Tenerife’s missing: Other people who vanished on island where Jay Slater disappeared

Tenerife’s missing: Other people who vanished on island where Jay Slater disappeared

Tourists looking for an easygoing, fun holiday in the sun have headed to the island of Tenerife for decades.

From the party vibes of the neon-lit strip of Playa De Las Americas to the spiritual hikes across cacti-infested ravines in the heat, there is something for everyone.

But with its rocky cliff faces and harsh terrain, the island also has a dangerous side with completely inaccessible areas.

Jay Slater pictured with his mother, Debbie Duncan (Supplied)

As police continue to desperately look for clues in the search for teenager Jay Slater who went missing more than a week ago, these are the faces of other people, many of them British, who vanished – some seemingly without trace – in Tenerife.

Click here for the latest updates on the search for Jay Slater

Billy Bennett

Billy Bennett vanished on holiday in Tenerife at the end of 1985 (Missing People)

Billy Bennett vanished from his holiday in Tenerife at the end of 1985. The 18-year-old was last seen on 1 December of that year.

The teenager from Holborn, London, had planned to go to Tenerife with a friend but he dropped out at the last minute and Mr Bennett went ahead alone.

He is known to have stayed at the Las Americas resort, and was regularly spotted at the Sergeant Peppers nightclub.

Mr Bennett’s friend flew out later with his girlfriend, insisting he only met up with Billy a handful of times. On one occasion he claimed Mr Bennett seemed rather the “worse for wear” saying that he had lost all his money and had nowhere to stay.

Despite extensive inquiries, Mr Bennett’s whereabouts remain unknown.

Ricky D’Cotta

Ricky D’Cotta disappeared in Tenerife in 1987 (Doe Network)

Londoner Ricky D’Cotta went to Tenerife in March 1987 for the eighties club scene and never returned.

The 23-year-old found work in Sgt Peppers Disco Pub in the Playa De Las Americas resort.

Mr D’Cotta last contacted his family in October 1987, when he rang to say he would be coming home soon. His family has heard nothing from him since then.

Shortly after he disappeared Mr D’Cotta’s passport and a bag were handed to the police.

A 2001 Channel 4 documentary Looking for Ricky revealed that five unidentified bodies were found, one of which could have been Mr D’Cotta. But DNA tests using samples from his family prove inconclusive, with Mr D’Cotta’s best friend alleging he was murdered after a planned robbery of a local drugs baron went wrong.

The documentary explores possible sightings including one where he was allegedly wandering the island hotspots claiming to be Jesus, another reported sighting that he was wearing an expensive white suit, and another in a south London clothes shop.

Despite searches and appeals, his mother and sister were said to “remain in a limbo between grief and hope”. Mr D’Cotta has not been found.

Kevin Ainley

Kevin Ainley has been missing for 20 years (Lancashire Police)

Mr Ainley, from Lancashire, has been missing for exactly 20 years this month.

He was 24 when he went missing in June 2004 in Tenerife, having moved to the tourist area Playa de las Americas in March of that year. He worked as a promoter at the Sportsman bar in a popular area known as “the patch”.

Mr Ainley had been out to bars and clubs with a friend, before having a meal at Merlins Chinese buffet restaurant.

The last confirmed sighting of Kevin was walking towards the Sportsman bar after eating – the same night France beat England 2-1 with an injury-time penalty in the UEFA European Championships.

When Mr Ainley failed to turn up for work, his friends raised the alarm with police and his family in the UK. His personal belongings and passport were later found in his apartment.

In a 2016 interview with the BBC, his sister Gemma Brooke said the family was “desperate for answers”.

“It is no exaggeration to say we have been put through 12 years of hell,” she said at the time. “Somebody must know something”.

Described as approximately 5ft 10in in height and of medium build, with blue eyes and brown short hair, Mr Ainley was wearing a dark T shirt and blue Ellesse tracksuit. Distinctive tattoos on his arms include the name ‘Kevin’, a little devil and a Native American woman.

In 2005, two officers from Lancashire travelled to Tenerife to help local police search but were unable to discover any substantial leads.

They appealed to anyone who may have witnessed a possible altercation between Mr Ainley and door staff at the Café Del Moar in the early hours of the morning he vanished.

Peter Wilson

Peter Wilson’s body remained undiscovered for two years (Garda.ie)

Father-of-two Peter Wilson, 34, took one wrong turn on his way home from a night out in Tenerife – then his body lay undiscovered for almost two years.

Peter travelled to Tenerife on March 22 2019 from Dublin, checking into the Malibu Park Hotel, Costa Adeja, in Santa Cruz.

The next day he went to nearby resort Playa de las Americas to watch the Ireland v Gibraltar game. He returned to his hotel in the afternoon before getting a taxi back to the tourist hotspot that evening.

Mr Wilson was last seen close to where the taxi dropped him off, before seemingly vanishing. His personal belongings were found in his room.

His distraught family launched a Facebook group, often travelling to the Spanish island in a desperate bid to find him. With fears he had been kidnapped or murdered, his body was eventually found after it emerged he fell down a steep drop next to a shopping mall.

His heartbroken mother Jacky Wilson told the Irish Sunday Mirror in 2021: “On January 11, my nephews called to tell us that human remains had been discovered in Tenerife.

“No words can describe the utter devastation and heartbreak we felt that day, as we always held that little glimmer of hope that he would walk through the door.

“That hope was dashed but, after the shock, there was a great sense of relief that finally, after nearly two years of searching, we would get to bring him home.

“Peter’s death was the result of a tragic accident. No foul play is suspected so that’s a big relief to us. He obviously got disoriented and lost his way.”

If you have any information concerning any of the cases above, please contact the National Missing Persons Helpline on +44 (0) 20 8392 4545

Source: independent.co.uk