Jay Slater: ‘I’m an ex-cop – this is the one big mistake I fear Tenerife police have made’

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun25,2024

Teenager Jay Slater’s disappearance should have been treated as a murder inquiry immediately in order to preserve crucial evidence in the first 24 hours of the investigation, a retired Metropolitan Police detective has said.

And Steve Gaskin, who is also a criminal psychologist, admitted he was fearing the worst, saying it was “not looking good” for the 19-year-old.

Jay, from Oswaldtwistle in Lancashire, who was on holiday in Tenerife, has been not been seen since Monday, June 17.

He was last seen by the owner of an Airbnb and is believed to have missed a bus which would have taken him to meet friends in the south of the island.

Mr Gaskin, who was with the force for 25 years, feared the search had been hampered by a series of crucial mistakes.

He told the Mirror: “If we treat this like a murder from the outset, then if it turns out not to be then nothing’s lost, we only have a few hours – people call it the golden hour, but really it’s the golden 24 hours – to gather forensic evidence before it’s too late.

“I’d want to know what he’d had from breakfast. Why has a 19-year-old bricklayer gone missing, what was he doing there, I would want to know everything about him, who was the last person to see him, check all their backgrounds too, I’d be speaking to police in the UK, has he got a criminal record, here or in Spain, what do we know about him.”

Mr Gaskin, who has acted as an adviser on TV dramas including BBC’s Silent Witness, and who now runs The Crime Lab alongside wife Kate, also a former detective, added: “There’s a lot of speculation, but I just want to deal with the facts.

“I’d want to know who did he speak to, who has reported it, what they said, and I’d want to know the background of all these people too.

“Where is the CCTV, have any of these people got criminal records, the whole idea of this is to get a clear factual picture. And I’d want it as quickly as possible.

“The longer this goes on the more you’re likely to suspect a criminal element. It’s not looking good after this amount of time.”

He also referred to a case involving another 19-year-old who went missing in Battersea in south London which he investigated when he was based at Scotland Yard.

He explained: “We had four detectives dedicated to it, it’s a lot of resources, they were drawn off other cases, but we found him.”

Jay’s last known location has been traced to Rural del Teno, a mountainous area in the island’s west of the island.

He had been staying on the south of the island in an apartment with friends, with all attending the NRG music festival.

One, Lucy Mae told police she woke up to a phone call from Jay at 8.30am saying “he was lost in the mountains, he wasn’t aware of his surroundings, he desperately needed a drink and his phone was on 1%”.

His phone died around 8.50am, with his whereabouts traced at that point to a hiking trail, several hundred feet above the small village of Masca.

Speaking to The Sun yesterday, dad Warren, who is currently in Tenerife, said: “I just want him to be found. I just want my son back, end of.

“What more is there? It’s been a week now, a week of nothing. So somebody somewhere must’ve found out something. Somebody.

“It is a living hell. Unless you’re going through it, you cannot explain. Please, please please, if anybody knows anything, just come forward and help us.”

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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