Jay Slater’s mother hits out at Facebook trolls mocking teen missing in Tenerife

Jay Slater’s mother has hit out at criticism of a fundraising page set up to help the desperate search for the missing British teenager, warning “This may happen to you”.

Debbie Duncan says she has “not slept” since the 19-year-old disappeared on the Canary Island of Tenerife.

Ms Duncan posted on a Facebook page where thousands of people have been discussing their own theories behind his vanishing.

The hunt for Jay Slater goes on (PA)
The hunt for Jay Slater goes on (PA)

She said: “I 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.

“The funds are not released and won’t be if not needed.

“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.”

The comments were then turned off the post as some Facebook users continued to question the crowdfunder.

Jay Slater, vanished near to the village of Masca, Tenerife (James Manning/PA Wire)
Jay Slater, vanished near to the village of Masca, Tenerife (James Manning/PA Wire)

The GoFundMe set up by Jay Slater’s friend three days ago was “approved by our family”, a post from his mother on the page said.

The post says: “We have not yet withdrawn any funds and are currently covering the expenses, such as the trip to Tenerife and accommodation, ourselves. The funds will remain on hold with GoFundMe until we post a further update on this page.”

The page created by Lucy Law to “get Jay Slater home” had received more than £32,000 in donations by Monday morning.

Mr Slater, from Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire, disappeared following an attempt to walk back to his accommodation after missing a bus.

He had attended the NRG music festival on the island with two friends before his disappearance.

Ms Law, who went to the festival with Mr Slater, said he called her at about 8.30am on Monday and told her he was “lost in the mountains, he wasn’t aware of his surroundings, he desperately needed a drink and his phone was on 1%”.

Officers from the Guardia Civil in the Canary Islands could be seen circling two structures at the bottom of a ravine in Rural de Teno Park on Sunday.

Efforts appeared to be solely focused on one area after days of searches in the village of Masca and the surrounding landscape.

Those conducting the searches on the seventh day of the hunt for Mr Slater could be seen looking into blue barrels outside one of the small buildings.

The efforts come after the teenager’s mother issued a direct plea to her missing son, saying: “We just need you home.”

Ms Duncan added that she did not know whether the Spanish authorities turning down an offer of help from the UK was because they viewed it as “an insult”.

Asked how the family was coping with the situation, Ms Duncan said: “We’re not. I’m not coping very well at all.

“I’ve not slept, I’m exhausted. It’s been awful.

“I can’t give up on him, I just can’t.”