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Jay Slater ‘turned DOWN a lift home’ from ‘new pal’ dubbed Jonny Vegas for tragic reason, ex-Maddie investigator reveals

JAY SLATER rejected the offer of a lift before he wandered into the mountains and disappeared, a former cop has revealed.

Mark Williams-Thomas – who worked on the Madeleine McCann case – explained the tragic reason why Jay embarked on an 11-hour trek back to his hotel.

Pic shows: Jay Slater missing in Tenerife also seen with his mother Debbie Duncan in green top supplied by Pixel8000 07917221968
Jay Slater, 19, vanished three weeks ago in Tenerife. Pictured here with his mum Debbie Duncan
a man in a green sweater is standing in front of a stone wall .
Former Met cop Mark Williams-Thomas revealing an update on the investigation on Sunday
a close up of a man 's face with a blue jacket on .
Convicted drug dealer Ayub Qassim, who offered Jay a lift back to Los Cristianos before he vanished
A view of the Airbnb Casa Abuela Tina in Masca, Tenerife, where missing British teenager Jay Slater, 19, of Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire, resided prior to his disappearance. Jay was last heard on Monday morning after attempting to walk back to his lodging after missing a bus while staying with folks he met at the NRG music festival in Tenerife, Spain's Canary Islands. Picture date: Friday June 21, 2024. PA Photo. See PA story POLICE Tenerife. Photo credit should read: James Manning/PA Wire
The Airbnb where Jay stayed with Ayub Qassim and an unnamed second man

Jay headed back to an Airbnb rented by convicted drug dealer Ayub Qassim, on June 17, with him and a second unnamed man.

Ex-cop Mark, who is on the ground in Tenerife, yesterday revealed exactly what happened between them in the early hours of that morning before he vanished.

In a bombshell development he also revealed that Qassim is the same man so far known only as ‘Johnny Vegas’.

The investigator described Qassim’s version of events – including Jay’s insistence on leaving the Airbnb early despite the offer of a lift because he needed food.

Jay, 19, apparently told Qassim: “I’m hungry. I need to get a scran. And the woman told me I can get a bus every 10 minutes to Los Cristianos.”

Mark says that Ayub told him “no bus is coming”, and offered to drive him after taking a nap, but the teen left anyway.

The former Met detective said in the video update: “We know the two men that took Jay back to their rental apartment were key people to speak to.

“And as a result, I’ve now spoken in some detail to one of these men, Ayub Qassim, who is known as Johnny Vegas.”

He describes how the three of them left a rave at Papagayo nightclub and crashed in the early hours after arriving back at the Airbnb.

Later that morning, Mark told how Jay was allegedly insistent on leaving immediately.

He explained: “Ayub says, he says to him, mate, just chill out. I’ll drop you off in town when I wake up properly. 

“He [Jay] went, no, no, no, no. I’m hungry. I need to get a scran. And the woman told me I can get a bus every 10 minutes to Los Cristianos.”


a map of tenerife with the words hunt for jay at the top

Later, Mark explained, “He [Ayub] then says he gets a call from a friend of Jay’s who says that he’s in a ditch somewhere and he’s been cut by a cactus.”

It was around this time that the alarm was raised for Jay, who had been spotted heading towards the mountainous Rural de Teno park.

His phone last pinged in the rugged parkland, where cops focused their two week-search.

The mammoth op, made up of countless emergency responders and volunteers, was axed after two weeks.

Today marks three weeks since the apprentice bricklayer vanished – and many unanswered questions about his disappearance remain.

Qassim, who The Sun revealed was jailed for nine years in 2015, previously insisted: “Jay came to the house alive, and he left the house alive.”

The convicted criminal has hit out at speculation over his involvement in the mystery case and insists he has “nothing to hide”.

In a huge development, ex-cop Mark revealed yesterday: “And I’ve also identified the other male who was with him [Jay], but I’ve not yet spoken to him”.

Mark claims his efforts have “opened up an established criminal network with links to drugs , violent crime and thefts”.

Jay’s family returned to the mountains to retrace his last steps this past weekend in a desperate effort to find him.

His dad, brother and uncle took to the mountains with eight volunteers.

The Sun revealed on Sunday how the Slaters hope to use the more than £50,000 raised on their GoFundMe to pay for a new private search.

THE MYSTERIOUS CASE OF JAY SLATER

By Ellie Doughty, Foreign News Reporter

Monday July 8 marks three weeks since Jay Slater, a 19-year-old from Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire, vanished in Tenerife.

The apprentice bricklayer, who flew out to the popular holiday island for a rave festival with friends Lucy Law and Brad Page, has made headlines around the country.

On Sunday June 16 the three of them headed off to one of the events at Papagayo nightclub.

In the early hours of Monday 17 – Lucy and Brad were ready to head back to their hotel, but Jay wanted to keep partying.

It was then that he left the south of the island and headed to an Airbnb in the northwest with two British men.

The Sun revealed the identity of one of them – convicted drug dealer Ayub Qassim, who spent nine years behind bars in the UK.

For days it was thought that the second mystery man went by the name ‘Johnny Vegas’.

On Sunday former detective Mark Williams-Thomas, who is out in Tenerife investigating, said Qassim told him he is in fact the man behind the nickname ‘Johnny Vegas’.

We don’t yet know the identity of the second man – who remains a key part of the puzzle in Jay’s mysterious disappearance.

Qassim claims he drove Jay and the friend back to their accommodation and said they all went to sleep.

In the morning he offered to drive the teen back to the Los Cristianos resort after a nap, but Jay, hungry and tired, said he wanted to leave immediately.

Lucy, the last person to speak to Jay, claims she had a panicked call from him soon after he left the holiday let, telling her he was lost and thirsty, his phone was about to die and that he’d been cut by a cactus.

Jay had been seen by the owner of the Airbnb that morning wandering around near the Rural de Teno park – a mountainous region close-by.

He is believed to have been attempting the 11-hour trek back to his hotel, despite the alleged offer of a lift and more buses scheduled for the day.

It was there that his phone last pinged – and he hasn’t been seen or heard from since.

Mark Williams-Thomas has claimed he left the Airbnb quickly, and was “scared”.

Bizarrely, Qassim says he was woken up that morning by a phone call from an unnamed friend of Jay, saying he was “in a ditch” somewhere and had been “cut by a cactus”.

Jay’s friend Lucy claimed to have “tracked down” the two men in the Airbnb after he vanished – quizzing them on the morning of Jay’s disappearance.

Some reports have suggested Lucy knew the two men, although it is not clear how.

She has dubbed his disappearance “weird and suspicious”.

Both men were questioned by Spanish cops on June 17 but quickly deemed “irrelevant” to the investigation and cleared to fly back to the UK.

Police spent almost two weeks searching for Jay in the Tenerife mountains, scouring a 2,000ft ravine, before calling it off on Sunday June 30.

Jay’s family have repeatedly slammed the Spanish investigation into his bizarre disappearance.

His uncle, Glen Duncan, is convinced of “third party involvement”.

And the teen’s devastated dad, Warren Slater, says “everything stinks”

He told The Sun: “My starting position, I’ve said this from day one, ask the two men who’ve taken him – and then start from there.”

A number of unanswered questions remain, over why Jay would have travelled so far with two older men he didn’t know, why said men would have taken him in, and why he braved the Tenerife mountains with no phone battery, water or heat protection for a day-long walk.

Ayub Qassim, 31, filmed this video outside of the Airbnb
Ayub Qassim sitting on the steps of the Airbnb where Jay stayed
three men are walking down a dirt path and one of them is wearing an adidas shirt
Doug Seeburg

Jay Slater’s brother Zak (L), volunteer (C) and his dad Warren (R) searching the hills[/caption]

a group of men wearing red bomberos santiago del teide shirts
Getty

A mammoth hunt for Jay involved police, firefighters and mountain rescue[/caption]

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