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Graphic: An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand 1966.


This information was published in 1966 in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock. It has not been corrected and will not be updated.

Up-to-date information can be found elsewhere in Te Ara.



The Disappearance of Wendy Mayes

On Friday, 15 September 1961, Wendy Catherine Mayes, an attractive 16-year-old girl, answered an advertisement in a Wellington newspaper for a photographer's model, and an interview was arranged. At 7.30 a.m. the following Monday morning she left home for work in the city. This was the last time her parents saw her. At 5 p.m. on Monday she met in a city coffee bar a man who was later identified as John Frederick Maltby, aged 30. After a brief interview she and Maltby drove off in his car. When their daughter did not return home on Monday night, her parents reported her disappearance to the police. Investigations led to Maltby, but there was insufficient evidence to hold him. Arrangements were then made to search the scrub behind Maltby's house and a 24-hour watch was set. Early in the morning of Thursday, 21 September, Maltby was seen to run into the scrub and, although the area was searched, no sign of the man was found. The police extended the scope of the search and large patrols combed the beaches and hills in the Wellington and Hutt Valley districts. On Sunday, 24 September, two fishermen found Maltby's body, which had been washed ashore at Island Bay. The fate of Wendy Mayes remains a mystery.