13-Year-Old’s GoPro Helps Solve 1992 Missing Person’s Case

By Justin Morgan

A young teen in Canada—while out on a boat ride last month—noticed a vehicle at the bottom of a lake. The discovery would later help solve a missing persons case from 1992.

13-year-old Max Werenka—while enjoying a boat ride last August on Griffin Lake in British Columbia, Canada, where his family runs a cabin renting business—noticed a vehicle that was submerged underwater.

Max and his family had initially assumed the vehicle was related to a 2009 incident where a vehicle crashed into the lake, so they mentioned the discovery to a Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officer.

An overturned car.
A view of the overturned car resting at the bottom of Griffin Lake. It was discovered just three metres from shore. (RCMP)

“We told him about the vehicle in the lake and said, ‘why would they not have removed this car?’” Said Max’s mother, Nancy Werenka. “He said, ‘Well, they did. What are you talking about?’”

The discovery promoted the RCMP to come to Griffin lake to investigate, the reflection of the sun on the water however, allegedly made it difficult to see beneath.

Max then decided to—using his GoPro camera—take a personal dive to try and get video of the vehicle up close.

Days later, police and a local tow company returned to the site and recovered a Honda Accord—with the body of an adult woman inside.

A black 1986 Honda Accord.
Nearly 27 years after its owner, Janet Farris, disappeared, RCMP pulled this black 1986 Honda Accord from Griffin Lake, near Revelstoke, B.C., on Aug. 24. (RCMP)

The RCMP said in a statement, “Revelstoke RCMP and the BC Coroners Service are investigating after a body was located in a submerged vehicle in Griffin Lake last week.”

“Early indicators are that her death does not involve criminality.”

Woman Missing Since 1992

According to the CBC, the body recovered was that of Janet Farris, of Mill Bay, British Columbia, who had gone missing 27 years ago.

Janet’s son, 62-year-old George Farris, told reporters, “I think the worst thing was not knowing.”

“We kind of assumed that maybe she had gone off the road or fallen asleep, or tried to avoid an accident or animal on the road,” he added.

George went on to say the discovery has finally brought answers to nearly 30 years of mystery.

“Given a sad situation, it’s the best of all outcomes,” he said.

Nancy Warenka, upon learning of the identity of the woman, said that her heart goes out to the Farris family.

“I just feel for them that 27 years of your loved one missing—how do you deal with that?” she said.

The RCMP believe Farris drove her vehicle off the Trans-Canada Highway into Griffin Lake, reported CTV News.

They also praised Max’s efforts, “That’s good detective work on his part,” said Revelstoke RCMP Cpl. Thomas Blakney.

CNN contributed to this report.