Teen Helps Close 27-Year-Old Missing Person Case

Breaking News

Teen Helps Close 27-Year-Old Missing Person Case


Last month, 13-year-old Max Werenka found a car in a British Columbia lake, which solved the mystery of a woman named Janet Farris who disappeared 27 years ago, reports Christine Pelisek of celebrity and human interest news platform People. Farris was driving to a wedding in Alberta in 1992 when she vanished along the Trans-Canada Highway. For decades, Farris’ family did not know what happened to her until a curious teenager decided to investigate a “‘shiny’ object in the lake,” right after a guest at Max’s parents’ rental cabins told him about it.

Nancy, Max’s mother, shares, “It was a complete string of flukes.” She adds, “It was like it was meant to happen.” According to Nancy, the case unfolded on August 20, when guests at the resort spotted a shiny object “at the bottom of the lake about 10 feet from the shore.” Max and a guest used paddle boats to check out the mysterious object. Max saw an outline of a car 20 feet below. Nancy says that “it wasn’t easy to see.”


Mysteriously dissapeared victim Janet Farris / Photo by: George Farris via CBC


The guests who first chanced upon the car conducted an online search. They learned that a “minivan with four passengers” plunged into the lake in 2009. Fortunately, the occupants were rescued. The next day, Nancy says Max told the new guests about the car, speculating that the car might have been left behind from the 2009 rescue.

Then, everything fell into place, as if the case was fated to be solved. A relative, one of the rental cabin’s new guests, came out for a picnic lunch, revealing himself to be a Royal Canadian Mounted police officer from Revelstoke, Nancy narrates. Nancy and Max asked the officer why the rescue team did not remove the car. The officer replied, “What are you talking about? That vehicle was removed.”


13 Year Old Max Werenka who saw the car mysteriously disappeared 27 years ago / Photo by: CTV via People


Two officers visited the lake on August 21, but they could not see the car. Equipped with a GoPro camera, Max expressed his intention to dive in and show it. The teenager dove underwater and took a video of the car’s location. He resurfaced and showed the officers the video. The police sent a dive team and a tow truck, pulling the vehicle from the lake bottom on August 24.

That was when the now 70-year-old Farris was discovered inside. The police found that her family members knew the woman’s last stop was at a gas station in Salmon Arms. The location was approximately 40 minutes away from the cabin, Nancy says. George Farris, Janet’s 62-year-old son, assumed that his mother “had gone off the road or fallen asleep,” perhaps even trying to avoid an accident or animal on the road, Bob Keating of Canadian broadcaster CBC documents.

Now that the case has been solved, Nancy hopes that Farris’s family will find closure.


The car that went missing 27 years ago / Photo by: RCMP via CBC