In recent years, 16 shoes with severed feet have washed up along the shores of western Canada.
The most recent find took place last week when a beachgoer, Charlotte Stephens, discovered a shoe at Botanical Beach on Vancouver Island, CHEK News reported.
The BC Coroners Service is now investigating the matter.
— CBC News (@CBCNews) February 10, 2016
“[My husband] was up on the driftwood and he happened to find the shoe. He just picked it up and brought it out onto the beach and we kind of had a look at it for about five minutes, and we thought it almost looks like there is an actual foot bone in it,” Stephens told the station.
In a news release, the Sooke Royal Canadian Mounted Police said the shoe appeared to have washed ashore.
“Sooke RCMP attended the scene to investigate and turned the item over to the BC Coroners Service. The BC Coroner have now confirmed that the foot is in fact human,” the release stated. “Sooke RCMP continue to investigate, in an assistance role to the BC Coroner.”
— The Globe and Mail (@globeandmail) February 10, 2016
Officials determined the shoe was sold March 2013, which means its owner likely died between that month and December 2015, CTV reported.
But Coroner Barb McLintock told the Huffington Post there is “absolutely no suggestion of foul play” in the case.
According to the Washington Post, sixteen detached human feet have been discovered since June 2007 in British Columbia and Washington state. All of them were wearing hiking boots or running shoes, including New Balances, two Nikes, and an Ozark Trail.
— Kamil Karamali CBC (@KamilKaramali) February 10, 2016
In August 2007, when two right feet were found in British Columbia a week apart from one another, there was worry among residents and local officials.
“Two being found in such a short period of time is quite suspicious,” Cpl. Garry Cox of the Oceanside RCMP was quoted by the Vancouver Sun as saying in August 2007.
In the following year, five more feet were found.
At the time, officials didn’t think foul play was to blame.
The Post reported that two of the feet have been identified as having belonged to people with mental illnesses, and three others were linked to people who probably died of natural causes. Foul play isn’t suspected in the other cases. In one case, it was determined that bones found inside a shoe near Campbell, BC, were from an animal.
“All of the ones who’ve been identified so far, there’s no mystery,” Gail Anderson, who is a a criminologist at British Columbia’s Simon Fraser University, told the Daily Beast a few years ago. “These people were very depressed, unhappy about life, and were last seen heading toward the water. People jump off bridges. They deliberately wish to disappear.”
(H/T – IJReview)