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Where is my stepmother, Ita Maynard?

Where is my stepmother, Ita Maynard?

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by J. Soso-Vincent

It would seem that any time Angela Semento visits St. Vincent and the Grenadines, it’s never a joyous trip. Her first visit was to attend her father’s funeral in 1992. Now, it’s to look for her stepmother Ita Maynard, who appears to have gone missing.{{more}}

In 1976, John Maynard (Angela’s father) and his wife Ita migrated to St. Vincent, adopting it as their retirement home. John’s close friend, a Vincentian man, had recommended the island. The friend had also sold John the property next door to his at Arnos Vale and the Maynards had a house built there.

Following John’s death, Ita continued living in the house, with John’s friend looking after her financial and legal affairs. This was the last time that Angela laid eyes on Ita, but the two kept in regular contact via letters and telephone.

Over the last few years, Angela has become increasingly concerned because she has not had any correspondence whatsoever from her stepmother. Due to circumstances beyond her control, Angela has only now been able to travel to St. Vincent to investigate Ita’s disappearance.

Upon arriving in St. Vincent, Angela went to her stepmother’s house, only to find out that someone had bought the property following a fire that the person alleged, ravaged the house. That person, she said, also claimed that Ita had left St. Vincent and gone back to her homeland, Ireland.

Angela said she proceeded to contact her stepmother’s insurance company, which informed her that the fire that had befallen the house had not been as serious as the new owner of the house said – there had only been smoke damage in the kitchen and to the roof, and a broken window.

A visit to the Housing and Land Department revealed more, Angela said. Ita’s property, which had been valued at $148,000 at the time of her husband’s death, had allegedly been sold to the new owner in May 2000 for much less than that.

Armed with this information, Angela returned to the new owner’s home with some Police Officers because she believed they would be able to glean more information from him than she had. The new owner repeated that Ita had returned to Ireland, but added that she had done so after a brief stint in Florida. Moreover, he asserted that Ita had written him a few letters from Ireland, giving him details of her new flat and a freedom pass she had received that allowed her free travel on buses and trains. However, when asked to produce the letters, he failed to do so. With no evidence of any foul play, Angela had no option but to leave with the police officers.

Speaking to SEARCHLIGHT, Angela mused: “It’s very odd that my stepmother would go back there seeing as she hasn’t been there for over 40 years.” A visit to the Records Department did not turn up a death certificate, so Angela is very justly worried.

After realizing that the new owner of the house had been less than forthcoming about the details of the fire, it naturally set off alarm bells, and she is wondering what other truth she may unearth. Angela recalled that Ita found the cold weather so repugnant that she didn’t attend her own brother’s funeral when he passed away.

“She’d always told me that my dad was here, died here and she wanted to stay here,” Angela shared.

Angela says all she wants to know now is the whereabouts of Ita Maynard. “Where is she? That’s all I’d like to find out… so I can make contact with her. She’s been very good to me throughout my life.”

Angela described Ita as a Caucasian female in her late seventies; just less than 5 feet tall, with short-cropped hair dyed a reddish brown colour, of stocky build, and wearing heavy-rimmed glasses. She also described her as a prolific smoker, who is usually found wearing shorts and a t-shirt.

Angela is appealing to anyone who has any information on Ita’s whereabouts to get in touch with Searchlight Newspaper.