Final police search effort for Jay Slater dismissed as a ‘massive PR thing’

UK

A volunteer who flew out to Tenerife to help try to find missing Jay Slater has dismissed the final police search for the British teenager as a “massive PR thing”.

Paul Arnott, who has been sharing clips of his own search effort on TikTok, told Sky News last week that he flew out to Tenerife when he heard the 19-year-old’s family “needed help”.

Mr Slater was last seen on Monday 17 June after he told a friend he planned to walk from the northwestern village of Masca to his holiday accommodation in Los Cristianos in the south – a journey that would take 11 hours on foot.

Police on the island confirmed on Sunday that the search for Mr Slater had been called off nearly two weeks after his disappearance.

It came a day after police urged volunteers to come forward to help with a large-scale search in the Masca area.

Recording a TikTok video from the site on Saturday, Mr Arnott said: “So guys I’ve literally been waiting for absolutely ages now, this is a massive PR thing I’m telling you now… There’s people everywhere, literally people everywhere and nobody is doing anything.”

He added: “I’ve been up here for ages. Yeah there’s people everywhere, everyone’s still in their cars… I’m going to crack on with the search for Jay in the area where I think he is… I’ve been so quiet about this. I’m not doing it anymore people, I’m sick of this crap.”

Paul Arnott, has been sharing clips of his own search for Mr Slater on social media
Image:
Paul Arnott has been sharing clips of his own search for Mr Slater on social media

In a follow up video, he says: “I’m so blooming stressed and annoyed about what’s just happened. I thought today was going to be so productive, I thought so many people were going to show up.

“I thought it was going to be really organised… I thought it was going to be massive and it’s not.”

A group of around 30 to 40 volunteers turned up to help rescue teams on Saturday – scouring a huge area of rugged and hilly terrain.

It came after Mr Slater’s mother, Debbie Duncan, his father Warren and brother Zak flew out to help police and mountain rescue teams search for the teenager shortly after he first disappeared.

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Jay Slater and his mother, Debbie Duncan. Pic: Lucy Law
Image:
Jay Slater and his mother Debbie Duncan. Pic: Lucy Law

Ms Duncan told The Daily Telegraph last week that she has “every faith” in the police who have been trying to find her son.

She also said she couldn’t “thank Paul Arnott enough” for his efforts.

Police said they are keeping the investigation into Mr Slater’s disappearance open after they ended their search effort on Sunday.

However, they added they could yet open up searches in the south of the island, but have not provided an update.

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Mr Slater’s father: ‘I just want him back’


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What were Jay Slater’s last known movements?

Mr Slater had been holidaying with friends in southern Tenerife before travelling to the northwestern mountain village of Masca with two people he met at the NRG music festival on Sunday 16 June.

After the event ended, he got in a car and travelled to a small Airbnb in Masca with two men, who police said on Saturday are “not relevant” to the case.

Mr Slater, from Oswaldtwistle near Blackburn in Lancashire, told a friend over the phone at 8.30am the following morning that he was walking back to his holiday accommodation after missing a bus.

He also said he was lost, in need of water, and only had 1% charge on his phone.

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‘Jay Slater asked me for bus times’

The last person to see Mr Slater was Masca resident Ofelia Medina Hernandez who spoke to the teenager on Monday 17 June.

Ms Hernandez said she told him a bus was due at 10am as he seemingly hoped to get back to his accommodation.

However, he set off walking – and she said she later drove past him while he was “walking fast”.

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

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