A TV detective says a “criminal network” with “links to drugs, theft and violent crime” is being considered as part of the search for Oswaldtwistle teenager Jay Slater.

He has also spoken with a 'key witness' in the investigation.

Mark Williams-Thomas, a former police officer, said: “As part of this investigation we have sought to identify and speak with as many people, that Jay had contact with, while he was in Tenerife.

“The result of this digging has opened up an established criminal network, with links to drugs, violent crime and theft.

“At this stage I cannot expand any further on what we now know. At this stage, I am unable to say if this network has anything to do with Jay’s disappearance, but remain open-minded as we continue to investigate.”

Mark has also reportedly spoken with one of the two men who drove Jay back to their holiday rental Casa Abuela Tina in Masca, in the early hours of June 17.

He said: “We knew the two men that took Jay back to their apartment were key people to speak to. I’ve now spoken, in some detail, to one of these men. I have also identified the other male who was with him but have not yet spoken with him.

“He says he was on the strip and Jay wanted to carry on partying. He said he had nowhere to stay so he said ‘come back to his’.

“In the car they played music and chatted before stopping to get a drink at a café/shop before entering the mountains.”

According to Mark, Jay was told he could sleep on the sofa. He was reportedly given a blanket, towel and told where he could find a phone charger.

After being woken by the doorbell and asked to move his car, the man spotted Jay speaking to the woman who rang the door.

Mark said: “He looks in his rearview mirror and sees Jay talking to a woman. He has his trainers on as if he is about to leave.

“He says ‘mate just chill out, I will drop you off in town when I wake up properly’.”

Jay then reportedly said he ‘needed to get a scran’ and was told by the woman he could get a bus to Los Cristianos every 10 minutes.

The man then reportedly goes back to sleep and later receives a call from one of Jay’s friends “who says he is in a ditch somewhere and has been cut by a cactus”.

Mark, who also looked into the disappearance of Lancashire mum Nicola Bulley, said: “The evidence still strongly supports that Jay left the Airbnb suddenly, walked for 30 minutes, before wandering off-road where at 8.49 and 8.50am he dropped a location pin.

“I have had no involvement with the physical search, mine has been the investigation. To help I have asked my team to pull together an interactive map.

“My thoughts remain with Jay’s family and friends.”

Earlier this month, Mark revealed that Jay had “taken a £12,000 watch” shortly before going missing in Tenerife.

According to Mark, Jay reportedly posted a Snapchat saying he had taken the Rolex from a person.

Jay has not been seen or heard from since Monday, June 17.

At the end of June, Spanish police called off the search for Jay but said the case remains open.