Mysterious 3 right feet found near water

March 4, 2008 10:28:50 PM PST
Three times in less than a year, three right feet inside running shoes have been found near separate islands in the Strait of Georgia. Police don't know if there are any links between them. Speculation in the region is rife, including that the feet were from slaying victims or they were the remains from drownings. Police haven't reached any conclusions.

"It is very unusual," Royal Canadian Mounted Police Constable Annie Linteau said Tuesday.

Linteau said two of the feet were size 12, but the size of the third was not released.

The first right foot was found by beachcombers on Jedidiah Island in August. A few days later, a foot was found inside a man's Reebok sneaker on Gabriola Island. The third was found on the east side of Valdez Island on Feb 8. Only the shoe type for the second foot was announced.

"We're looking into all our missing person files," Linteau said. "We're certainly inviting anyone who may have information about these right feet to give us a call."

She said the coroner's office was doing DNA testing. British Columbia's corner's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Curtis Ebbesmeyer, a former professor of oceanography at the University of Washington who studies floating objects, said the feet could have drifted as far as 1,000 miles.

He speculated the feet floated away in the buoyant shoes after breaking from decomposing bodies, possibly of people who drowned in boating accidents. Other said they could be from four men whose bodies weren't recovered after their small plane crashed in the area about a year ago.

Ebbesmeyer said it might not be a coincidence the feet were found in the same general area.

"Left foot wear and right foot wear often tend to wash up at different times at different places because they float differently," he said. "There are beaches that collect mostly rights and other beaches that collect mostly lefts. The winds of the currents sort out left and right foot wear."

Sheila Malcolmson, a Gabriola Island government official, said the feet are the talk of the islands.

"We are all getting e-mails and messages from friends far away, saying, 'What's going on up there?"' Malcolmson said. "We're all walking around carefully."

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