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. heston2012

    Yea but if you have any flesh on the remains then in four years you would have a dna profile so what gives if they were asian or middleeastern or martian please report it!

    September 1, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  2. kimberly

    You know a few years back they were pulling feet from rivers too. Wonder if it's connected. They pulled some fee out of the Columbia River as well.

    September 1, 2011 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Izzy Roush

    The "feet do not show any sign of trauma..." come on, you have a severed foot !

    September 1, 2011 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Louis

      Again, who said that the foot was severed?

      September 1, 2011 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Trauma

      I keep reading this repeatedly where people think this is obvious trauma – what they mean is there were not knife marks, clean blade cutting of the bone, no gun shot holes in the foot etc. It naturally decayed and separated from the rest of the leg.

      September 1, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Logic

    This was an episode from the TV show Bones a while back. Wired how life imitates art. (In the show it was the remains from a flooded area testing decomposing bodies except for the tell-tale one wearing the $3000 sneaker who turned out to be murdered...)

    September 1, 2011 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • BetterLogic

      The first foot to wash up was in 2007...there have been 11 feet over the last 4 years, 3 of them washed up in Washington state. The Bones episode was aired in April of 2011 and the setting was the Canada-US border. Try art imitating life. The plot for the show was based on the real life situation.

      September 1, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jay

    A few questions.

    How can a body part be severed without showing signs of trauma?
    Forensics: "You have to think dirty." Is he implying that the person responsible has a harmless foot fetish?
    How many feet deep is the water now?

    September 1, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Louis

      Who said that the foot was severed?

      September 1, 2011 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  6. cartmanrulz

    Well if bodies float up from the water, is it possible that the bodies are cemented down in the water and underwater creatures are biting at ankles and the feet float up? Also they are all running shoes. Is there a running park around that maybe a serial killer is doing this and dumping bodies in the waters?? To many dumb FBI agents hire me I'll figure out the crimes

    September 1, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  7. NoodleHat

    I put the feet up my bum and fire them out.

    September 1, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Afanculo11

    I don't know why but i have this sudden urge to watch Footloose now.

    September 1, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Ken

    New Jersey makes sure all bodies are properly disposed of with Concrete Galoshes, Cement Shoes, Cinderblock ballasts .. whatever the term, nothing floats back up.

    September 1, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shoe Fits

      Yeah the newby gang bangers in Vancouver have a lot to learn from the established Mafia.

      September 1, 2011 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Tom

    I'd ask the question, "Are any discount funeral homes located near the beach?".

    September 1, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Aaron

    11 feet found and these guys are trying to pass it off as a possible coincidence? Not likely.

    September 1, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Tom

    The question still remains why does this seem to appear only on the west coast near Vancouver? If it were happening else where I would think this may be benign but because these occurances are localized it is suspect. Could they all be joggers?

    September 1, 2011 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Yoda

    Do they have athletes feet??????

    September 1, 2011 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Yoda

    Or would that be athletes foot?????

    September 1, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
  15. footsy

    They have to be Amurican feet – we use Metres

    September 1, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
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