Mother of man who vanished in Tenerife five years ago feels pain of Jay Slater’s family

Mother of man who vanished in Tenerife five years ago feels pain of Jay Slaters family
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The mother of a young Briton who vanished off the coast of Tenerife five years ago has said she feels the tears of Jay Slater’s mother on television who is crying “just like me”.

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Ricardo Scott Santana, 23, vanished on a Jet Ski safari with friends at around 11.30am on June 15, 2019 – a day before he was due to fly home.

His family are still desperately looking for the “loving” youth worker, who disappeared while riding off a jet ski near Palm Mar, just a few miles from Los Cristianos where Jay Slater was staying on the party island.

His family said the jet ski was later found abandoned but his body has never been found.

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His mother, Natasha Samantha Scott, 50, who is deaf, said she has struggled to get any updates on her son’s whereabouts without a BSL interpreter.

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‘Now all that is left for friends and family to do is pray that one of these days he is found’ Ricardo with his mother Natasha
‘Now all that is left for friends and family to do is pray that one of these days he is found’ Ricardo with his mother Natasha (Family handout)

She told The Independent: “He was with a group of friends for a nice holiday. It’s thought he may have jumped into the sea off his jet ski to swim in the water. It doesn’t make sense. He is a fighter and a strong swimmer. He vanished underwater the undercurrent must have been so strong.

“The jet ski was found abandoned and the rescue mission was launched.

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“Boats and helicopters went out to look for him for three days but they closed the report just two days later June 17.

“It’s been such a long time. They never found a body.

“I feel so sorry for Jay Slater’s family. I have seen her tears. To lose a son, she is suffering and crying just like me.”

Ricardo vanished in the sea off Tenerife five years ago
Ricardo vanished in the sea off Tenerife five years ago (Family Handout)

The grandmother of four said she last saw Ricardo for a family meal in April 2019 and but she will always cherish the last “happy” messages he sent her from the holiday.

She added: “It’s been such hard work. My younger son has autism he is angry and upset. He always loses his temper asking where his older brother has gone. He asks ‘Why has he never come back to see us?’”

“Ricardo was so good and supportive with children he would always work hard to stop bullies.

Debbie Duncan gave a tearful interview
Debbie Duncan gave a tearful interview (PA/ITN)

“It’s too late to describe my pain over these last five years. I try to stay strong and positive. I will never give up and never forget him but I have had problems with my health.

“Every day I think about him from my heart.”

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(Deborah Clarke-Topper)

His friends sent out missing posters and set up a charity in his name RVS Foundation to raise legal fees to get his body, if ever discovered, finally returned home. It has raised just £1,721 over the past five years.

A statement on the Just Giving page read: “Now all that is left for friends and family to do is pray that one of these days he is found.”

Deborah Clarke-Topper lives on the island and has been helping the search for Jay Slater and others through her Facebook group Missing Persons Tenerife.

She told The Independent: “As a result of publicising Ricardo’s case five years later, we may enable his family to know more about what happened and help get the documentation, at least a police report, so that they may have closure.”

“Overall, there are 10 cases that have occurred and remain open since the beginning of the year that we have identified at Missing Persons Tenerife.

“One of the reasons the case of 19-year-old Briton Jay Slater has caught the attention of so many is that he is a young man on holiday who should have been having the time of his life.

“In addition to recent cases, there are a number of historical cases that have never been resolved, particularly of young British men on holiday or working in the tourist areas of Tenerife, Britain being a large source of tourism.

“Once the ‘golden hours’ of the first days of a search are over, the chances of someone being found safe and well are reduced. However, even if not safe and well it is important for family and friends to get closure and to know what happened to their loved ones.”

A Spanish police officer looks over the village of Masca, Tenerife, during the search for missing British teenager Jay Slater (James Manning/PA)
A Spanish police officer looks over the village of Masca, Tenerife, during the search for missing British teenager Jay Slater (James Manning/PA) (PA Wire)

It came as Jay Slater’s father voiced his frustration at the lack of officials assisting the search for his son and called for Interpol to take over.

Warren Slater has called for the British authorities and the international police authorities to get involved after the Spanish Police search for the apprentice bricklayer ended on June 30.

He told MailOnline: “We need to, as a full family, do a proper press conference and ask the British authorities to help. He’s a British citizen. Get Interpol involved.

“It’s just us. I haven’t got a team. We need a team to come over here and find out for us what the police are doing and what we need to do.

“Our hands are tied over here, we need experts. How long can you stay here for? It’ll take an army 10 years to cover all this. I’d employ a team of Gurkhas.”

The search for his 19-year-old son has now entered its fourth week. Warren and Jay’s brother Zak are continuing to search near to his last known location in a “treacherous” gorge with a small group of local volunteers.



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