Published On: Wed, Jul 3rd, 2024
World | 3,046 views

‘I’m a former detective – Tenerife police have made a major mistake in Jay Slater search’ | World | News

Jay Slater search police may have made a major mistake by discounting somes lines of enquiry so early in the case, a former Scotland Yard detective has claimed. Crime expert Peter Bleksley said the presence of the two “mystery men” he travelled with would have rung alarm bells if he were investigating the case, which is being treated as a missing person enquiry by Tenerife’s Guardia Civil.

Mr Slater, 19, went missing on June 17 after travelling by car from the NRG music festival in Playa de las Americas to an AirBnB in the remote village of Masca with two British men who Spanish police have said “don’t have any relevance” to the case.

Mr Bleksley told “Foul play could not be ruled out on day one. We have had the story of a young man getting into a vehicle with two men unknown to him, who did not from initial descriptions fit the natural festival-goer demographic.

“A 19-year-old going off with them should have rung alarm bells. It would have rung alarm bells in my mind.”

The ex-detective suggested Guardia Civil was too quick to dismiss the two men, who are believed to have returned to the UK.

He said: “Where there are mysterious circumstances, think murder until proven otherwise. That rule has been completely ignored. Consider all options. A 19-year-old man has gone missing. What are the options? kidnap, murder, held against his will?”

Mr Bleksley added: “How often in a murder case do you see the person responsible being the last person to see the victim alive? Just about every detective that has investigated a murder will have investigated a case where the person responsible was the last person to see them alive.

“[The two British men] would have been very relevant to me. I would have wanted to sit down and interview them at considerable length and not simply allowed them to get on an aeroplane.

“Don’t rule anything out until you’ve established the truth.”

Tenerife’s Guardia Civil told the Express that so far there has been no indication of criminal activity and Mr Slater is still considered a missing person.

A spokeswoman for the force said while the search for Mr Slater was called off after a “massive” search involving about 30 people, the investigation continues.

Mr Slater’s parents, Debbie Duncan and Warren Slater, have joined efforts to find their son, along with family and friends.

In a heart-wrenching statement released via the British overseas missing persons charity LBT Global, Ms Duncan praised police efforts.

She said: “We are a very close family and are absolutely devastated about his disappearance.

“Words cannot describe the pain and agony we are experiencing. He is our beautiful boy with his whole life ahead of him and we just want to find him.”

Ms Duncan added: “The Guardia Civil have worked tirelessly up in the mountains where Jay’s last phone call was traced. They conducted a land search for 12 days which involved every resource they had available.

“Although the land search ended, the Spanish police still continue with their investigations into why Jay had travelled to the location so far away from his accommodation. We offer our sincere thanks to the Spanish authorities who continue to follow lines of inquiries.”

Tenerife’s Guardia Civil appealed for volunteer associations and experts in rugged terrain to help in a “busqueda masiva”, meaning massive search in Spanish, on Saturday (June 29).

The search near the apprentice bricklayer’s last-known location took place in a steep rocky area, including ravines, trails and paths.

Lancashire Police had offered to help their Spanish counterparts, but the offer was turned down. Mr Bleksley explained detectives in Tenerife will want to keep control of the investigation and not allow another force to get involved.

He claimed: “If it turns out they’ve got things wrong, the last thing they will want is for a foreign police force to come in and start poking around.”

Mr Bleksley acknowledged, however, that some missing persons cases are never solved no matter which force is responsible for the investigation and that Mr Slater’s situation may prove to be that of a missing person, with no evidence a crime has been committed.

He added: “It’s an unpalatable and unfortunate fact of life that sometimes people go missing and are never found.”

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