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Boy fishes stolen safe out of Whitney Lake, helps solve 8-year-old mystery

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The pandemic has inspired a lot of folks to pick up new hobbies. A Johns Island boy’s newfound interest is now an unforgettable experience. (WCIV)

CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCIV) — The pandemic has inspired a lot of folks to pick up new hobbies. A Johns Island boy’s newfound interest is now an unforgettable experience.

Six-year-old Knox Brewer took up magnet fishing a few weeks ago after watching a video on YouTube. Magnet fishing is where people hunt for ferrous metal objects underwater using a strong magnet.

“Magnet fishing is awesome, even if it’s like so tiny, it’s still awesome,” Knox said. “My favorite part about doing this is when we get something up like how big or small it is, that’s my favorite part of doing this.”

His parents, Jonathan and Catherine Brewer, hoped it would be a healthy hobby, an educational and rewarding experience.

“We got it to help pass the time during the virus,” Mrs. Brewer said. “He’s learned about which rocks are magnetic and which aren’t.”

Finding buried treasure is every kid’s dream. It didn’t take long for Knox to strike gold. During a Mother’s Day outing, he discovered something big sitting at the bottom of Whitney Lake. It was heavy, stuck in the mud below, but with the help of a nearby stranger, they fished out a locked metal safe. When they pried it open, they found several items inside—jewelry, credit cards and a checkbook.

“We opened up the safe. I knew the right thing to do was go ahead and call the local authorities, get them involved and try to solve this mystery,” Mr. Brewer said. “It was also a great opportunity to show Knox what we are to do when something like this happens.”

As it turned out, the safe belonged to a neighbor, a woman they tracked down just across the street. She said the safe was stolen from her home eight years ago. It’s been a mystery ever since.

“She got some missing charm bracelet pieces that were still left in there,” said Mrs. Brewer. “She said all the expensive stuff was gone but at least she got closure and some of her pieces back.”

It was a rewarding experience for Knox—in more ways than one.

“The first thing that she did was just kneel down, hug Knox and thanked him and thanked him for bringing that closure to her,” Mr. Brewer said. “He himself wants to one day become a police officer and so he got a lot of fun out of them coming out and investigating, asking questions and get to the source.”

It was a chance to help play detective, now a memory to treasure and likely not the last.

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