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Jay Slater volunteer says search area ‘like labyrinth’ – as missing teen’s mum issues update | UK News

Jay Slater’s mother has thanked a local hiking group for continuing the search for the missing 19-year-old on Tenerife, nearly three weeks after his disappearance.

The volunteers, led by Juan Garcia, were joined by members of Mr Slater’s family on Saturday focusing on an area of a gorge close to where Mr Slater’s phone was last located.

Following the search of Barranco Juan Lopez, which had previously been searched by police helicopters and drones, Mr Garcia said it was a “labyrinth” and “like looking for a needle in a haystack”.

Jay Slater map
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Mr Slater was last seen in Masca – hours away from his accommodation in Los Cristianos


The area was covered in cacti and bushes, and the hiker told Sky News: “He could be nearby, two metres away, and we wouldn’t see him.”

Another member of the group said they had planned out maps and search routes to continue the operation to try and find Mr Slater over the coming days.

Police in Tenerife called off their search on 30 June after 12 days but his mother Debbie Duncan has said she and her family will stay on the island.

Her son was last seen on 17 June after leaving an Airbnb in the tiny mountain village of Masca to walk back to his accommodation – a journey which which would’ve taken him 11 hours.

Ms Duncan previously gave an update on a GoFundMe page set up to help find her son, which has now received more than £51,000 in donations.

“We have been overwhelmed by the kindness and support we have received and would like to thank the local hiking group for all of their help planning the routes to find our Jay,” she said.

She continued: “We have been contacted by a wonderful group of locals who have volunteered to continue the search.

“While they don’t wish to accept financial help for their search, we will be supporting them with supplies and are so grateful for their willingness to help.

“We also continue to be contacted by experienced groups offering to support our search. We are busy talking to them about what they can do to assist.

“But in order for us to employ their help, they need to have permission from the Spanish authorities.”

pic from Henry Vaughan of the area being searched
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One of the areas most recently searched by Mr Slater’s family as they refuse to give up hope

A missing persons sign for Jay Slater in San Tiago del Teide. Pic: Adele-Momoko Fraser
Image:
A missing persons sign for Jay Slater in San Tiago del Teide. Pic: Adele-Momoko Fraser

It comes after Mr Slater’s uncle, Glen Duncan, who was among the search party along with Mr Slater’s father Warren Slater and his older brother Zak, said his nephew’s disappearance has been “just torture” for the family, but they were not giving up hope.

The 41-year-old described the “treacherous” conditions as he returned from the search conducted in searing heat and said “it’s easy to get lost” but he believes if Mr Slater had fallen, he would’ve been found by now.

He believes there may have been third party involvement in the disappearance of Mr Slater, who he described as a “typical great young lad with a massive circle of friends and was looking forward to coming here”.

He also said the family is frustrated by the lack of communication from police on the island, adding: “It’s getting to the point where you’re becoming angry.”

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TikTok star pulls out of search for Jay Slater

The police hunt in the northern village of Masca, near Mr Slater’s last-known location, took in a steep rocky area, ravines and trails.

Helicopters, drones and search dogs were deployed to find the apprentice bricklayer from Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire, but without success.

After halting the operation, the Guardia Civil told Sky News his family can bring in their own search and rescue teams to look for the missing teenager.

The Guardia Civil have said the investigation is still ongoing but won’t disclose their lines of enquiry.

Read more:
Jay Slater’s family hits back at TikToker who has quit search
Jay Slater’s mum reveals how family will use donations

Jay Slater's friend Lucy Law has posted a poignant picture of Jay Slater. Pic: Instagram
Image:
Jay Slater’s friend Lucy Law has posted a picture of Jay Slater. Pic: Instagram

Jay Slater’s last known movements

Mr Slater travelled to Tenerife with friends on 13 June to attend a music festival at Papagayo nightclub in the southern resort of Playa de las Americas on 16 June.

After he left the event, he got in a car early the next morning and travelled to a small Airbnb in Masca with two men, who police said were “not relevant” to the case.

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At 8.30am on 17 June, he called his friend Lucy Law, telling her he missed his bus and had tried to walk back to his accommodation.

He said he had “cut his leg” on a cactus, had “no idea where he was”, was “lost in the mountains” and his phone battery was on “1%”, Ms Law said.

Shortly afterwards, his battery ran out and he was reported missing at 9.04am.

His last known location was in the Rural de Teno Park, near Masca.

A local cafe owner previously told Sky News Mr Slater tried to catch a bus back to Los Cristianos, where he was staying.

Ofelia Medina Hernandez said she spoke to the teenager at 8am on the day of his disappearance, telling him a bus was due at 10am – but he set off walking.

She said she later drove past him “walking fast”.

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