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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soundoff (533 Responses)
  1. boyamidumb

    Well, best way to keep someone from running away ?


    September 1, 2011 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • itsacrazyworld

      i blame the mexicans

      September 1, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
  2. no

    This only happens in this confined, small part of the planet so the fact that the shoes float is a moot point. This is someone trying to freak us out and it has freaked us out. Someone is intentionally doing this and that is the only rational possible answer.

    September 1, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shoe Fits

      I would be questioning gang members with a fondness for boating on the ocean.

      September 1, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
  3. OttawaTechie

    My question is – what are the cops doing with the my calculations someone has 5 1/2 pairs of free running shoes

    September 1, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
  4. christy

    serial killer

    September 1, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
  5. NorCalMojo

    11 feet in 4 years and ...... "Foul play was not suspected "

    BC ganj is THAT good.

    September 1, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Louis

      So Canadian weed is good? Too bad the evidence in this case isn't.

      September 1, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Bimbo the Birthday Clown

    And round and round it goes. People are posting inane theories without reading other, more detailed articles available on the internet. Start with a google search. Or just read the previous comments on THIS story, before posting the same nonsense.

    September 1, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
  7. nick

    Probably someone who works in a morgue with a sick sense of humor.

    September 1, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
  8. ells

    There was just a story about this a day or two ago, both here on CNN and on a couple of other sites. Clearly the first time around was just not sensational enough for CNN. In the first article there was a very good explanation of why it is only the feet printed. That article stated that normal sea life activity would eat and decompose the rest of the body causing the feet to disarticulate from the rest of the body. The fact that it is only one shoe at a time that shows up in any given place is simply chance as to which way the shoe goes when it floats away from the rest of the body. If one did a search it is most likley that this does indeed happen in other coastal areas with similar currents etc.

    September 1, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shoe Fits

      I did a search and so far there was one shoe with a foot in it in Sweden. That is all I can find.. did the killer go on holiday?

      September 1, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • ells

      ShoeFits one would have to search police reports not just news stories. There are a myriad of things like this that go unreported in any newspaper.

      September 1, 2011 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Ykcyc

    "no evidence of trauma whatsoever"? Are you FN kidding me?! Perferctly healthy foot mius the body? How in the hell do the determine there is no trauma? Something is fishy here. It is whoever is reporting this story.

    September 1, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Louis

      Ykcyc- No they aren't kidding you. When a dead body is in the water it begins to decompose and the foot can become detached from the body and float to the surface. Therefore, as there would be no trauma as a result of the foot detaching naturally from the decomposing body there would be no way to determine that foul play is involved as the foot would not yield such evidence. In addition, it is possible to survive without a foot. While the likelihood that the owners of these are dead there is no way to suggest foul play when there is no evidence of it. It would be irresponsible to do so as an investigator when you have no evidence.

      September 1, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Louis

      Long story were not meant to investigate ANYTHING.

      September 1, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • GlacialSpain

      No trauma to the foot. The body that was once connected to the foot, though? Yeah, probably traumatized.

      September 1, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • KellyK

      You nailed my question, Ykcyc.... how the h*ll does anyone determine 'no trauma whatsoever' from one farking foot??

      September 1, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Trauma

      @Louis – LOL LOL!

      September 1, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Louis

      KellyK- Ugh seriously? The way they determine that no foul play is involved with what they have is the same way that you determine that all the food that you put in your mouth wasn't drenched in human urine at one point in the packaging process.

      BTW, when they were quoted by saying "no trauma whatsoever" they were speaking in regard to the feet discovered. Wow....another person who should NEVER INVESTIGATE ANYTHING.

      September 1, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Ted Bundy

    What I'm wondering is how many of the 11 are left feet and how many are right feet? If there are 11 of one but none of the other, that would be a strong sign of human involvement.

    September 1, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
  11. JT

    Did a plane go down several years ago off the west coast of Canada with a track team aboard?

    September 1, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shoe Fits

      They crashed in the mountains I believe.... a sports team.

      September 1, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Brennan

    I heard about the a while back. I thought it was people who jumped from a bridge up river to kill themselves. Then as their body would be under water, the body would fall apart. The reason they were only finding running shoes is because the buoyancy of the shoe would cause it to rise toward the top and then follow the current down river to where they have been found. Other shoes would not float so would stay at the bottom of the river. The people are all missing because they committed suicide and didn't tell the family. I saw this on a show on discovery or A&E a year or so ago.

    September 1, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shoe Fits

      could be.. homeless drug addicts.. Vancouver has the "poorest" people in Canada... the downtown eastside..

      September 1, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Evil Genius

    Maybe Vancouver has some sort of sea monster that doesn't eat feet. I love pork but I don't eat pigs feet.

    September 1, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shoe Fits

      Yeah.. one day we will have the answer when a giant shark is cut open and the "rest" of the matching feet are inside.

      September 1, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Frank

    Shoes don't kill people, people kill people.

    September 1, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Lurch

    Looks like we have another 'Dexter' throwing bodies off a boat.

    September 1, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
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