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

“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. FootTax?

    Clearly a propoganda effort by the Democrats to reduce the defecit.

    September 1, 2011 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
  2. fritz

    No evidence of trauma whatsoever? You mean aside from the fact that the foot is SEVERED from the rest of the leg! Also, maybe a bit more appropriate to call the shoes 'athletic' shoes?

    September 1, 2011 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ralph

      After a body begins to decompose especially in water, it can come off the ankle bone as the flesh rots away. So yeah, no trauma. Trauma means severed by a knife, torn off with a chain, etc.

      September 1, 2011 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Humanity_01

      my thoughts exactly

      September 1, 2011 at 6:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Parkerman

      Actually I am old school, I prefer the term tennis shoes.

      September 1, 2011 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Kay

    Dexter !!! just he isn't wrapping one foot 'package' as well.... it's his new .signature'

    September 1, 2011 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Metrics

    11 severed feet in 4 years is "normal" for Canada?

    What is the run rate in Mexico?

    September 1, 2011 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Emigdio

      20 dead bodies a day.

      September 1, 2011 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • kyle

      zero all the good runners jumpers etc are in the states

      September 1, 2011 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
  5. brilliant pebble

    One word – NIKE
    I suggest that Nike has an ego test lab, uses craver feet for testing. Proper human tissue disposal protocols weren't followed by Nike or a contractor. Occam's razor.

    September 1, 2011 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Charlemagne

    It'sa prank. Some med students are severing feet from cadavers, putting them in running shoes, and putting them in the water. I'd check teaching hospitals for footless cadavers.

    September 1, 2011 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
  7. jmarklane

    What a stupid article. Seriously, you call that journalism? Of any sort? Gimme a break. But never mind the poor journalism...eleven feet in running shoes float up in the same general vicinity over four years...and anyone, ANYONE, is saying it's no big deal? That is just surreal.

    September 1, 2011 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
  8. BuzzMann

    “We’re talking four years and 11 feet. That’s really not that many at all.”...LOL ,I would say 1 foot is way to many.

    September 1, 2011 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Joe

    so, how many severed feet is too many?

    September 1, 2011 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • StanLee

      in my case... both of my feet would be too many!

      September 1, 2011 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse |
  10. André

    "Foul play was not suspected because there was no sign of trauma, coroner Stephen Fonseca said" What a wonderful pathologist.. a foot becomes separated from a body without any sign of trauma. News to me!

    September 1, 2011 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • TOO

      Yes that's the new science of forensic pathology.

      September 1, 2011 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Sharp

    It's all Obama's fault.

    September 1, 2011 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
  12. GF

    This is Canadian news on CNN. Not sure but don't think I saw anything about the passing of Jack Layton here.

    September 1, 2011 at 6:57 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Derrick

    Yeah. Absolutely nothing weird about FRAKING FEET WASHING UP ON SHORE! Holy crap. Honestly. 11 feet in 4 years is not that many!? Screw you, a** hole. You know how many feet have washed up on the eastern shore in the last 4 years? that would be zero.

    September 1, 2011 at 6:57 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Coconut Harry

    It's Bush's fault .

    September 1, 2011 at 6:57 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Parkerman

    My guess is that the bodies of those lost in these waters have been taken care of by sea life, but since the shoe floats and they won't eat the shoe the foot comes up.

    September 1, 2011 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
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