Jay Slater's family in 'torture' as search focuses on gorge in 'treacherous' conditions

Jay Slater's uncle has said the 19-year-old's disappearance on Tenerife has been "just torture" for the family, but they are not giving up hope.

Glen Duncan, 41, was among a group of nine family members and local volunteers who spent Saturday searching for Mr Slater, who has not been seen since 17 June.

Mr Duncan, along with Mr Slater's father Warren Slater and his older brother Zak, walked the paths and scrambled up and down the slopes of Barranco Juan Lopez, a gorge close to where Mr Slater's phone last pinged.

The area has previously been searched by police helicopters and drones but local hiker Juan Garcia, who led the latest foot search with his dog Caperucita, said it was a "labyrinth" and "like looking for a needle in a haystack".

Mr Slater's uncle described the "treacherous" conditions as he returned from the search in searing heat and said "it's easy to get lost" but believes if Mr Slater had fallen, he would've been found by now.

He said he is close to his nephew, a "typical, normal 19-year-old lad" who was family oriented and had a big circle of male and female friends.

"He's just a typical great young lad with a massive circle of friends and was looking forward to coming here," he said.

Asked how the family are coping, he said: "It's just torture."

But he said they are not giving up hope and Mr Slater's mother Debbie Duncan "is not going anywhere".

"You've got to cling on because we don't know," he said. "He's not been found so you've got to cling on.

"I'm sure Madeleine McCann's parents still cling on after all these years that she'll be found somewhere on the other side of the world."

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Mr Duncan said the family is frustrated by the lack of communication from police on the island, adding: "It's getting to the point where you're becoming angry."

"Who knows what the police are doing out here," he said. "They don't give anything away."

He said he hopes they are "following every single lead", but asked: "What are they actively doing? Because they're not here.

"Are they making door to door enquiries, are they studying CCTV footage? I don't know."

Police in Tenerife called off their search for Mr Slater on 30 June after 12 days, but told Sky News his family can bring in their own search and rescue teams to look for the missing teenager.

The hunt in the northern village of Masca, near Mr Slater's last-known location, took in a steep rocky area, ravines and trails.

Helicopters, drones and search dogs were deployed to find the apprentice bricklayer from Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire, but without success.

The Guardia Civil have said the investigation is still ongoing but won't disclose their lines of enquiry.

Mr Slater's family previously told Sky News they want to use some of the £50,000 of donations through a crowdfunding page to pay for specialist search and rescue teams likely to cost thousands of pounds - but were waiting for permission from the authorities.

The Guardia Civil has told Sky News search teams from other places can come "without any problem" to collaborate with the search.

They said they must notify the Guardia Civil "for good management of information and resources" and they have not yet had a request.

Jay Slater's last known movements

Mr Slater travelled to Tenerife with friends on 13 June to attend a music festival at Papagayo nightclub in the southern resort of Playa de las Americas on 16 June.

After he left the event, he got in a car early the next morning and travelled to a small Airbnb in Masca with two men, who police said were "not relevant" to the case.

At 8.30am on 17 June, he called his friend Lucy Law, telling her he missed his bus and had tried to walk back to his accommodation.

He said he had "cut his leg" on a cactus, had "no idea where he was", was "lost in the mountains" and his phone battery was on "1%", Ms Law said. Shortly afterwards, his battery ran out and he was reported missing at 9.04am.

His last known location was in the Rural de Teno Park, near Masca.

A local cafe owner previously told Sky News Mr Slater tried to catch a bus back to Los Cristianos, where he was staying.

Ofelia Medina Hernandez said she spoke to the teenager at 8am on the day of his disappearance, telling him a bus was due at 10am - but he set off walking.

She said she later drove past him "walking fast".