Jay Slater cops have made key error and search for missing teen is ‘not looking good’, ex-Met detective claims

Jay Slater cops have made key error and search for missing teen is ‘not looking good’, ex-Met detective claims
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POLICE have made a crucial error in the search for missing British teenager Jay Slater, claims an ex-Met detective.

Steve Gaskin thinks important evidence could have been missed and said he thinks things are “not looking good” for the 19-year-old who vanished in Tenerife last Monday.

Ian Whittaker

Jay Slater is missing after he vanished while on holiday in Tenerife[/caption]

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Former Detective Inspector Steve Gaskin has revealed how he thinks a crucial error may have been made in the search for Jay[/caption]

Gaskin – an inspector with more than 25 years experience – shared what he would have done differently if he was leading the search for Jay.

He told the Mirror he would have treated the investigation as a murder inquiry from the start to avoid losing vital evidence in the pivotal first 24 hours since the disappearance.

Gaskin said that if he was the SIO – senior investigating officer – when Jay’s missing person’s report came in to the police, he would immediately have to decide to either treat it as a missing person’s inquiry or a murder case.

He added that if he wasn’t sure he’d always err on the side of caution and choose to treat it as a murder case.

The former detective explained to the Mirror that if cops treat the disappearance like a murder from the beginning then if it isn’t “nothing’s lost.”

He stressed that police only have around 24 hours to gather forensic evidence before it’s too late.

Gaskin said: “I’d want to know what he’d had from breakfast. Why has a 19-year-old bricklayer gone missing, what was he doing there, I would want to know everything about him, who was the last person to see him, check all their backgrounds too.”

He added that he would be speaking to UK police and finding out if Jay had a criminal record and what more they knew about him.

Gaskin talked about the importance of getting “a clear factual picture” as fast as possible and said: “The longer this goes on the more you’re likely to suspect a criminal element.

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“It’s not looking good after this amount of time.”


The dad-of-three worked on the serial killer Levi Bellfield case and now runs The Crime Lab alongside his wife, former detective Kate Gaskin.

He draws on his decades of experience investigating murders to satisfy the public’s appetite for true crime.

Jay Slater, from Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire, has been missing on the holiday island since Monday.

He was last seen by the owner of an Airbnb and it is thought he had missed the bus to reach friends at the south of the island, a Brit tourist hotspot.

Today cops hunting for Jay expanded their search to an “immense” barren landscape north of where he was last seen.

It comes after the 19-year-old’s dad Warren pleaded for the safe return of his son and urged rescue teams to widen the operation.

Crews had been focussing on the Masca gorge close to where Jay, from Lancashire, had made a final frantic call to friend Lucy Law last Monday morning.

He told his pal he was lost in the middle of nowhere with no water and had just one per cent battery on his phone.

He had been to a rave the night before with pals Lucy and Brad, but left the club with two men he had met that night.

The Lancashire teen went back to their Airbnb in an unforgiving mountainous area near the village of Masca.

After leaving their accommodation, Jay missed the bus home on Monday morning and was faced with a 10-hour walk.

The teen’s worried family believe he may have been caught on CCTV ten hours after he was last heard from in Tenerife.

They think  there may have been a sighting of him in the village of Santiago del Teide – nearby to the desolate Rural de Teno park where Jay’s phone last pinged.

Grainy footage shows a figure walking past a church around 7km from the Masca village Jay vanished from one week ago.

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It comes as Jay’s heartbroken mum slammed online trolls questioning what the £33,000 GoFundMe donations will be used for.

Online sleuths have now started to question parts of the case – which infuriated Jay’s distraught mum Debbie Duncan.

Debbie lambasted the cruel conspiracy theorists – saying she has been left feeling “very let down”.

Timeline of Jay Slater’s disappearance

By Ellie Doughty, Foreign News Reporter

SUNDAY JUNE 16 – MONDAY 17

Jay goes to a rave at the 2024 NRG music festival in Tenerife, around Arona on the south of the island

8.35pm – Jay posts a smiling Snapchat video of him laughing with friends

He leaves the rave with two men he met that day and is driven back to their accommodation across the island

MONDAY 17

7.30am – Jay posts a Snapchat of a hand holding a cigarette in the area where the accommodation was – near the rural de Teno Park on the north of the island

8.30am – Jay calls his friend Lucy Law and tells her he missed a bus, had one per cent of battery left on his phone and was stuck in the “middle of nowhere”

9am – A missing persons report is filed and the search for Jay begins

TUESDAY 18

2am – Police knock on the door of Jay’s mum Debbie Duncan’s home and tell her to catch the first flight out to Tenerife

7am – She flies out from Manchester Airport alongside her son Zak to help with the search

Debbie is sent a Snapchat message saying “Kiss goodbye to your boy, you’re never going to see him again, he owes me a lot of money.”

WEDNESDAY 19

12.30pm – Police move the search to the south of the island briefly after a false sighting

Cops search his hotel room for clues as his mum says there was “nothing untoward there”

Debbie gives a heart-wrenching interview where she shares fears he has been “taken” and says “I just want my baby back”

THURSDAY 20

Cops begin day four of the massive search for Jay

FRIDAY 21

Lancashire cops offer to help with the search but Tenerife authorities say they are “satisfied that they have the resources they need”

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Search turns to 22,000ft ravine in Masca – part of an area dubbed “the badlands” by locals

SATURDAY 22

The sixth day of the search begins with sniffer dogs, cops, mountain rescue and firefighters again taking to the hills in northern Tenerife

Possible new sighting of Jay places him near a church with two men at 6pm on Monday – although unconfirmed by police

Jay’s dad Warren and brother Zak visit the search site in Tenerife

SUNDAY 23

Cops focus their search around small outbuildings in de Teno park near where Jay’s phone last pinged

Jay’s mum Debbie says trolls are comparing her to Karen Matthews

The GoFundMe set up by Jay’s friend Lucy surpasses £30,000 after just three days

Exclusive Sun footage shows Jay appearing to fall and stumble back up at a rave before he vanished

MONDAY 24

Search for Jay enters eighth day

Police expand search area north to parts of Buenavista del Norte

A GoFundMe page set up by close pal Lucy Law surpassed its £30,000 goal within days – but some have questioned what the money will be used for.

Debbie said: “I am really am saddened by all your comments. You seem to be so bothered about this GoFundMe page.

“I really hope I am not taking my son home in a body bag.

“I really cannot believe the British public are not supporting me in trying to find Jay.

“This may happen to any of you one day. Very let down by you all.”

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Gaskin believes the teen’s disappearance should have been treated as a murder investigation from the start[/caption]

Jay Slater's family have shared a grainy CCTV image they believe could be him
Jay Slater’s family have shared a grainy CCTV image they believe could be him

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