Boy's Grim Discovery Solves Missing Person's Case From 1992

By Inside Edition Staff
Copyright (c) 2018 CBS Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved.

A 13-year-old boy has helped solve the mystery of an elderly woman who went missing in Canada nearly three decades ago.

In the fall of 1992, Janet Farris, a 70-year-old mother from British Columbia, was driving to a wedding in Alberta. After stopping for gas, she was never seen again. 

Her family and police searched high and low, but neither she nor her car were ever found. Over the years, her relatives resigned themselves to believing she had perished in some kind of road accident.

But a few weeks ago, young Max Werenka was out on Griffin Lake, near Revelstoke, B.C., when he saw a car, upside down, in the cloudy water. It was some 16 feet below his boat.

Back on shore, at Griffin Lake Cabins, which his parents operate on the shores of the mountain lake, the family contacted Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The Werenkas initially though the car was from a recent crash, but police told them they had already dragged that vehicle from the small body of water.

The boy took video of the sunken car with his GoPro camera.
The boy took video of the submerged car with his GoPro camera. Royal Canadian Mounted Police

So off went Max and two local officers, trying to find the spot where the boy had seen the sunken car. Visibility was bad on that day, so Max jumped into the water with his GoPro camera and took a look around. He came back up with video of the vehicle.

RCMP divers went in and hooked the trapped Honda to a tow truck and pulled it from the water. A female body was behind the wheel of the 1986 Accord. The license plate was registered to Farris. Identification inside the car bore the same name. 

Police contacted Farris' family and told them of their find. "I think the worst was not knowing," her 62-year-old son, George Farris, told the CBC. "Given a sad situation, it's the best of all outcomes."

The woman's remains will be cremated and placed next to her husband, who died in 1984.

Police speculated the woman swerved to avoid an animal or lost control of the car and rolled into the lake. There was no damage to the front of the car, leading investigators to surmise she did not strike anything.

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