B.C. severed feet mystery deepens

By | May 28, 2008

The Ogopogo. The Bermuda Triangle. Mermaids. The ocean has always been a trove of mysteries, most of which remain unsolved. The latest head-scratcher that’s leaving everyone from police to oceanographers baffled are a series of sneaker-clad right feet that have washed up on shorelines along islands in British Columbia.

There have been four in less than a year. All feet were wearing socks and shoes. Two of them were size 12. The latest one was found on May 22 on Kirkland Island in the Fraser River. “It’s certainly a mystery we intend on solving,” Constable Annie Linteau with the RCMP E Division told the media recently. “It’s certainly very unusual.” The first in the series was found nearly a year ago on Jedidiah Island. Within days, another right foot was found inside a man’s Reebok sneaker on Gabriola Island. The third was found on the east side of Valdez Island in early February.

The origin on any of the remains is still unknown.

Linteau said that there’s no evidence the feet were severed or removed from the victims’ legs by force. Police say DNA testing is being done on the latest foot, and DNA profiles have been conducted on the others. Curtis Ebbesmeyer, an oceanographer based in Seattle, Wash., said when a human body submerged in the ocean, the main parts like arms, legs, hands, feet and the head are usually what come off the body. But he’s still baffled by how the exact same part — a right foot — could wash up repeatedly. “It’s not unusual for body parts to wash up along the United States or Canada,” he said. “There’s so many accidents, like boating. That’s not unusual. It is unusual to find four bodies over the course of the year and just right feet.”

He said his theory is that the feet came along as a result of an accident that might have happened up along the Fraser River, that washed down and spread out along the Straight of Georgia. Ebbesmeyer said he would urge the police to trace the shoes back to the store they were purchased. “There’s a lot you can do with the serial number of a shoe and I’m assuming the RCMP are doing that,” he said. -ca

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