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Entries in Feet (3)

Friday
Oct212011

Feet That Washed Ashore in Northwest Identified

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW WESTMINSTER, B.C.) -- Two of the mysterious 12 feet that have washed ashore near Vancouver recently have been identified as belonging to a missing Canadian woman.

The woman, whose name was withheld at the request of her family, jumped to her death from the Pattullo Bridge in New Westminster, B.C., in April 2004, according to the Coroners Service.

The woman’s right foot was found in May 2008, and the left was in November 2008, at two different points in the Fraser River near Richmond, B.C.  The feet, which police said detached naturally from the body over time, were in New Balance running shoes.

The Coroners Service identified the woman through a postmortem investigation and DNA analysis, according to a statement.

Eleven feet in all have washed ashore on the Northwestern coast since 2007, when the phenomenon began. Canadian authorities have said that the eight feet in their province are most likely the result of suicide bridge-jumpers in the area’s many water-ways. After being submerged in water and strong currents, bodies begin to deteriorate, leading to the separation of foot from the leg.

Police say the buoyant, lightweight sneakers found on most of the feet account for the recent trend: as the feet separate from the body, the sneakers carry them up to the surface, where they then wash ashore. Heavier sneakers and shoes sink to the bottom.

The BC Coroners Service has now positively identified six of the feet as belonging to four individuals.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Sep062011

Latest Floating Feet Are a Hoax, Canadian Police Say

RubberBall Productions/Getty Images(OAK BAY, British Columbia) -- When two more feet washed ashore in British Columbia Monday, investigators were scratching their heads.

The feet, which washed ashore in two different places within an hour of one another on Oak Beach, B.C., beaches, looked suspiciously like raw meat.

“They had the preliminary appearance of looking like meat stuffed into shoes,” said acting Sgt. Mike Martin of the Oak Bay police department.

The shoes are likely hoaxes, and could be part of an annual prank night by students in Oak Bay, near Victoria, B.C., before the first day of school, Martin said. Other “hoax feet” have been found on the shores around Vancouver and Washington state since disembodied feet began washing ashore there four years ago.

The latest hoaxes arrived a week after a real human foot -- the 11th to wash up on the Northwest coast -- was found floating in False Creek, near Vancouver. No foul play is suspected in any of the cases of missing feet. Police believe the feet naturally disembody in the water and are carried to the shore by buoyant running shoes.

Four of the 11 feet have been linked to three people. The rest remain unidentified. All of the remains undergo extensive DNA testing in order to help find who they belonged to, according to Stephen Fonseca of the British Columbia Coroners Service.

Test results on the two Oak Bay shoes were expected for Tuesday.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Aug312011

Foot Washes Ashore in Canada, the 11th Since 2007

False Creek, with the Vancouver skyline in the background, is the latest location officials say a dismembered foot, complete with running shoe, was found. Liz Whitaker/The Image Bank (VANCOUVER) -- Another human foot has washed ashore in British Columbia, keeping investigators on their toes in the case of 11 mysterious feet in running shoes that have appeared on area beaches since 2007.

Eight feet have washed up around Vancouver and three feet have come ashore in nearby Washington State since 2007, according to Stephen Fonseca of the British Columbia Coroners Service. None of the cases have been deemed suspicious.

Fonseca said that human remains can come apart naturally in a water environment, and with the high amount of marine activity, beaches, and people involved in accidents in the water, it's likely that these are all unrelated cases. He also noted that there are many bridges over waterways in the area, and distraught people who may have jumped could also be a cause for the body parts washing up on shore.

"Running shoes of today are more buoyant," he said, "and it's a very rational explanation that when the feet do disarticulate, through marine scavenging and decomposition, the shoe will bring the foot back up to the surface and it will float there until it reaches shoreline."

The Coroners Service will try to build a profile of the person to whom the foot belonged through DNA testing as well as spatial and temporal profiles based on where and when the shoe arrived, how old the foot is, and when the running shoe was made, he said.

"When dealing with feet, we don't have the luxury of building up a very comprehensive profile, with blue eyes and blond hair. A 16-year-old could have the same size shoe as a 65-year-old," he said.

Fonseca and other coroners would be going over the foot to ensure that it was a human remain, and then would begin compiling information on what they called its "donor." The process could take weeks or months, at which time the data would be compared to missing persons lists, he said.

This foot was found in an inlet near False Creek, a protected body of water, he said, while other feet were found on beaches and nearby islands. He hoped the location of this foot would be helpful to determining its origin.

The investigators are still working to identify the donors of other feet, including a female who had two feet wash up on shore, and a male who had one foot wash up on shore.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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