Jay Slater’s family vow to continue search

4 hours ago

By Jonny HumphriesBBC News

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Jay Slater’s mother, Debbie Duncan, said the 19-year-old was on his first holiday abroad without parents

The family and friends of Jay Slater have vowed to carry on looking for him in Tenerife after police called off their search.

Mr Slater, 19, was last heard from on the morning of 17 June when he called a friend to say he was lost, needed water and had little phone battery left.

The Spanish Guardia Civil told the BBC on Sunday morning: “The search operation is over. Yesterday was the final day of the search.”

However, Rachel Hargreaves, the mother of his best friend Brad Hargreaves, told the BBC they had no intention of leaving the island.

On Friday, police put out a call for any volunteers with experience of searching difficult terrain to join what was to become a final push to find Mr Slater.

Despite scouring ravines, trails and scrubland around the remote village of Masca in northern Tenerife, no trace of him has been unearthed.

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While the official search has been called off, the case remains open, police say.

Ms Hargreaves, who is supporting Mr Slater’s mother Debbie Duncan, said: “We’re just carrying on searching ourselves.”

She said they were continuing to liaise with mountaineer and TikTok personality Paul Arnott who has been searching the rough terrain near Masca for the past week.

“We’re looking for whoever we can find with mountain rescue experience and will carry on searching the area,” she said.

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Jay Slater’s dad and brother put up posters in the town of Santiago del Teide

Mr Slater’s dad, Warren Slater, and older brother Zak are also in Tenerife to continue the search.

Ms Hargreaves said the family is due to speak to the Spanish authorities on Monday to learn more about the investigation.

Confirming the search for Mr Slater was no longer “active”, a Guardia Civil spokeswoman told Reuters “the case is still open and there are several lines of investigation”.

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The last known movements of Jay Slater on Tenerife

Mr Slater, an apprentice bricklayer from Oswaldtwistle in Lancashire, had been on the island with Mr Hargreaves and another friend, Lucy Law, to attend the NRG music festival.

In the early hours of 17 June he reportedly left his friends in the tourist hotspot of Playa de las Americas and got into a car with two British men.

He posted an image on Snapchat at 07:30 that morning showing his hand holding a cigarette.

It was tagged in Rural de Teno national park, about 40 minutes drive away from where he was staying.

Based on calls he made to Mr Hargreaves and Ms Law over the next hour, Mr Slater’s family believe he left an Airbnb in Masca, which had been rented by the two men, and attempted to get a bus.

Investigators have spoken to the pair and they are “not in any way relevant to the case”.

‘My baby’

Mr Hargreaves told ITV’s This Morning he received a video call from Mr Slater in which he appeared to be sliding off a designated path, with the call showing his feet on rough ground.

Speaking to ITV last week, Mr Hargreaves said: “I don’t know how or what has gone on there but he’s gone off and rang me halfway to their house saying ‘I’m staying here and I’ll be back the next day’.

“At the time I didn’t think anything of it. I just thought he was going to get a bus home or a taxi home because that’s what he says he is going to do.

“Next thing you know his phone dies and it’s 10 days on now and nothing since.”

Speaking to the BBC previously, Mr Slater’s mother said: “He’s just an all-round nice, bubbly guy with hundreds of friends who love being in his company.

“He’s gorgeous, he’s beautiful. He’s my baby.”

Lancashire Police referred BBC questions about the cancellation of the search to the Guardia Civil, saying its role was to support Mr Slater’s family.

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