Uncle of missing Jay Slater breaks silence as fresh search launched

Jay Slater
-Credit: (Image: (Image: LBT Global/Family handout))


The uncle of missing Jay Slater has described the 19 year old's disappearance on Tenerife as "just torture" for the family, yet they remain hopeful ,as he made a heartbreaking comparison to Madeleine McCann's case.

Glen Duncan, 41, joined by eight others including family and local volunteers, dedicated Saturday to searching for Mr Slater, who hasn't been seen since June 17.

Mr Duncan, alongside Mr Slater's father Warren Slater and brother Zak, tackled the challenging terrain of Barranco Juan Lopez, a gorge that was the last known location of Mr Slater's mobile phone signal. Despite previous extensive searches by police with helicopters and drones, the area remains difficult to navigate, with local hiker Juan Garcia, who led the foot search with his dog Caperucita, describing it as a "labyrinth" akin to "like looking for a needle in a haystack".

Jay's dad Warren Slater and brother Zak continue to search in Tenerife
Jay's dad Warren Slater and brother Zak continue to search in Tenerife -Credit:Stan Kujawa

Upon returning from the exhaustive search in the scorching heat, Mr Slater's uncle spoke of the "treacherous" conditions, noting "it's easy to get lost". He expressed his belief that if Mr Slater had suffered a fall, he would have been found by now.

Describing his nephew as a "typical, normal 19-year-old lad", he highlighted his strong family ties and wide social circle, as reported by Sky News.

"He's just a typical great young lad with a massive circle of friends and was looking forward to coming here," he shared. When probed about the family's state of mind, he simply said: "It's just torture."

Nonetheless, he conveyed their unwavering hope, with Mr Slater's mother Debbie Duncan determined to stay until her son is found.

Jay Slater's mother Debbie Duncan
Jay Slater's heartbroken mother Debbie Duncan has spoken of her 'living nightmare' and says she wished she'd told her son not to go to Tenerife before he went missing. -Credit:ITV

"You've got to cling on because we don't know," he said. "He's not been found so you've got to cling on. I'm sure Madeleine McCann's parents still cling on after all these years that she'll be found somewhere on the other side of the world."

Mr Duncan voiced his family's frustration with the lack of updates from local authorities, saying: "It's getting to the point where you're becoming angry. Who knows what the police are doing out here," he continued, expressing his concerns about the investigation. "They don't give anything away."

He questioned the efforts being made by the police, asking: "What are they actively doing? Because they're not here. Are they making door to door enquiries, are they studying CCTV footage? I don't know."

Despite the official search being called off by Tenerife police on June 30 after a thorough 12-day operation, it os understood that Mr Slater's family is allowed to engage their own search and rescue teams.

The search for Mr Slater in the northern village of Masca, close to where he was last seen, covered challenging terrain including steep slopes, ravines, and trails. Efforts included the use of helicopters, drones, and search dogs to locate the young apprentice bricklayer from Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire, but to no avail.

The Guardia Civil has confirmed that the case remains open, although they have not shared details regarding their investigative approach. The family of Mr Slater, who has been missing since June, have said they plan to use some of the £50,000 raised through a crowdfunding page to fund specialist search and rescue teams.

However, they are awaiting permission from the authorities, reports Yorkshire Live.

The Guardia Civil informed Sky News that search teams from other locations can join the search "without any problem". They must inform the Guardia Civil for efficient management of information and resources.

Jay Slater
Jay Slater

As of now, no such request has been made.

Mr Slater travelled to Tenerife with friends on 13 June to attend a music festival at Papagayo nightclub in Playa de las Americas on 16 June. After leaving the event, he travelled to a small Airbnb in Masca with two men, who police have stated are "not relevant" to the case.

On the morning of 17 June, at 8.30am, he contacted his friend Lucy Law, informing her that he had missed his bus and attempted to walk back to his accommodation. He mentioned that he had "cut his leg" on a cactus, was lost, and his phone battery was at "1%", according to Ms Law.

Shortly after, his phone died and he was reported missing at 9.04am. His last known location was in Rural de Teno Park, near Masca.

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