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Jay Slater: British TikTok user dismisses final police search for missing teenager as ‘massive PR thing’

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A volunteer who flew out to Tenerife to help try to find missing Jay Slater has dismissed the final police search for the British teenager as a “massive PR thing”.

Paul Arnott, who has been sharing clips of his own search effort on TikTok, told Sky News last week that he flew out to Tenerife when he heard the 19-year-old’s family “needed help”.

Mr Slater was last seen on Monday 17 June after he told a friend he planned to walk from the northwestern village of Masca to his holiday accommodation in Los Cristianos in the south – a journey that would take 11 hours on foot.

Police on the island confirmed on Sunday that the search for Mr Slater had been called off nearly two weeks after his disappearance.

It came a day after police urged volunteers to come forward to help with a large-scale search in the Masca area.

Recording a TikTok video from the site on Saturday, Mr Arnott said: “So guys I’ve literally been waiting for absolutely ages now, this is a massive PR thing I’m telling you now… There’s people everywhere, literally people everywhere and nobody is doing anything.”

He added: “I’ve been up here for ages. Yeah there’s people everywhere, everyone’s still in their cars… I’m going to crack on with the search for Jay in the area where I think he is… I’ve been so quiet about this. I’m not doing it anymore people, I’m sick of this crap.”

Paul Arnott, has been sharing clips of his own search for Mr Slater on social media
Image: Paul Arnott has been sharing clips of his own search for Mr Slater on social media

In a follow up video, he says: “I’m so blooming stressed and annoyed about what’s just happened. I thought today was going to be so productive, I thought so many people were going to show up.

“I thought it was going to be really organised… I thought it was going to be massive and it’s not.”

A group of around 30 to 40 volunteers turned up to help rescue teams on Saturday – scouring a huge area of rugged and hilly terrain.

It came after Mr Slater’s mother, Debbie Duncan, his father Warren and brother Zak flew out to help police and mountain rescue teams search for the teenager shortly after he first disappeared.

Ms Duncan told The Daily Telegraph last week that she has “every faith” in the police who have been trying to find her son.

She also said she couldn’t “thank Paul Arnott enough” for his efforts.

Police said they are keeping the investigation into Mr Slater’s disappearance open after they ended their search effort on Sunday.

However, they added they could yet open up searches in the south of the island, but have not provided an update.

‘I’ve seen no posters’

A British man who travelled to the island after Mr Slater’s disappearance told Sky News: “I was a little bit more scared about coming here than I would have been, and (me and my friend) have made sure we have each other’s locations, which we wouldn’t have done before all this happened.”

A British woman on holiday on the island said it was “disappointing” police had ended their search and added: “He’s a young boy that has a family, and to know that he is out there somewhere, it is quite terrifying.”

Another man from the UK who is holidaying in Tenerife said: “I’ve been here a week, I’ve seen no posters, hardly any police patrols going around, it’s like nothing’s happened really.”

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