A curious Canadian boy has helped resolve the mystery surrounding the disappearance of a woman who went for wedding 27 years ago.
Max Werenka was out on a boat ride last month on Griffin Lake near Revelstoke, British Columbia when he spotted a vehicle underwater, CNN reported. His family runs a business renting out cabins on Griffin Lake.
His mother Nancy Werenka said they initially thought the vehicle was related to a 2009 incident when a vehicle crashed into the lake, so they didn’t think much of it. But, they told a Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer who happened to be visiting the next day.
“We told him about the vehicle in the lake and said, ‘why would they not have removed this car?’” Nancy Werenka said. “He said, ‘Well, they did. What are you talking about?’”
The Revelstoke RCMP came to Griffin Lake on August 21 and went out on a boat to see the vehicle, but the angle of the sun made it difficult to see much underwater, Werenka said.
13-year-old Max reportedly brought out his GoPro and dived into the lake to get video of the submerged vehicle up close.
Three days later, police and a local tow company returned to the lake and recovered an older model Honda Accord, according to the report. Shockingly, they found body of an adult woman inside the vehicle.
CBC News reported that the body was later identified to be that of Janet Farris, of Mill Bay, British Columbia, who had gone missing in the fall of 1992 as she was driving to a wedding in Alberta, Canada.
“I think the worst thing was not knowing,” her son, 62-year-old George Farris, said.
“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 said.
Griffin Lake is right along the Trans-Canada Highway, and the RCMP believe the vehicle drove off the highway into the lake, CNN affiliate CTV reported.
Farris said the discovery of his mother brought answers to nearly three decades of mystery.
“Given a sad situation, it’s the best of all outcomes,” he said, according to CBC News.
Nancy Warenka said she learned about the identification a few days ago, and 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.
Nancy said she was proud of her son for discovering the vehicle and handling the media attention that has come with it.
“He’s only 13, but he’s a very mature 13,” she said.
And the RCMP also praised Max’s efforts in an interview with CTV.
“That’s good detective work on his part,” Revelstoke RCMP Cpl. Thomas Blakney said.