Mystery afoot on Canadian coast

VANCOUVER, British Columbia Like most of the others, it was a right foot encased in a running shoe, said Sgt. Mike Tresoor of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. He said a citizen spotted it on a beach and no other remains were found.

The feet all were recovered within a few miles of each other along island shorelines in the Strait of Georgia, which lies to the south and west of the city of Vancouver.

Authorities say they haven't reached any conclusions about the origin of the feet but are working to determine if there are any links to any other partial remains recovered in the province.

"Too my knowledge, we have not encountered anything like this," RCMP spokeswoman Annie Linteau told The Associated Press Wednesday evening. She declined to speculate if foul play was involved.

She did suggest that the latest find could be from the body of a missing fishermen or a plane crash victim, but she didn't provide any specifics.

"In the first four cases, we did not find any evidence the feet were severed," she said. "It's too early to say if this foot was severed."

She said the fifth case was being handled by local police and was not under RCMP jurisdiction.

Terry Smith, the chief coroner of British Columbia, said this week that DNA profiles from the first three feet have not helped to determine identities because they have not matched any existing samples.

Smith and others have suggested that the feet didn't sink but floated to shore because they were encased in buoyant running shoes.

The first three feet washed ashore about 40 miles southwest of Vancouver on islands in the Strait of Georgia. The first foot was discovered last summer by beachcombers. Days later, a foot was found inside a man's Reebok sneaker. The remains of a third right foot were found Feb 8.

The fourth foot was found May 22 on Kirkland Island in the Fraser River, about 15 miles south of Vancouver. About a mile away, the fifth foot — and only left foot, was discovered Monday morning floating in water off Westham Island.

Local speculation has been rife with some reports claiming they belonged to victims of violent crimes or a plane crash.

Tresoor said major crime investigators from the Campbell River detachment, along with staff from the coroner's office, were investigating at the scene.

"The object will ultimately be examined by a forensic pathologist in attempts to determine the source of the foot and if it is related to other feet recently found," Tresoor said in a statement.

      Headlines at a glance | 100 most recent national/world stories
RSS feeds | Slideshow archive | ABC13 wireless | Help solve crimes
Copyright © 2023 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.