Jay Slater: Search for missing teenager in Tenerife called off by police (2024)

Jay Slater: Search for missing teenager in Tenerife called off by police (1)

Tom McArthur

BBC News

Mohamed Madi

BBC News

Reporting from


  • Published

The search for missing British teenager Jay Slater in Tenerife has been called off, police say.

Tenerife's Guardia Civil told the BBC: “The search operation is over. Yesterday was the final day of the search."

The 19-year-old from Lancashire has been missing since 17 June, after he told a friend he was lost in the mountains.

A family friend, who is on the island, said they would carry on the search and were looking for people with rescue experience to help.

Police carried out a new search on Saturday with the help of dozens of emergency workers near the village of Masca, in the Rural de Teno national park.

Confirming that the search for Mr Slater was no longer "active", a Guardia Civil spokeswoman told Reuters that "the case is still open and there are several lines of investigation".

Since the teenager disappeared almost two weeks ago, the Spanish authorities have deployed helicopter crews, specially trained search dogs and drones.

Rachel Hargreaves, the mother of Mr Slater's best friend Brad Hargreaves is in Tenerife supporting his family.

She told the BBC: "We're just carrying on searching ourselves."

She said the family would speak to the Spanish authorities on Monday to learn more about their investigation into the disappearance.

  • Empty caves, dead ends, and a vast landscape - how Jay Slater search unfolded

Image source, Nick Garnett/BBC

A new search on Saturday focused on an area previously explored but was intended to be more extensive after a call was put out for help from volunteers with specialist mountain experience.

It was hoped the operation would be a “massive search” but less than 12 members of the public had arrived at the meeting point shortly before it began, BBC reporters on the ground observed.

The search took in ravines and steep, rocky terrain that surrounded the small village where Mr Slater was last seen.

But by Sunday morning there were no emergency vehicles or personnel to be seen in Masca.

Image source, PA

Image source, Reuters

The apprentice bricklayer, from Oswaldtwistle, had been attending the NRG music festival on 16 June, and his friends said they were out in the tourist hotspot of Playa de las Americas when he was seen getting into a car with two British men he met earlier in the night.

The next morning, 17 June, he was tagged in a photo posted on Snapchat at 07:30 BST at an Airbnb in Masca, which was reportedly being rented by the two men.

Investigators have spoken to the pair and they are "not in any way relevant to the case".

Image source, Mohamed Madi/BBC

He was last heard from before 09:00 BST in the Rural de Teno Park, where he called a friend to say he had missed the bus and was trying to make the 10-hour walk back to their accommodation in the south of the island.

Lucy Law said Mr Slater told her during a frantic phone call that he was "lost in the mountains", desperately needed a drink and had 1% battery on his phone.

Best friend Brad Hargreaves told ITV's This Morning he received a video call from Mr Slater around the same time in which he appeared to be sliding off a designated path, with the call showing his feet on rough ground.

Speaking to ITV last week, Mr Hargreaves said: "I don’t know how or what has gone on there but he’s gone off and rang me halfway to their house saying I’m staying here and I’ll be back the next day.

"He's rang me walking down the mountain and he just says he's walking home.

"At the time I didn't think anything of it I just thought he was going to get a bus home or a taxi home because that's what he says he is going to do.

"Next thing you know his phone dies and it's 10 days on now and nothing since."

Image source, PA

A GoFundMe appeal Get Jay Slater Home, set up by Ms Law, had raised more than £43,000 as the police search came to an end.

Mr Slater's mother, Debbie Duncan, travelled to the island as the search took place.

She said the money raised online would be used to support mountain rescue teams, and to cover her own accommodation and food costs.

Speaking to the BBC previously, Mr Slater's mother said: "He's just an all-round nice, bubbly guy with hundreds of friends who love being in his company," she said.

"He's gorgeous, he's beautiful. He's my baby."

Lancashire police referred BBC questions about the cancellation of the search to the Guardia Civil, saying its role was to support Mr Slater's family.

What we know so far

More on this story

  • Jay Slater search scoured caves, ravines and cliffs

    • Published

      30 June

  • Jay Slater search volunteer condemns online trolling

    • Published

      27 June

  • The mountainous landscape where Jay Slater vanished

    • Published

      29 June

Jay Slater: Search for missing teenager in Tenerife called off by police (2024)


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