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Mother of British teenager missing in Tenerife says search is ‘living nightmare’

The mother of a British teenager who went missing while on holiday in Tenerife has said the search for her son has been “an absolute living nightmare”.

Jay Slater, 19, from Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire, was last heard from on Monday morning when he told a friend he was planning to walk back to his accommodation after missing a bus, a journey expected to take around 11 hours foot would last.

Mr Slater’s mother, Debbie Duncan, flew to Tenerife in Spain’s Canary Islands on Tuesday morning to look for her son, who is an apprentice bricklayer.

Ms Duncan told ITV News: “It’s just a nightmare, it’s an absolute living nightmare.

“I wouldn’t wish this on anyone. I just want my baby back.

“Please, anyone who can help, find him. It’s a huge area up there.

“He’s out there somewhere or someone knows where he is.”

Mr Slater had gone to Tenerife to attend the NRG music festival on the island.

Mrs Duncan said: “I wish I hadn’t encouraged him to come here. I should have said: ‘Don’t go to Tenerife.’

‘I just think he was probably still cheerful and excited – he doesn’t know where he is. He doesn’t know how long the long journey he took to get there was.

“And he just thought, ‘I’m going to walk.’ And that’s apparently what he said to the last person he contacted.”

Mrs Duncan described her son: “He is the life and the soul, he is a beautiful boy.”

Mr Slater’s friend Lucy – who went to the island with him to attend the festival – told the Manchester Evening News (MEN) that he had gone to stay with people he met after a night out on holiday.

She said she received a call from Mr Slater at around 8.15am on Monday, after he missed the bus and tried to walk back, even though he said he was lost, needed a drink of water and only had 1% battery on his phone had.

Mountains and a road in the Rural de Teno Park in Tenerife, Canary Islands
When Jay Slater’s phone was switched off, his last location was shown Rural de Teno park – a mountainous area popular with hikers (Alamy/PA)

Mr Slater’s phone was then switched off and his last location was shown as Rural de Teno park – a mountainous area popular with hikers.

Lucy told the MEN that one of the people Mr. Slater had met had driven them to his apartment in a rental car and that the missing man had not realized how far it was.

“He ended up in the middle of nowhere. Jay obviously thought he could go home from there,” she said.

“But then he went out walking in the morning, used his maps on his phone and ended up in the middle of the mountains, with nothing around.”

Mr Slater was last seen wearing a white T-shirt with shorts and trainers.

A spokesperson for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office said: “We are supporting the family of a British man reported missing in Spain and are in contact with local authorities.”

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