Max was just 13 years old when he became involved in a crazy mystery. It occurred during the summer of 2019 at Griffin Lake. His family owns Griffin Lake Cabins, which is a small resort which contains three holiday homes located in the wilderness between Vancouver and Calgary. It is a beautiful area, and tourists often visit to enjoy fishing, swimming, and hiking during the summer. In the winter, tourists come to go snowmobiling and sledding in the nearby mountains. Max loved living in the area because he loved the outdoors.
Max had a GoPro camera, which allowed him to take videos of his adventures. The camera attached to a helmet, and it was capable of filming on land and in the water. Max would videotape his adventures and upload them on YouTube. He never expected that his camera would allow him to help the police to solve a crime.
Talking To a Family
It was not uncommon for Max to have conversations with the families that stayed at his parent’s resort. In August 2019, he was talking to a family who claimed to have seen something strange beneath the surface of the water. They were curious, so they asked Max to go check it out. Max was just as interested as the family, so he got his paddleboard and headed out to the area where the family claimed to have seen the object.
When James got to the area of the lake, he looked down and saw what he described as a shadow or an imprint. He also said that he could see something shiny under the water. He was unable to identify the object at the bottom of the lake, but he thought that he could see an exhaust pipe. After looking down for a bit, he realized that it was an upside-down car. He was shocked by what he had found, and he and the guests went online to get more information.
Ten Years Earlier
During their online search, Max and the family discovered that ten years earlier, a car had gone into the water and was lost at the bottom of Griffin Lake. The news article stated that four people had been rescued from the water. Max, his family, and the guests were satisfied that they figured out how the car got there, so they never called the police to report it. They assumed that the police arrived to save the family, so they already knew that the car was there.
Royal Canadian Mounted Police
The next day, an officer from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) arrived at the lake to enjoy a day outdoors with his family. Max’s mother, Nancy, was having a casual conversation with the officer when she mentioned that they found the car from the 2009 accident in the lake. The officer said this was odd because he was on the force then, and he remembered the car from the 2009 accident being pulled from the water. He told Nancy that he was sure that the vehicle was removed, so they would need to open an investigation.
On August 21st, the police arrived to investigate the vehicle that they found. Because Max knew the area so well, the police asked him to accompany them. On the day of the search, the water conditions were poor. The officers were having trouble seeing under the water from the surface, and Max had an idea.
Max had a great solution to the officers’ problem. This teen dove into a lake with his GoPro and the footage helped solve a 27-year-old cold case. Max went into the water, wearing his camera and dove down to the car. He went all around the vehicle to capture as much footage and as many details as possible. He captured videos of the car upside down in the water. It was obvious that the car had been at the bottom of the lake for quite some time because it was covered with mud, plants, and marine life. Max’s camera footage prompted the police to send in a dive team.
Three days later, the dive team arrived, and they were able to get the numbers on the license plate. The car belonged to a woman who was reported missing 27 years earlier. The vehicle belonged to Janet Farris, a 69-year-old woman who was reported missing in 1992. For three decades, her family was wondering what happened to her. When the police pulled the car up, Janet’s body was still inside.
Janet’s family told the police that she was driving to a wedding when she went missing. Because the doors and windows were still closed, the police assumed that she fell asleep at the wheel and went into the water. Janet’s granddaughter, Erin Farris-Hartleys that she is happy that she finally knew what happened to her grandmother. Thanks to Max and his GoPro camera, this cold case was finally solved.