Fresh hope for Jay Slater as ‘hunters and dogs’ to flood Tenerife search area – but rescuers admit it’s a ‘labyrinth’

Fresh hope for Jay Slater as ‘hunters and dogs’ to flood Tenerife search area – but rescuers admit it’s a ‘labyrinth’
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A GLIMMER of hope is in sight for the distraught family of missing Brit teen Jay Slater as hunters and dogs are set to flood the “labyrinth” Tenerife search area.

The start of the partridge hunting season will see more people visit the region – potentially increasing the chances of finding the 19-year-old.

Jay went missing on June 17
Jay Slater went missing on June 17
Ian Whittaker

As the partridge hunting season is soon beginning locals hope hunters and dogs might find signs of Jay[/caption]

PA

Rescuers say the landscape is like a ‘labyrinth’[/caption]

Jay – an apprentice bricklayer from Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire – vanished without a trace on June 17 sparking a mammoth search operation.

A local woman believes some light may soon be shed on the mystery with the start of the hunting season around the corner.

She told Sky News: “There will be different people in the area and a better chance of finding him.”

The season starts in early August but hunters are already in the Rural de Teno Park area for training.

Rescue teams attempted to find Jay using sniffer dogs, drones, a helicopter, dozens of volunteers and mountain rescue experts.

But after they had no success the official search was called off on June 30 as his heartbroken family vowed to carry on the hunt.

A team led by local hiker Juan Garcia, and including Jay’s uncle Glen Duncan, father Warren Slater and older brother Zak, focused on an area of a gorge close to where his phone was last located.

Volunteers, including a local hiking group, have been searching the Rural de Teno Park – an area of steep rocky slopes, caves, ravines since the plug was pulled on the official operation.

Pro climber and TikToker, Paul Arnott, has been helping search for the teen and recording video clips documenting his progress.

The 29-year-old from Flitwick in Bedfordshire, was seen on the road line accessing places that even police officers haven’t been able to.

Jay was last heard from on the morning of June 17 when he phoned a pal to tell her he was “lost in the middle of nowhere”.


He had gone back to a remote Airbnb with two British men on the northwest of island in the early hours before leaving later that morning.

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After missing the bus, he started walking the 11-hour route back to his accommodation and disappeared in the rural north-west mountains.

Today an ex cop working on the case claimed Jay’s disappearance has links to an “established criminal network” in Tenerife.

Mark Williams-Thomas, who has made documentaries on Madeleine McCann and Jimmy Savile, provided a video update on the case in which he made the bombshell claim.

The former detective claimed that his efforts have “opened up an established criminal network with links to drugs , violent crime and thefts”.

He said: “As part of this investigation we have sought to speak with all of the people Jay had contact with whilst in Tenerife.

THE MYSTERIOUS CASE OF JAY SLATER

By Ellie Doughty, Foreign News Reporter

Monday July 8 marks three weeks since Jay Slater, a 19-year-old from Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire, vanished in Tenerife.

The apprentice bricklayer, who flew out to the popular holiday island for a rave festival with friends Lucy Law and Brad Page, has made headlines around the country.

On Sunday June 16 the three of them headed off to one of the events at Papagayo nightclub.

In the early hours of Monday 17 – Lucy and Brad were ready to head back to their hotel, but Jay wanted to keep partying.

It was then that he left the south of the island and headed to an Airbnb in the northwest with two British men.

The Sun revealed the identity of one of them – convicted drug dealer Ayub Qassim, who spent nine years behind bars in the UK.

For days it was thought that the second mystery man went by the name ‘Johnny Vegas’.

On Sunday former detective Mark Williams-Thomas, who is out in Tenerife investigating, said Qassim told him he is in fact the man behind the nickname ‘Johnny Vegas’.

We don’t yet know the identity of the second man – who remains a key part of the puzzle in Jay’s mysterious disappearance.

Qassim claims he drove Jay and the friend back to their accommodation and said they all went to sleep.

In the morning he offered to drive the teen back to the Los Cristianos resort after a nap, but Jay, hungry and tired, said he wanted to leave immediately.

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Lucy, the last person to speak to Jay, claims she had a panicked call from him soon after he left the holiday let, telling her he was lost and thirsty, his phone was about to die and that he’d been cut by a cactus.

Jay had been seen by the owner of the Airbnb that morning wandering around near the Rural de Teno park – a mountainous region close-by.

He is believed to have been attempting the 11-hour trek back to his hotel, despite the alleged offer of a lift and more buses scheduled for the day.

It was there that his phone last pinged – and he hasn’t been seen or heard from since.

Mark Williams-Thomas has claimed he left the Airbnb quickly, and was “scared”.

Bizarrely, Qassim says he was woken up that morning by a phone call from an unnamed friend of Jay, saying he was “in a ditch” somewhere and had been “cut by a cactus”.

Jay’s friend Lucy claimed to have “tracked down” the two men in the Airbnb after he vanished – quizzing them on the morning of Jay’s disappearance.

Some reports have suggested Lucy knew the two men, although it is not clear how.

She has dubbed his disappearance “weird and suspicious”.

Both men were questioned by Spanish cops on June 17 but quickly deemed “irrelevant” to the investigation and cleared to fly back to the UK.

Police spent almost two weeks searching for Jay in the Tenerife mountains, scouring a 2,000ft ravine, before calling it off on Sunday June 30.

Jay’s family have repeatedly slammed the Spanish investigation into his bizarre disappearance.

His uncle, Glen Duncan, is convinced of “third party involvement”.

And the teen’s devastated dad, Warren Slater, says “everything stinks”

He told The Sun: “My starting position, I’ve said this from day one, ask the two men who’ve taken him – and then start from there.”

A number of unanswered questions remain, over why Jay would have travelled so far with two older men he didn’t know, why said men would have taken him in, and why he braved the Tenerife mountains with no phone battery, water or heat protection for a day-long walk.

“The result of this digging has opened up an established criminal network with links to drugs, violent crime and theft.

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“At this stage I cannot expand any further on what we now know.

“I’m unable to say if this network has anything to do with Jay’s disappearance but remain open-minded as we continue to investigate.”

It comes as the identity of “Johnny Vegas”, one of the mystery men who last saw missing Brit teen Jay Slater, has allegedly been revealed.

Initial reports suggested convicted drug dealer Ayub Qassim and Johnny Vegas were the two new pals Jay made before he vanished – but they now appear to be one and the same.

The Sun previously revealed Ayub, 31, rented a £40-a-night holiday let under a different surname with an unnamed friend.

Jay, 19, went to the Airbnb – called Case Abuela Tina – in northwest Tenerife at around 5am on June 17, just hours before he vanished.

Former detective Mark Williams-Thomas shared a video on X today, claiming Qassim told him that the nickname ‘Johnny Vegas’ is his.

The ex-cop – who worked on the Madeleine McCann case – tracked down Qassim and quizzed him on the mystery of Jay’s disappearance.

Mark said: “We know the two men that took Jay back to their rental apartment were key people to speak to.

“And as a result, I’ve now spoken in some detail to one of these men, Ayub Qassim, who is known as Johnny Vegas.”

In a huge development, the former cop also revealed: “And I’ve also identified the other male who was with him, but I’ve not yet spoken to him”.

Mark claims his efforts have “opened up an established criminal network with links to drugs , violent crime and thefts”.

PA

The official search for the 19-year-old was called off on June 30[/caption]

Doug Seeburg

Jay’s dad, Warren, brother Zak , Uncle Glen and other friends are continuing to search for Jay[/caption]

Debbie said 'words cannot describe the pain and agony' after the search for her son was called off
The official search for Jay has been called off but parents Warren and Debbie are still in Tenerife looking for their son
Ian Whittaker

Jay pictured with his mum Debbie[/caption]

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