“His home was really a horror house, I would say,” she told the paper. “Little roosters, cats and chickens lived in the house. There was a lot of cartons and dust and rubbish.”
Instead of being greeted by the eligible bachelor she thought she had met on social networking site MySpace, 36-year-old Maja met 54-year-old Peter Robb, who hurried her off to his home in Dunedin where he confiscated her passport and monitored her every move.
The man had promised the music and drama teacher a place to stay as well as help networking to find a job. She said he had wooed her online since their virtual meeting in October, sending poetry and appealing to the romantic side of the mother of one.
“He was quite intellectual and he knew the way to my heart,” she told the paper.
But instead of reciting verse to her on her arrival however, he “lived in a fantasy world” with no electricity and took off his clothes at night to lay down beside his German guest in a filthy bed, who then realised something was not quite right: “I had all my clothes on and these dirty sheets around me … I realised in that moment it was too much.”
A man she had met on the plane trip to New Zealand alerted police when Maya failed to meet him as arranged last Thursday, and they brought her to safety after six days with her “creepy” host.
She told the paper that she’d had a few chances to escape Robb’s clutches and the “dead animal smell” of his home, but had stayed because she was fascinated to see how somebody could live like that.
She advised other travellers not to take the risks she had.
“I took the risk only because I didn’t know it was such a risk. I want to tell every tourist that if you feel there is anything wrong at all, anything strange, just ask for help. I wish I had done it, but I thought they would say I was crazy,” she told the paper.