Deaf Youth of Wichita Drowns

The body of Max Mayes, 20-year-old deaf youth of Wichita, was recovered about 2 a.m. today in the waters of Yentruoc lake, approximately 36 hours after it was first discovered that he was missing.  The drowning victim had gone to the Harvey county recreation spot, southeast of Newton, with a group of about 60 deaf companions Saturday, and was last seen about 2 o’clock that afternoon. He was reported to be one of several members of the group on a raft and others were swimming in the area.  Mayes’ body, taken from about seven feet of water and approximately 60 feet from shore, was found by a rescue squad of Wichita firemen, who were using hooks.  Dr. M. C. Martin, county coroner, said this morning that some phases of the investigation are still incomplete, but preliminary findings would indicate that the drowning was accidental.

Authorities believe the youth may have signaled for help when he was in distress and his appeal went unheeded because all of his companions were deaf.  First news of his disappearance did not reach local officials until late Sunday. Some of Mayes’ associates returned to Wichita Sunday night and notified the parents that their son was missing. The Sedgwick county sheriff’s office here to make a report of the missing youth.  At that time, the help of Newton and Wichita firemen was enlisted and it was planned to start dredging the lake at daylight this morning. In the meantime, Wichita firemen went to the scene and Sheriff Goodman and the coroner were called to Yentruoc after the body was found.  A pair of shorts belonging to the dead youth was found on the beach Saturday afternoon, it was said, and his billfold and other clothing articles were in a car near the lake.  Mayes, a son of Mr. and Mrs. A. E. Mayes, had been a student at the School for the Deaf in Olathe. His body was removed to a Wichita mortuary.  The Evening Kansan-Republican, Newton Kansas. Monday, June 14, 1948. Page 1.

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