Canadian floating feet mystery deepens
Police search the Vancouver inlet Tuesday where a severed foot was discovered.
September 1st, 2011
11:38 AM ET

Canadian floating feet mystery deepens

For the 11th time in the past four years, a human foot in a sport shoe was found on a Pacific Northwest shoreline.

Foot No. 11 was found Tuesday near a marina in an inlet called False Creek, police in Vancouver, British Columbia, said. Foul play was not suspected because there was no sign of trauma, coroner Stephen Fonseca said in a report from CNN affiliate CBC.

“These human remains did not show any evidence of trauma whatsoever,” CBC quoted Fonseca as saying.

DNA samples from foot No. 11 will be compared to DNA obtained from family members in missing persons cases to try to establish an identity, he said.

So who do the feet belong to and how did they meet their demise?

One foot, found in August 2007 on Jedediah Island, British Columbia, was identified as coming from a deceased man whose family did not want further details released, according to a report in the Vancouver Sun.

But the rest remain a mystery, according to a list in the Vancouver Sun.

Mark Mendelson, a Toronto forensics consultant and former police detective, said on the TV program "Canada AM" on Thursday that he's not buying that anything nefarious is, well, afoot.

"You have to think dirty," he said.

"I don't know if you can look at this as just a coincidence," he said, pointing out that he thinks there are too many questions that don't have logical answers.

"Why is it only happening on the west coast near Vancouver… why aren’t these feet floating up off Nova Scotia or St. John’s, Newfoundland, or off the coast of New Jersey," Mendelson asked.

And why only feet in running shoes?

Where are the rest of the body parts?

“Body parts do eventually make their way to the surface. So why are we only getting feet? Why are they in running shoes,” he asked.

Simon Fraser University forensics researcher Gail Anderson offers answers in a report on the website vancouver.24hrs.ca.

“We have an awful lot of people missing in our waters, either from accidental cases or people who deliberately entered the water,” the website quotes Anderson as saying. “We’re talking four years and 11 feet. That’s really not that many at all.”

And if the shoe floats?

University of British Columbia materials engineering professor Anoush Poursartip tells vancouver.24hrs he has a theory on that.

“The polymers used in running shoes are chosen partially for their light weight. This means the shoe has significant buoyancy,” he told the website.

So the shoes are dragging the feet to the surface but leaving the rest of the body in the depths?

“I’m not sure I buy the theory it’s because the shoe floats,” Mendelson said in the "Canada AM" interview.

But one thing is certain, Mendelson said.

"Something is very, very strange here.”

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soundoff (533 Responses)
  1. Hobbitea Baggins

    DEXTER.....How many times do I have to tell you!

    September 1, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • DEXTER

      Its not me, I think they are the ones that are pulled out of all the politicians mouths!

      September 1, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Whatsup?

    Weirdest story I've read in ages.

    September 1, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. big foot

    flip flops people flip flops!!!!!!!

    September 1, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Flip-Flops from now on!

      LOL!

      September 1, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shoe Fits

      If only they would have written their names in their shoes... we would know who they are.

      September 1, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Bek

    Bones covered this last season in "The Feet on The Beach" "After a flood on the U.S.-Canada border, seven pairs of dismembered feet are discovered, with six pairs being identified as research corpses from a nearby university body farm." http://bones.wikia.com/wiki/The_Feet_on_the_Beach

    September 1, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • RollingHillz

      I knew this story sounded very familiar... Thanks!

      September 1, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Prankster

      Start looking for someone who works in a morgue, or a funeral home who has a warped sense of humor. My guess is someone is playing a prank by removing a foot from corpses before they are buried, then placing them in a shoe- likely bought at a thrift store or whatever and then tossing them in the water.

      September 1, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Rick

    “These human remains did not show any evidence of trauma whatsoever,”

    ....I would disagree.

    September 1, 2011 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Flip-Flops from now on!

      Based on what? No trauma just means, no cutting of the bone, no saw marks, no teeth marks, no gun shot wounds – the foot naturally decayed from the rest of the body

      September 1, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • JH

      But how can they say that "foul play is not suspected" based on the foot alone? Even if the foot appeared to have naturally decayed from the body, rather than having been cut off, how does that rule out foul play to the person it was attached to? If you cut someone's throat and throw them into the water and their foot detaches from their body, how do you determine there's been no foul play involved just from looking at the foot?

      September 1, 2011 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • cadaver girl

      A foot would not naturally decay from a body. The foot and the leg would stay intact.

      September 1, 2011 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  6. r.ortiz

    this is a very strange story something happened to the rest of the body, there's definately a killer out there.

    September 1, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. gnodges

    “These human remains did not show any evidence of trauma whatsoever,” CBC quoted Fonseca as saying.

    Hmmmm, a foot found by itself......I think the trauma is implied.

    September 1, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Shoe Fits

      Such a superficial society we live in... everyone is talking about the shoes and no one is talking about the DEAD PEOPLE that once walked in these shoes.

      September 1, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Shoe Fits

    There are dead people and no one knows who they are. We need a psychic.

    September 1, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. willy

    No signs of trauma? I would think a foot would be traumatized by being removed from a body. Nothing nefarious afoot? Now I have to go look that word up because I used to think I knew what it meant.

    September 1, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • willy

      Oh, and 11 in 4 years are not really that many. I do not read of any other cases of feet floating up on the shore anywhere else but there and this seems to be a new thing I have never heard of before. Guess it's just part of thier natural occurances.

      September 1, 2011 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Moh

    check deceased database cemetery dead people feet....

    September 1, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Shoe Fits

    from the Vancouver Sun
    August, 2007: A man's foot was found on Jedediah Island, northeast of Nanaimo, B.C. The foot was associated with a deceased man whose name police withheld at the request of his family.

    August 2007: An unidentified man's right foot found on Gabriola Island.

    July 2008: Two feet believed to belong to the same man are discovered on Valdez and Westham islands.

    December 2008: Two female feet belonging to the same women was found in Richmond, B.C.

    October 2009: A right foot turned up on a beach in Richmond.

    August 2011: Vancouver police Const. Jana McGuinness reported that "the remains of what appear to be a human foot and leg bones in a running shoe" turned up near Vancouver's Plaza of Nations

    September 1, 2011 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Fishing Guy

    Has Fish and Game set limits yet? Sounds like a sustainable population.

    September 1, 2011 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Eric

    This sounds like the setup to a Far Side cartoon involving "Bob's House of Cadaver Feet."

    September 1, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Kenny

    "I don't know if you can look at this as just a coincidence," the former Police Detective said, pointing out that he thinks there are too many questions that don't have logical answers.

    I would also conclude that there are to many bodies somewhere with in insufficient number of feet.

    September 1, 2011 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Keegan

    So was there still tissue and stuff on the foot or was it just bone?

    September 1, 2011 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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