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19 Jul 2024 22:00
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  •   Home > News > Law and Order

    Who is Jay Slater? The search for a missing teen has gone viral, sparking concern from police

    The search for a teenager missing at Tenerife in the Canary Islands goes viral on social media. Here's a breakdown of what we know.

    A search is continuing for a British teen who went missing a week ago after a music festival in Spain's Canary Islands.

    The case has transfixed internet sleuths who have spread rumours and conspiracy theories online, with Spanish police concerned the noise will have a negative impact on the search.

    Here's what we know about Jay Slater's disappearance.

    Who is Jay Slater?

    Jay Slater is a 19-year-old apprentice bricklayer from Lancashire in north-west England.

    He went missing after attending a music festival on Sunday, June 16 on the island of Tenerife. 

    His friends raised the alarm after Mr Slater made a call to travel companion Lucy Law to say he was lost and attempting to walk back to their accommodation but needed water.

    Mr Slater said his phone battery was on 1 per cent.

    The call was cut off.

    Where did he go missing?

    Mr Slater's last known location is a mountainous path in Rural de Teno Park, which was determined by a ping from his phone.

    The national park is in the north-west of Tenerife, the largest of the Canary Islands, off West Africa.

    The 19-year-old and two friends had attended a music festival at Papagayo nightclub in the tourist hotspot Playa de las Américas in southern Tenerife.


    His friends say they last saw him getting into a car with two men he met while on holiday, leaving Playa de las Américas.

    It's believed he and the two men travelled to an apartment in the village of Masca.

    The apartment owner has told reporters she saw Mr Slater walking up a steep road past the property.

    Reporters from the BBC described Rural de Teno Park as "remote and wild" and said deep ravines and large mountains make it a difficult area for rescue teams to search.

    What do we know so far?

    • Jay Slater and two friends attend the final day of the NRG music festival in Playa de las Americas.
    • Between 3am and 6am: According to friends, Mr Slater gets into a car with two men he met while on holiday.
    • About 7:30am: Mr Slater tags Parque Rural de Teno Buenavista del Norte in a Snapchat post
    • About 8:15am: Mr Slater calls Ms Law to say he had missed a bus and was planning to walk back to their accommodation. The call cuts out.
    • His friends search the area around their accommodation after Mr Slater fails to return home.
    • Local police and mountain rescue teams begin searching.
    • Spain's Guardia Civil, one of the country's two national enforcement agencies, continues the search with drones, dogs and a helicopter.
    • A potential sighting sees the search briefly moved to Los Cristianos but police rule out this lead and return to the original search area.
    • The Guardia Civil, mountain rescue, firefighters and volunteers continue to search Los Cristianos.
    • Lancashire Police releases a statement saying it has offered to help the search.
    • Rescue teams focus on paths in a valley surrounding Masca, as well as two ravines.
    • Police investigate near the apartment Mr Slater had reportedly travelled to.
    • The search continues around Masca.

    What's being said online?

    Speculation about what happened to Mr Slater has been circulating online, causing the search to go viral.

    Numerous groups discussing theories about Mr Slater's whereabouts have been created on Facebook. 

    Social media users have suggested Mr Slater was kidnapped or is in hiding but these theories have not been put forward by police.

    His mother, Debbie Duncan, said Spanish police were concerned talk online could have a negative impact on the search.

    "They have actually said that there's too much noise, that's affecting it," she said.

    Several fundraising pages have been set up and later suspended by GoFundMe after concerns were raised over the identity of the organisers.

    A Facebook group reportedly set up by Mr Slater's family said Ms Duncan did not want fundraising pages created.

    The admin of a Facebook page set up to help the search has also said somebody who was not Mr Slater had logged into the 19-year-old's Instagram account.


    © 2024 ABC Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved

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