A teenage boy embarked on his first holiday abroad with high hopes and excitement. But the carefree journey soon spiraled into a heart-wrenching mystery, entangling his loved ones in a desperate search amidst puzzling events and ominous clues.
A desperate search is continuing to find a missing British teenager in Tenerife. Jay Slater, from Oswaldtwistle in Lancashire, vanished after traveling to the Spanish island for a music festival with his friends. The search has entered its fourth day today, Thursday, June 20, 2024.

Jay, 19, was last heard from on Monday morning, June 17, when he called his friend Lucy at around 8 a.m. His phone died shortly after.
Lucy recounted that Jay had spent the night with new acquaintances on the island, but their apartment was “in the middle of nowhere.” When he set off to walk back the following morning, his phone ran out of battery.

“He’s gone on a night out, he’s gone to a friend’s house, someone that he has met on holiday. One of the people he has met has hired a car out of here, so he’s driven them back to his apartment and Jay has gone there not realizing how far away it is. He’s ended up out in the middle of nowhere. Jay was obviously thinking he would be able to get home from there [sic],” said Lucy.


“But then in the morning he’s set off walking, using his Maps on his phone and ended up in the middle of mountains with nothing around. He rang me at about 8 o’clock morning saying his phone was on 1 percent, he said ‘I don’t know where I am, I need a drink and my phone is about to die [sic],'” concluded the youngster.
Lucy added that police had dispatched mountain rescue teams to the area where Jay was last tracked.

“I’ve never been so worried in my life. I was there all yesterday, a lovely lady messaged me on Facebook and said she had hired a car and would drive me up there. We were there all of yesterday, we were driving around looking around everywhere, looking in all the nooks and crannies [sic],” added Lucy.
Despite these efforts, there has been no sign of Jay. Authorities tracked his phone to the National Park of Teno, a popular hiking area near the village of Masca, where he was last seen.

Jay’s mother, Debbie Duncan, and his older brother, Zac, flew to Tenerife on Tuesday, June 18, to join the search. Debbie shared her fears that Jay might have taken a wrong turn during his trek back from the remote apartment.
“It’s really worrying. It feels like a blur at the moment,” said 63-year-old Andy Watson, Debbie’s partner. “Jay is street wise, but if it was dark and he had no torch, he could have become more lost.”

The search area has shifted multiple times. Initially, police focused on the southern part of the island near Los Cristianos and Playa de Las Americas, where Jay and his friends were staying. However, they have since redirected their efforts back to the north, near Masca.
The situation has been compounded by disturbing prank calls. Debbie received anonymous calls from individuals claiming to have Jay and demanding money. “It’s sickening. People ring and say they have Jay because he owes them money,” she said.

Despite these hoaxes, Debbie remains focused on finding her son. “I want to keep this in the news because it increases the chances of Jay being found safe.”
Authorities, including mountain rescue teams and helicopters, have been mobilized to locate Jay. The Foreign Office is supporting his family during this difficult time. A regional emergency coordination center reported that Jay was first reported missing at 9:04 a.m. on Monday.

Police have searched Jay’s holiday apartment for clues to his whereabouts. Officers entered the room he was sharing with a friend at a three-star apartment complex in Los Cristianos, in the south of the island. Debbie expressed her fear that something bad had happened to Jay and that he was being held “against his will.”

The heartbroken mother recounted, “I got a Snapchat [message] about ten minutes after I got off the plane saying ‘Kiss goodbye to your boy, you’re never going to see him again, he owes me a lot of money.’ I passed it on to the police with the number it came from because I had my wits about me at the time and got my eldest son Zac to take a screengrab before it disappeared.”

Jay’s disappearance has left his family and friends in turmoil. Describing the situation as a “living nightmare,” Debbie expressed deep regret over encouraging Jay to take the trip. “I want my baby back. It’s a nightmare, an absolute living nightmare,” she told ITV News.
The teenager was on his first holiday abroad without his parents and had been eagerly anticipating the trip. “I was loving that he was going and saying you’ll love it, you’ll come back and you’ll want to go again,” she said. “Now I just wish I hadn’t encouraged him to go.”

Jay was last seen wearing a white t-shirt, shorts, and trainers, carrying a black bag. The family’s efforts have been bolstered by a GoFundMe page set up by Jay’s friend Lucy.
The fundraiser, shared in a Facebook group dedicated to finding Jay, has surpassed its £10,000 ($13,000) target. The funds will help cover the family’s expenses as they continue their search in Tenerife.
Jay’s neighbor in Oswaldtwistle described him as a “friendly lad” always seen with a smile. “His family must be going through hell,” the neighbor said. “I don’t know what I’d do if it was one of my children.”

Debbie has been receiving support from locals in Tenerife and the broader online community. The overwhelming response has provided some comfort amidst the ongoing uncertainty. Despite the extensive search efforts, including combing through his holiday apartment for clues, Jay remains missing.
His mother fears the worst but holds on to hope that he will be found. Debbie said Jay was likely “disorientated” and didn’t realize it was an 8-hour walk back to his apartment in the south of the island.

Speaking from the south of the island where her son had been staying, she mentioned, “I just think it was a question of him not knowing the island well enough.”
Jay’s friend Lucy has been relentless in her search. She was the last person to speak with him before his phone died. The police have been investigating the people Jay stayed with on the night he went missing, hoping to gather more information regarding his whereabouts.

The Civil Guard spokesman confirmed that officers had returned to the Masca area to continue the search. Authorities are working tirelessly, but the rugged terrain and vast area present significant challenges. Debbie has pleaded for anyone with information to come forward.
“I’m obviously beside myself with worry which is why I’ve flown out here with my eldest son to do anything we can to help. “We’re just praying the police or someone finds Jay. I know there’s a mountain rescue team out and a helicopter,” expressed the devastated mother.

The family remains hopeful that Jay will be found soon. The community in Oswaldtwistle and beyond is rallying around Jay’s family in their difficult time.
The situation remains fluid, with search teams adapting their strategies based on the latest information. Jay’s story has touched many, and the outpouring of support continues to grow. The Slater family is grateful for every effort made to find their son.

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