Max couldn’t believe his eyes. How was this even possible? He immediately notified his parents about his discovery, and they called the police.
When the police officers arrived, he led them to the spot, but they couldn’t see anything below the waters. So, Max strapped his GoPro on his head and dived overboard. The footage he brought back would help the detectives solve a case that went cold years ago.
It all started in August 2019 when Max and his family decided to visit a well-known vacation spot in British Columbia —Griffin Lake.
While swimming in the lake, Max discovered something in the water that shook him to the core.
What he had discovered in the water would help the authorities solve a three-decade-old case.
Once he led the police officers to the spot, they would find the object and bring peace to the victim’s family. So what had happened?
Max Werenka’s family owns Griffin Lake Cabins, a small resort consisting of three holiday homes between Vancouver and Calgary. Visitors come to this remote area to escape from the busy city life and enjoy nature.
Things would be different this summer, however.
On this day, Max decided to use a GoPro to record his adventures while exploring Griffin Lake. GoPros are becoming more and more popular among tourists and professionals, and Max loves to document his summer adventures in nature.
He was staying in one of his family’s cabins when he met a couple from another cabin. They told him they saw something strange in the lake and asked him if he could check it out.
Max jumped onto his paddleboard and headed out on the lake. It didn’t take long for him to notice what the couple was talking to him about.
“You could see something almost like a shadow, like an imprint,” he said in an interview. “Then, you could see something shiny.”
While Max was trying to figure out what he had just discovered, he suddenly realized that he was looking at an old car pipe.
Then, he realized that it wasn’t just an exhaust pipe but an entire vehicle that was lying upside down. So, how did it end up in the lake?
Max couldn’t believe what he was seeing. As soon as he returned to the shore, he started looking online to see if he could find an explanation for this bizarre finding.
It wasn’t long before he learned that a car went into the water and that four people had been rescued from the Griffin lake.
“At that point in time, we just kind of assumed that this car had been remaining from that 2009 rescue,” Max’s mother, Nancy, told The Washington Post.
“We didn’t call it in… We didn’t really think much of it.” Little did they know, this was just the beginning.
The next day, an officer of the Canadian Mounted Police arrived at the lake to relax, and that was how he got involved in this bizarre case.
“I always like to question things,” Max told CTV News.
“We just mentioned to that officer that there was a vehicle in the lake, and we couldn’t believe that it wasn’t retrieved from the original rescue,” Nancy said.
The officer didn’t believe her at first because he was convinced the car had been removed.
“The officer said to us, ‘Well, no, actually, I’m pretty sure that vehicle was retrieved out of the lake, so we need to investigate this further,’” Nancy recalled.
Her son helped the police solve a 27-year-old missing person’s case. So, who was the driver of that car?
Max Werenka is being credited with helping the authorities find the body of 69-year-old Janet Farris, who has been missing since 1992.
He showed the video that he recorded with his GoPro to the officers. The Mounties dive team then recovered Janet’s body and her car.
According to a CBC News report, Janet went missing after a wedding in Alberta.
The authorities believe she ended up in Griffin lake after swerving to avoid an animal or losing control of her car for some other reason.
The authorities do not suspect any foul play. The Griffin lake hid her Honda Accord from view for nearly 27 years.
“I think the worst thing was not knowing,” her son, George Farris, 62, told CBC News.