Lake Taupō death mystery: One of two people found dead on lake shore was former jockey

One of two people found dead on the shore of Lake Taupō last week was a former jockey whose life had spiralled out of control.

Trevor Malcolm Wiringi, 50, and Helen Dorothy Smith, 49, were from Rotorua, a police spokesperson said in a statement.

The bodies of the pair were discovered, submerged in the water, around 7am on October 16.

A source told the Herald Smith was a former jockey who had raced winning horses in the mid-1990s based out of Matamata.

She was remembered as a “typical rural girl” who left the racing industry then lost her way.

Another source said Smith had spent her life among horses and was very talented.

“She achieved a lot then one day her world fell apart. Something happened to her and she completely lost herself and she lost her way from then on. She was a mess, her direction was lost in human terms, she became a woman who lost herself.”

A local man earlier told the Herald he saw revellers partying in the hot pools on the shore of Lake Taupō 12 hours before the two bodies were found.

He said he walked past two women and a man, who appeared to be intoxicated, at the popular Hot Water Beach spot. He saw one woman emerge from a pool wrapped in a towel while the man was dangling his legs in the hot water.

“I think at that stage they were intoxicated,” he said, describing their behaviour as loud and drunken.

He did not recognise any of the group.

The man, who was taking his family to a nearby hotel for swim, returned to the same spot an hour later when a blood-curdling wail pierced the air.

“We’d finished our swim. We heard the noise and we jumped in the car and headed to where it was coming from. It was a horrible whiny noise,” he said.

“By the time we got there the cops were leaving.”

He watched the group continue to party loudly, after the police left.

Police earlier said the pair’s deaths were not suspicious. Their deaths will be referred to the coroner.

Detective Senior Sergeant Ryan Yardley has said the two bodies were found by a member of the public just after 7am.

Taupō Mayor David Trewavas said to know two people had lost their lives was a tragedy.

“To wake up on a beautiful crystal-clear day, the lake is so pristine, and for someone to come across two people dead is very, very unfortunate,” he told the Herald.

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