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. Playjojo

    I guess there could be a logical reason why this is happening, but if you're getting only feet, and they're only in jogging shoes, I don't think that statistically that can be ignored. To me, that's just someone keeping them til they're unidentifiable, then tossing either them, or parts, for kicks to be found.

    September 6, 2011 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
    • gingersrule1

      I'm from the PNW. One thing that has always popped into my head is that these people could have committed suicide. There are a number of places where people jump from very high heights so that when they hit the ocean they die. Like Deception Pass in Oak Harbor, Washington for instance. What if their bodies float to the bottom and animals eat all but their shoes and feet obviously. I remember stories of people jumping off that bridge and it's a few hundred feet up so as soon as you hit the water you die. People who commit suicide do it like dogs do. Most of them don't want people to know they are even gone so as not to hurt their loved ones. Or. Maybe someone is pushing people off of bridges like this and it is murder. Either way. I agree it is strange that all of them are wearing tennis shoes. You might want to consider that there is a bridge somewhere where people are exercising often and someone is waiting for them to go by while no one is watching and pushing them off. I know some of these feet have been found in Washington. I say watch the bridges where people exercise. Put cameras up if you have too and get to the bottom of this.

      September 6, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alex

      Hear Ye maybe they'll find your feet in a couple years. STFU!

      September 7, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Teri

    Of the 11 found, have any ever been a matching pair? Seems odd that they wouldn't eventually find a match to one found previously.

    September 6, 2011 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • sam

      I heard 2 of the feet belonged to one woman.

      September 6, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jou Baur

    I'm NOT BUYING this 'no foul play' thingy!
    11 different feet?
    Why are there not two of the same, if the shoe's floating causes this?
    Why are there NO FEET floating up elsewhere, if there is no foul play?
    I mean, come on. It's not like nobody else in the world gets lost in the water.
    It's not like only those lost in this neighborhood are going to float to a common area.
    In other areas, tides flow in common patterns.
    If something was happening there, there would be feet, (or whatever else,) floating up in common spots.

    To quote James Bond,
    "Once is happenstance.
    Twice is coincidence.
    Three times is enemy action!"

    September 6, 2011 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Hunter Thompson

    It was Big Foot looking for siblings. I'm guessing this is what he does when he figures out it's just some jogger and not a mate.

    September 6, 2011 at 10:30 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Funny guy

    It's a promotional campaign from Nike.

    September 8, 2011 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Laura

      Oh, viral marketing, what new lows you have reached.

      September 12, 2011 at 2:10 am | Report abuse |
  6. Emmy

    My question is: why throw New Jersey in the mix with the Canadian provinces? I live in southern NJ and have never found a "floating foot." When something does wash up on our beaches, it's not FROM New Jersey, but usually from New York or further north. Seriously, really tired of the bad rap. MOST of us are not "Jersey Shore" types.

    September 8, 2011 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
  7. that guy

    shoes float so if your body is underwater for awhile it decomposes and the shoes are constantly trying float so once your decomposed enough the feet in the shoes rise to the top of water

    September 9, 2011 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • jmuhr

      So why aren't floating feet found regularly in every large body of water? They are appearing only near Vancouver... Duh.

      September 22, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Scott

    I submit that anytime a human foot is found without its body, foul play should be suspected – until proven otherwise.

    September 9, 2011 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
  9. JJ

    “These human remains did not show any evidence of trauma whatsoever,” CBC quoted Fonseca as saying. Yeah...feet pop off people's legs all the time. It's crazy how that just happens.

    September 11, 2011 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  10. DLC

    Was the Movie: "Footloose" filmed somewhere in BC? These could have been "Extras" for crowd scenes and they were thrown away after filming was complete.

    September 13, 2011 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
  11. whatthef?

    "Foul play was not suspected because there was no sign of trauma, coroner Stephen Fonseca"?????
    This is the dumbest thing I've ever read. Does the coroner understand that the foot was detached from the body? That is definitely major major trauma!!!

    September 16, 2011 at 7:32 am | Report abuse |
  12. whatthef?

    This could be, possible, someone who works at a funeral home taking the feet, and trying to freak people out.

    September 16, 2011 at 7:36 am | Report abuse |
  13. RayfromPA

    No evidence of trauma? I don't think anyone is going to kill someone by shooting them in the foot or hitting them on the foot with a blunt instrument. They may have become disarticulated through decomposition, but I would bet all those people didn't just pass out and fall in the water. No one has reported these people missing?

    September 16, 2011 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe citizen abroad

      No kidding. I'd say the fact that they're not attached to a body is evidence of trauma.

      September 26, 2011 at 7:55 am | Report abuse |
  14. jmuhr

    It is ridiculous to say there is no connection between these remains, because floating feet in running shoes haven't been found washed up on shores anywhere else.

    September 22, 2011 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  15. nepawoods

    No evidence of trauma? A foot torn off, or severed off, or however removed ... this is not trauma? OK, so maybe they were surgically amputated for medical reasons. And disposed of improperly. In sneakers.

    September 24, 2011 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
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