham.

Speaking ahead of the search on Tuesday, Ms Duncan said: “It's been a week now and it's been awful. I've barely slept and I'm at my wits' end.

“The Spanish police are doing a good job and we are getting updated from the consulate so we just put our faith in them.”

Read more: Jay Slater’s Instagram account ‘mysteriously active’ amid ongoing search for missing teenager in Tenerife

Read more: Pictured: British hiker, 51, who was 'rescued' during search for missing Jay Slater as he insists he 'didn't need help'

Search efforts are continuing for Jay Slater.
Search efforts are continuing for Jay Slater. Picture: Alamy

Speaking to the MailOnline, she continued: “I know people in the UK have come forward as well who were at the festival and they are giving details of what they know but I'm not being told about that.

“Jay's very good friends from home have also been over and have put up posters. They are good kids and like me just want him home.”

Friends of the missing British teenager also blasted theories circulating online about his disappearance, as they told the outlet: “Imagine if he was your son or brother, think about his poor mum.”

While Jay’s friend and ex-girlfriend Jessica, 19, said: “What really gets me is all these online detectives who have got nothing better to do than spread malicious rumours and gossip, it's not helping the situation.

“People need to remember he is a missing person, and his mother is absolutely sick with worry and she doesn't need to read all kinds of rubbish that are being written about him.”

Jay Slater's mum has said she's hardly slept since her son's disappearance.
Jay Slater's mum has said she's hardly slept since her son's disappearance. Picture: Social media

It comes after British man David Larkin, 51, was found by Spanish police as they continued their search for missing Jay Slater in Tenerife on Tuesday.

Officers said they rescued a "tired and disorientated" man who they discovered in mountainous terrain.

But Mr Larkin, who considers himself an "experienced" hiker, has said he did not need help.

"I can tell you now; I wasn’t tired and I wasn’t disoriented, and I didn’t need rescuing," he told the Mail.

"I think there was a lot lost in translation when they saw him and I explained to them I had water, I was wearing layers, I had my rucksack with food and I’m an experienced hiker.

"I think they want to show how good they are, but I certainly didn’t need saving.

"I feel so sorry for the boy’s family and hope he’s found soon."

Mr Larkin, who is originally from Northern Ireland, said he was actually "embarrassed" by the situation.

"I had my poles and I know what I'm doing and I knew that if it could get windy I would take shelter in a cave," he said.

"I know these trails, I've been coming here for years, so I know what I'm doing."

David Larkin
David Larkin. Picture: Social media

Police initially said in an online post: "Locals observed how said hiker entered very early into an area of ​​difficult access not suitable for travel and after several hours passed without him returning to the starting point, they alerted the agents who were at that time in the search for missing young man, Jay Slater.

"Tired and disoriented, he was located by the agents and the rescue team who helped him get out of the ravine."

Explaining what happened once authorities found him, Mr Larkin said: "The mountain rescue people took my picture and then dropped me off, and I'm very grateful but I didn't need helping and to be honest it extended my day.

"I did go in through a difficult path, and the trail isn't that well marked but I do know the way, I managed it and when they came towards me I did explain I was ok."

He said he was unable to return home until nearly 7pm after being taken to safety "the long way".

He added: "I don't want to appear ungrateful, and I thanked them for their concern but I was fine."

Jay Slater who has been missing for more than a week
Jay Slater who has been missing for more than a week. Picture: alamy

Drones, sniffers dogs and helicopters have been searching the Rural de Teno National Park and its surroundings in northern Tenerife since 19-year-old Jay Slater vanished more than a week ago.

Much of the hunt has been focused on the 2,000ft ravine. It is where his phone last pinged a nearby cell tower at 8.50am on June 17.

Apprentice bricklayer Jay, from Lancashire, headed to Masca with two British men at the end of a three-day rave he flew to Tenerife to attend.

Jay told his friend he was lost in the middle of nowhere with no water and had just one per cent battery on his phone.

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".

Jay's friends have hit out at Spanish police for “not doing a good enough job” in the search for him.

But officers have said they are "totally focused" on tracking the 19-year-old down and will continue to prioritise that, despite facing criticism.

It comes after Lancashire Police said they had offered to help out but were rejected.

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