What happened to Jay Slater? The theories about missing British teen in Tenerife

The family of the missing British tourist continue to seek answers about his disappearance.

 The search for British teenager Jay Slater, 19, has been ongoing for more than a week. (Reach/PA)
The search for British teenager Jay Slater ended 13 days after he went missing. (Reach/PA)

The father of missing teenager Jay Slater has called for Interpol to get involved in the search after criticising a lack of effort from Spanish authorities.

Police ended their search for the British 19-year-old on 30 June, but his family and a group of volunteers have refused to give up on finding him.

After spending six hours searching the mountainsides of Tenerife, the teen's father, 54-year-old Warren Slater, called for help from authorities outside of Spain. He told MailOnline: "We need to, as a full family, do a proper press conference and ask the British authorities to help. He's a British citizen. Get Interpol involved.

"Our hands are tied over here, we need experts. How long can you stay here for? It'll take an army 10 years to cover all this. I'd employ a team of Gurkhas."

A GoFundMe page set up in a bid to find Slater has now raised over £52,000. Writing on the page, his mother, Debbie Duncan said: "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."

Slater, from Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire, disappeared on 17 June after setting off to walk back to his accommodation.

Jay Slater. (PA)
Jay Slater. (PA)

He had attended the NRG music festival with two friends before going to an Airbnb in Masca with two men said to have rented the property and who were later ruled “not relevant” to the case, according to reports.

As the search continues on an unofficial basis, here are some of the theories surrounding Slater’s disappearance.

A former Met Police officer investigating the disappearance of Slater has claimed to have detailed his last hours before he disappeared after speaking to one of the men he stayed with.

Mark Williams-Thomas, a former police detective and investigative journalist who is helping with the search, said he had now spoken to one of the two men: Ayub Qassim.

He said Qassim - who was questioned by Spanish police after Slater disappeared but was allowed to return to the UK - told him he had offered Slater a place to sleep at his Airbnb after they had finished partying.

Members of the Guardia Civil near to the village of Masca, Tenerife, where the search for missing British teenager Jay Slater, 19, from Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire, continues. Picture date: Friday June 21, 2024. (Photo by James Manning/PA Images via Getty Images)
The official search for missing Jay Slater has now ended. (Getty Images)

Williams-Thomas said Qassim added that after the three of them went to sleep, he and Slater were woken by the door buzzer and a man and woman who were asking him to move his car.

As he was moving the car, he reportedly saw Slater talking to the woman. Slater is then said to have told Qassim the woman said he could get a bus every 10 minutes to Los Cristianos, a town on the south-west coast of Tenerife.

Qassim reportedly offered to drop him off later after he had some rest and said there was no bus coming, but Slater decided to try after saying he was hungry. Slater is said to have left the Airbnb at around 8am.

Search for Jay Slater in Tenerife.(PA)
Search for Jay Slater in Tenerife. (PA)

The investigator said the evidence still strongly supported Slater having left the Airbnb suddenly, walking for 30 minutes before wandering off road where between 8.49am and 8.50am he dropped a location pin on his phone.

Slater is known to have called his friend Lucy Law at 8.50am to say he was lost in the isolated Rural de Teno park, needed water and only had 1% battery left on his phone.

The walk from his last known location in the north of the island to his accommodation would have taken about 11 hours on foot.

Slater's uncle, 41-year-old Glen Duncan, said he believed that if his nephew fell to his death, he would have been found by now. Expressing frustration over the Spanish police's handling of the case, he said: "It's getting to the point where you're becoming angry. Who knows what the police are doing out here. They don't give anything away," according to the Mirror.

Slater was last known to be in an isolated area of the island. (PA)
Jay Slater was last known to be in an isolated area of the island. (PA)

It's also a possibility that Slater injured himself. His best friend claimed he heard the teenager "sliding on rocks" in their last phone conversation.

Brad Hargreaves believes he is one of the last people to have spoken to Slater prior to his disappearance, telling crime journalist Isla Traquair: “He was on the phone and he goes: ‘I’ve got to walk and go all down that road.'”

Slater hung up as “someone else was ringing him” and promised to call back, but never did.

Law, the last person to speak to Slater, told Sky News shortly after he went missing that he said he had “cut his leg on a cactus and had no idea where he was”.

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Any injury may have been exacerbated because he was without food and water and had only been wearing a t-shirt and shorts.

"It's very warm in the day and very cold at night," Law said. "So in the day he's going to be really warm without a drink, and then at night he's going to be very cold without any suitable clothing."

Williams-Thomas also said that Qassim had told him that he got a "call from a friend of Jay who says that he’s in a ditch somewhere and he’s been cut by a cactus".

Members of Slater's family have been focusing their search on a "treacherous" gorge by the slopes of Barranco Juan Lopez, close to where the teenager's phone last pinged.

Police had previously searched the area using helicopters and drones, but local hiker Juan Garcia, who has been assisting the latest search, described it as a "labyrinth" and "like looking for a needle in a haystack", Sky News reports.

Spanish police have insisted there is no evidence of criminality.

But Debbie Duncan, Slater's mother who flew to Tenerife on 18 June to join the search, initially told the Daily Mail on 20 June that she feared her son may have been abducted.

Duncan said: "If anyone does have him, just let him go, he's not a bad person, maybe he's got in with some strangers who've befriended him," she said. "If he is lost then why hasn't anyone seen him? It's busy with hikers and holidaymakers up there so if he was lost then someone would have seen him, so that's why I think maybe he's been bundled off somewhere."

Ex-police officer Graham Wettone, who was in the Met Police for 30 years, told Mail Online "lots of things just don't add up" in the case and that Spanish police should be looking into the possibility of criminality.

Williams-Thomas, who also helped in the search for Nicola Bulley, said at the end of June that he believed there are two scenarios: "He has either come to harm himself by simply falling off an edge, or a cliff or something, or there is a third party involved, which is based around some element of criminality.”