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Jay Slater search: 82 missing in Canary Islands as upset families slam police effort

An organisation representing families of missing people in the Canary Islands has urged authorities to increase their efforts to find them, following the disappearance of Jay Slater.

SOS Desaparecidos is an association that helps families try to find their loved ones after they go missing.

According to their website, there are currently 82 people who have mysteriously vanished.

Fifty of them disappeared in the province of Santa Cruz, while 32 vanished in the Las Palmas region.

The oldest case dates back to February 8th, 1981, when Adolfina Ramos Hernández disappeared in Arinaga, a municipality in Gran Canaria. She was 21 years old at the time and would now be 64.

Relatives of the missing have voiced disquiet that more resources have been used in searching for the British teenager than were deployed in finding their loved ones.

Santiago Martín, coordinator of the SOS Desaparecidos, said families of the missing felt let down by the authorities.

He told Canarian Weekly: “These families are not asking to reduce efforts for finding Jay Slater, not at all.

“They simply wish that the search operations for their loved ones were as extensive and persistent as others organised on the islands.”

Local police launched a massive manhunt, as they combed the island for clues to Jay”s whereabouts.

Hundreds of people, including mountain rescue teams and volunteers, searched the Masca area where he was last seen.

Despite intense efforts by the search teams, no signs of the apprentice bricklayer were found.

After almost two weeks of searching, the police called off their hunt, but Jay’s family continues to look for him.

Martin emphasised the need for each case to be treated equally by the local authorities.

“No family of other missing persons wants search operations limited; they simply want everyone to receive the same attention,” he said.

He suggested that Jay’s case received more attention because of the intense media interest in the disappearance.

“It could be due to media pressure or the persistence of some families,” he said.

“What is certain is that all families consider their loved ones just as important as any other, and it is hard to explain why some cases receive more effort than others.”


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