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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Filed under: Canada
soundoff (533 Responses)
  1. suz

    Well- if the shoe fits-

    September 1, 2011 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • TC

      More like if the shoe floats.....

      September 1, 2011 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
  2. banasy©

    How about those pairs of shoes thrown over high wires?
    Anybody ever think to check if there are actually *feet* in them?
    We can have a world-wide serial killer roaming around...

    September 1, 2011 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shoe Fits

      aw crap I will never be able to look at those annoying shoes on wires in quite the same way... plus... what about those shoes.. you know.. that one shoe just lying there by the side of the street... what happend to the other one...? Clearly like socks ... shoes can just split up.. and walk away on their own.

      September 1, 2011 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
  3. G

    "Something is very, very strange here." Well, it is Canada afterall...

    September 1, 2011 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Burbank

      Maybe it's a real life Haven with "the Troubles"?

      September 1, 2011 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
  4. TheHalfBakedLunatic

    Maybe I should lend them a hand on this story ...

    September 1, 2011 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • IxNay

      we would definitely appreciate a hand because something definitely is afoot.

      September 1, 2011 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • IxNay

      darn, I should have read more postings. I see the afoot joke has been told a million times. How tedious of me ...

      September 1, 2011 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Rod C. Venger

    If these feet are naturally disarticulating and floating to the surface, how come they aren't coming pairs? One foot and shoe per body. That's no accident.

    September 1, 2011 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Al

      you're right, something is afloat.

      September 1, 2011 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shoe Fits

      Two sets of feet in shoes did show up..... within say 50 nautical miles... one shoe on one foot another on another small island. The woman's set of feet were found on thre shoreline area of Richmond.

      September 1, 2011 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Burbank

    Sounds like it could be college med school students pranking with cadavers.

    September 1, 2011 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shoe Fits

      interesting in Vancouver..... engineering students would pull these pranks with volkswagen beatle cars each fall... we would wake up and find them in a fountain.. with the water spouting out the top.... or hanging from a bridge... but something tells me... a professor now keeps an eye ont he cadavers for the med students.... you would notice the feet missing... ya think?

      September 1, 2011 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Shoe Fits

    This last foot actually had a leg bone attached to the foot in the shoe.

    September 1, 2011 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
  8. jay in florida

    Why in running shoes detective? I assume you've seen running shoes float!!!. Who's to say there aren't more that didn't surface because they are in moccasins, boots or other for of leather shoe? Just because the tides don't deliver them to you does not mean they could not also be a possibility underwater.

    September 1, 2011 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Mark

    The details released so for sneaker/running shoes. Based on just that. You could assume a serial killer going after runners. I'd like to know if it possible that a few hundred chinese in a cargo cantainer fell off a ship and sank. Now these are coming thru a hole in the rusted underwater cantainer itself.

    September 1, 2011 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
  10. billu

    some freak serial killer is loose – not too hard to figure out

    September 1, 2011 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Shoe Fits

    Does the murderer have access to a boat? Are they just dumping them in the water during a ferry ride. Dumping the bodies off of a bridge or a dock at high tide. Are the bodies put in those jumbo plastic bags head first with the feet sticking out?

    September 1, 2011 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Al

    alright, here's my take on what's happening and I'll go to bed thinking this is truth until proven otherwise...
    It's definitely a serial killer. these people have been killed and sunk in the ocean with a weight tied to a single leg. why just a single leg? because i imagine it might be easier to tie on to one leg than lash two together. The bodies were sunk for a long time, so at this point, they wouldn't be buoyant. however, overtime, when the foot does naturally disconnect after decomposition, the shoe has enough buoyancy to overcome the weight of the foot, and therefore it floats to the surface. that's why they are only finding one foot, not two. and that's why there have been no bodies to match.
    what do you think?

    September 1, 2011 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shoe Fits

      nice work.... but two "sets" of feet have been found.. one a woman's and one a man's... they were found relatively close.. but at seperate times... say within 50 nautical miles. Could be a serial killer killing the homeless..

      September 1, 2011 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Abq505

      I don't think so. The serial killer that doesn't have enough smarts to realize to take the shoes off before he ties down the bodies? Why not just bury the shoes...or burn them...or throw them in the dumpster? Too easy. It's a hoax. Or a copycat of a hoaxer.

      September 1, 2011 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Al

      yeah. they could have been tied to both legs. i'm just spit-ballin. but there has to be a reason the bodies aren't found with them. and the only thing i can reason is that they've been down for a long time.

      September 1, 2011 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shoe Fits

      The last Vancouver serial killer Robert Picton the Pig Farmer was not considered an intelligent creature... he just liked killing.

      September 1, 2011 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Al

      clothes are evidence, afterall. better to sink them with the body than leave them on land.

      September 1, 2011 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shoe Fits

      So far the Jumbo garbage bag with the feet sticking out....or a jumbo synthetic bag.... and then anchored somehow...

      September 1, 2011 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
  13. K12L

    Could this be another Torchwood plot development??

    September 1, 2011 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
  14. banasy©

    Haven!
    Love that shoe-er-show!

    September 1, 2011 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Abq505

    I bet it's all a big hoax. Previous poster said med school students. I bet it's a mortician who does this as a hobby for the attention. It take a lot of ego to put a foot in a running shoe and chuck it off a bridge into the water.

    September 1, 2011 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      That would not make it a hoax but it would be a felony with many other subsequent charges I am sure.

      September 1, 2011 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
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