chestnut hill polo Human foot found in shoe on Vancouver Island beach
VANCOUVER ISLAND An investigation by British Columbia’s coroner into the latest incident of a running shoe with a human foot washing ashore is now focused on a specific period of time.
The coroner says in a news release that the runner was first sold in North America three years ago, indicating the person died between March 2013 and December 2015.
A preliminary exam shows the foot would have naturally separated from the body after a prolonged period in the water, allowing the running shoe to float to where it was found near Port Renfrew, on the west coast of Vancouver Island, on Feb. 7.
Coroner Matt Brown says officials will continue to try to identify the person, but the final confirmation would have to come from DNA testing.
The coroner says that in all of the cases where feet have been identified either accident or suicide was involved.
Sooke RCMP and the Coroner are investigating. It is too early to say if the situation is suspicious, police said.
Between August 2007 and November 2011, nine feet belonging to seven people were discovered along the region’s coasts. One foot was linked to a man who had gone missing 25 years earlier when his boat overturned near Port Moody.
The first foot was found on Aug. 20, 2007, on Jedediah Island, northeast of Nanaimo. The right, male foot was found in a Campus shoe, size 12, available for sale primarily in India. It was subsequently linked to a depressed man who went missing in early 2007.
The next one turned up on Gabriola Island six days later on Aug. 26, 2007. It was a right, male foot in a size 12 Reebok shoe. The brand was first produced in 2004 and is no longer for sale.
The third foot, right and belonging to a male, was found on Feb. 8, 2008, on Valdes Island. It was in a blue and white Nike, size 11. The model was made between February and June 2003.
The fourth foot was found on May 22, 2008, on Kirkland Island at the mouth of the Fraser River. This time, it was a right female foot in a size 7 New Balance shoe. The model was made beginning in June 1999.
The fifth foot was found on Westham Island at the mouth of the Fraser River on June 16, 2008. It was a left,
male foot and DNA testing has matched it with the foot found on Valdes, but the man’s identity is unknown.
The sixth foot was found Aug. 1, 2008, near Pysht, west of Port Angeles, Washington. A right, male foot, it was found in a size 11 or 12 men’s low rise, dark hiking type athletic shoe, made by the Everest Shoe Co.
The seventh foot was found Nov. 11, 2008, on a Fraser River beach in Richmond. A left, female foot, it was matched through DNA testing with the foot found on Kirkland Island, and the woman was identified.
The eighth foot was found Oct. 29, 2009, inside a white size 8 1/2 Nike running shoe on a beach in Richmond.
The ninth foot was found on Aug. 26, 2010, by a tourist on Whidbey Island, in Puget Sound. The right foot was believed to belong to a woman or child.
In the previous cases, foul play was not suspected and police said the feet likely became detached through decomposition.
There have also been hoaxes.
On June 18, 2008, what was thought to be a foot washed up near Campbell River. It was later discovered that someone had placed the bones of an animal’s foot in a sock and packed it inside a sneaker with seaweed.
Then in September of that year, someone placed a plastic foot in a runner on an East Vancouver beach.
In September 2012, Victoria police investigated after five child sized shoes were found at the Clover Point beach area. Three of the shoes were stuffed with with flesh and bones meant to look like human remains,
but tests revealed that they were not human.