16th July 2024
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Week-long search for missing teenager Jay Slater in Tenerife continues

A search operation on the island of Tenerife in the Canary Islands for a missing British teenager has entered its seventh day.

Jay Slater, 19, from Oswaldtwistle in Lancashire, went missing last week after attending a music festival in the tourist hotspot of Playa de las Americas on the island on Sunday 16 June

In the early hours of Monday 17 June, between 3am and 6am, and after leaving the NRG music festival at Papagayo night club, the teenager reportedly got in a car with two men, believed to be British, who he had met to drive to the national park in north-west Tenerife, leaving the Playa de las Americas area of the island.

At 7.30am on Monday, Jay Slater reportedly posted a photograph on his Snapchat account that showed him at the doorway of a property, tagged with the location Parque Rural de Teno.

The Rural de Teno Park is about a 40-minute drive from where the teenager and his friends were staying. A remote and wild national park, it is a world away from Los Cristianos and Playa de las Americas, the party town holiday resorts of the island’s south coast.

Between 8.30am-9am on Monday, Jay Slater – an apprentice bricklayer – called his friend Lucy Law, who is thought to have been the last person to speak to him. She has said that he told her that he’d missed a bus and had decided to walk the 10-hour journey home but was lost, needed water, and that his phone was on 1% battery. He has not been heard from since.

Spanish police have not commented about reports of a sighting of Jay Slater later on the Monday – after the phone call – by Ofelia Medina Hernandez, whose brother reportedly owns the cottage where the men were staying.

She has claimed that Slater asked her about bus times, then later saw him walking up a hill – in the opposite direction to Los Cristianos.

‘He walked along the road when I saw him for the last time, up there … he was there alone,’ she said. ‘He was walking normally, though fast, a little fast.’

Hernandez also told the media: ‘I saw the boy in the morning, at around 8am. He asked twice what time the bus came. I told him “at 10 o’clock”. He came back and asked me again, and I told him again – at 10 o’clock.’

Search teams were seen on Sunday morning on the island focusing on some small outbuildings near to where his phone was last located. Specialist dog teams have also been out searching for the teenager.

His mother Debbie Duncan has issued a direct plea to her son, saying: ‘We just need you home.’

On Saturday, the sixth day of the search operation, Spanish police, rescue dog teams and firefighters had continued to search the mountainous terrain at Rural de Teno National Park – Slater’s last known location.

Search efforts were focused on a mountain road in the ravine in northern Tenerife, before moving to a valley in the village of Masca. Deep ravines and huge daunting mountains make the national park a difficult place for the Spanish search teams to navigate.

Dogs, police and mountain rescue workers searched areas including land around the apartment in Masca, which the teenager had reportedly travelled to.

Away from search efforts in Tenerife, Rach Louise Harg, the administrator of a Facebook page set up to help find Jay Slater, said that somebody who was not the 19-year-old had managed to log in to his Instagram account.

Jay Slater was on his first holiday without family and had travelled to attend the festival with two friends.

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