Disappearance of Jay Slater depicting an image of the 19-year-old Englishman.

Disappearance of Jay Slater

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About

The Disappearance of Jay Slater refers to the ongoing disappearance of Jay Slater, a 19-year-old Englishman who was on holiday in Tenerife, Spain, in June 2024. A Facebook group was launched to help raise awareness of his disappearance and was mocked by users on social media, prominently on Twitter / X due to the absurd suggestions by members of the group on finding a solution to find Slater and spreading conspiracy theories that made little sense. A parody song inspired by Slater's "last night out" also became the subject of memes and debate on TikTok.

On July 15th, 2024, it was reported that Spanish police discovered a body at the location where Jay Slater was last seen. A day later, the body was confirmed to be that of Jay who had accidentally fell to his death.

Background

On June 18th, 2024, news outlets[1] reported a rescue team to search for Jay Slater, a 19-year-old from Lancashire in England, who went on holiday to Tenerife, Spain to attend a music festival on the island. After the festival, Slater decided to explore the mountain village of Masca with two new friends he met at the event.

Sky News[2] posted a video on June 19th explaining that Slater had "cut his leg on a cactus" and did not know where he was (seen below), which amassed more than 400,000 views and 2,500 likes in two weeks.



According to The Independent[3] news website, Ofelia Medina Hernandez was the last known person to see Slater, informing him that his bus back was scheduled for 10 a.m. Hernandez remembers seeing Slater "walking fast" as she drove past him. Shortly after, Slater called his friend Lucy Law, saying he was lost while walking from Masca to his accommodation in Los Cristianos, located on the south coast of Tenerife. He mentioned his phone was at 1 percent battery and that he needed water. The last confirmed sighting of Slater was in the Rural de Teno National Park. Later that morning on June 17th, 2024, Slater was officially reported missing.

Developments

Jay Slater GoFundMe

On June 20th, 2024, a GoFundMe[4] campaign titled "Get JAY SLATER home ❤️" was launched by Slater's friend to raise money to help give his family members money in the search to find him. In the two weeks that followed the creation of the campaign page, £47,000 was raised with more than 4,000 people donating.

Online Reactions

Facebook Group

On June 18th, 2024, a Facebook[5] group titled "JAY SLATER MISSING – OFFICIAL GROUP" was created on the social media platform by Rach Louise Harg on the day following his disappearance. In the span of five days, the group had gained over 500,000 members (seen below).


JAY SLATER MISSING - ONLY OFFICIAL GROUP * Public group 607.9K members About Discussion Featured People Events Media Files Join group Share

Following the creation of the group, members posted suggestions of what they could do to help with the search and gave suggestions on what they could do to find him. For instance, on June 19th, Facebook[[6] user Samantha Hornsby suggested leaving water bottles over the region Slater was missing (seen below, top), which garnered roughly 1,100 reactions and 180 comments in two weeks (seen below).


Samantha Hornsby June 19 at 5:54AM.> I know this might sound stupid but when out searching it may be a good idea to leave bottles of water dotted about all over the place. Just on the chance he comes across one before he is found? b 1.1K 168 comments 5 shares

Some trolls joined Slater's Facebook group and started to post ironic suggestions to find him, which was later shared on X. For instance, on June 21st, 2024, X[7] user @BuenoHames tweeted a "Top 4 best comments on the Jay Slater Facebook group chat," which amassed more than 18,000 likes and 1,100 reposts in two weeks.


< DNOW 1d JAY SLATER MISSING - ONLY OFFICIAL GROUP. Join Courtney Roberts 1 d. > Like Reply Courtney Roberts Author Jade Graham put the link in the comments so whoever wants to fly out can book it Xx 1 d Like Reply View 1 reply... Write a reply... 1 b LetsTall Chatta Box Teddy do u think ut would be worth me going as I'm in a powerchair so I'll be limited to wat places u can go 1 d Like Reply 11b Emma Forrest Chatta Box Teddy no stay at home and stay safe please too many people could end up looking for more people. You stay at home hun and just share that's all we can all do x Like Reply 2h Like View 1 reply... Write a reply... Daniel Jeffreys Maybe a plane with a banner on so he could possibly see it hope the lads found safe and well x 1 d Like Reply 52b Karen Saxton Daniel Jeffreys I thought this too and also Megaphones 1 d Like Reply 8b Recently seen Kirsty Dollery Top contributor 14 h → I have a labrador who has a very sensitive nose. Maybe he could pick up a scent if you have an item with his smell on it? 346 78 comments 2 shares Like Send ✓ Share Top contributor It's a shame someone who has a lot of money say like Cristiano Ronaldo can't see this and organise some mad investigating team, with lots of man power and the the correct tools. Even though the police will do a good job, it's just not quick enough and not enough people and knowledge. It needs some kind of specialist team...well done to everyone trying though hope he is found safe Like Reply 28 D

A second Facebook[8] group was created on June 20th, 2024, by Darren Watts which was titled "Jay Slater Discussions and Theories" and included suggestions and theories on what happened to Jay.

Jay Slater TikTok Song

On June 27th, 2024, TikToker[9] @alexiversonmusic posted a video captioned "Jay Slater Song," whose lyrics were inspired by Slater's "last night out." The post (seen below, left) received more than 409,000 plays and 14,000 likes in a week.

The music sparked a debate on TikTok about the unhinged lyrics, like TiKToker[10] @qu33fm0nster video, which features the caption "If I ever go missing please don't tell the British public, just let me be missing." The video (seen below, right) garnered over 439,000 likes since posted on June 29th.

@alexiversonmusic Jay Slater Song #jayslater ♬ original sound – Alex Iverson

@qu33fm0nster dont find me either #xyzbca #foryoupage #fyp #jayslater ♬ original sound – Alex Iverson

Death

On July 14th, 2024, Spanish police announced that they had discovered a body in the location where Jay Slater was last seen. It was later confirmed to be Jay Slater a day later.

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