Jay Slater’s family makes scathing comment about Madeleine McCann as they launch new search

Jay Slater’s family say they “remain hopeful” for the teenager’s return as they launched a new search today (July 6).

His father, Warren, and brother Zak joined a group of 10 volunteers who combed the mountainous terrain in Tenerife where the 19-year-old disappeared. The group endured several hours in scorching temperatures of 25 degrees Celsius as they searched the valley near the village of Masca.

Glen Duncan, the teenager’s uncle, has also joined the hunt for the young man, who has been missing for almost three weeks. He called each passing day “just torture” and revealed their desperate wait for news.

READ MORE: Missing Jay Slater in Tenerife LIVE updates as chilling new theory emerges and mother issues new statement

He said: “We’ve just been out with some Spanish volunteers. They’ve been through on foot and with dogs, there’s been clear areas searched with helicopters and drones. As far as I’m concerned, he’s not here. That’s what I get.”

Mr Duncan pointed to their limited contact with local authorities: “Who knows what the police are doing here, who knows? They don’t really have any contact, it’s all a bit vague. They don’t give anything away. I was close to Jay. He was just a typical, great young man with a huge circle of friends who loved a good time. He was looking forward to coming here. First lads’ holiday, we’ve all been there, haven’t we?” the Mirror reported.

Jay's father Warren Slater and brother Zak continue to frisk themselves despite police calling off their official search last weekend

Father Warren Slater and brother Zak continue to search for Jay -Source: Stan Kujawa

“We’re still holding on to hope – we have to, because we don’t know. He hasn’t been found, so you have to hold on. I’m sure Madeleine McCann’s parents are still holding on to that hope, that she’s somewhere on the other side of the world, 20 years on. She’s never been found and there’s no evidence of what happened to her. It’s so treacherous down there. Look at the state I’m in. I’m not a climber, I’m not a walker.

“It’s so easy to get lost down there. We were in a group and you couldn’t see anyone. It got to the point where I wasn’t even looking for my nephew anymore, I was just trying to find my own way to safety. If he wandered off, I just can’t imagine how he would have wandered all the way down there. When you’re lost, you stay on a path. I don’t know if he was afraid of anyone or anything.”

Speaking about the online trolls spreading sick rumours, Mr Duncan said: “I’m not on social media or anything like that, so I can just block it. It’s the world we live in. If he had gone down a path like this and got lost or fell, I think he would have been found by now. I’ve thought about third party involvement from the start. There are just things that are known. Why would two guys rent a villa here? They’re on the strip, you know what it’s like there.

“There are millions of apartments and hotels in Los Cristianos and Las Americas. That in itself is suspicious. Then apparently someone came out and said he arrived alive and left alive. That sentence in itself is suspicious. The fact that he came out and said all his mates had left him and he had nowhere to go, he was 10 minutes from his apartment in Los Cristianos. He’s not stupid. If he didn’t have a room key he could have gone to reception and got a replacement.

“I don’t know what the police take seriously. I don’t know if they follow up every lead. I feel like I would march there myself and storm the police station. What do they actually do, the police, I mean, they don’t search with the helicopter? Do they do door-to-door searches or do they sit there and watch CCTV footage?”

Mr Duncan also questioned why the two Airbnb men were deemed irrelevant by Spanish police so early on: “It’s baffled me from day one. How can you say they’re irrelevant when they’re two of the last people to see him alive? It doesn’t make sense. I can’t get my head around it. It’s like one of you going missing and flying the rest of you home and saying we don’t care. It’s a huge disappointment. It’s one of them too – you don’t want to step on their toes. I can’t step on their toes.

“We have to maintain good relationships. That’s why it’s so uncomfortable that I want to keep it here. There’s 10 of us out here today. I don’t know how long we’re going to be out here. How long is a piece of rope? Debbie and Warren aren’t going anywhere.”

Mr Duncan added: “Jay was a typical 19-year-old boy, so family-oriented. He was great with my two daughters, which a lot of 19-year-olds aren’t. A lot of 19-year-old boys are scared of children.”

“It’s just torture every day. It’s gotten to the point now where the sadness is gone and it’s just anger.”

Mr Duncan also noted that there has been little contact with Jay’s girlfriend Lucy Law – the last person known to have spoken to him – of late. Rachel Hargreaves, a weary family friend, shared: “We’re just looking for him, we can’t find him, we can’t find him. I’m here to support the family and try to find Jay as best I can.”

Apprentice bricklayer Jay, from Oswaldtwistle, Lancs, disappeared on the Spanish island on June 17. He was last seen leaving an Airbnb near the village of Masca at around 8am.

The young man, who was on holiday with his friends Lucy, 18, and Brad Hargreaves, 19, had earlier enjoyed themselves at Papagayo nightclub in Playa de las Americas. After the party, he left with two British men to return to their accommodation.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to support Jay’s family in their search, and has already raised over £50,000.

Jay’s boyfriend Brad has vehemently denied the rumors circulating online, insisting “we’re not drug runners.” The trio, including Jay and Lucy, were traveling to the island for a three-day NRG music festival.

Brad defended their innocence on Instagram: “I can’t believe I’m involved in all this. We’ve been friends for years, went on holiday together for the first time and unfortunately this happened. We’re not drug runners or anything… people need to know the facts before they spout nonsense on the internet.”

Lucy, the last person known to have spoken to Jay before his disappearance on June 17, posted an emotional tribute with a photo of the two of them together, accompanied by a crying emoji. The Airbnb where Jay was last seen was rented by Ayub Qassim, a convicted drug dealer.

Qassim stated: “I let that guy stay with me because he had nowhere else to go. His friends had all left him. I know Jay, through friends, that I’m not going to bring anybody back to my house if I don’t know them. I’m doing that guy a favor and now my face is all over the news. It’s kind of crazy. I haven’t done anything yet.”

Qassim also noted, “The only comment I can make is that Jay came to the house alive and left alive.”

Despite great efforts, the search by Spanish authorities was completed last weekend after 14 days.

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