Thursday, June 19, 2008

Canada - Mystery of feet washed ashore

Police in Canada are puzzled over a number of human feet being washed up on a stretch of beach in Vancouver. Officials have speculated over who the feet may belong to but so far there is no clue as to why there is an increase of feet being washed up. In the past year 6 feet, all in trainers or running shoes, have been washed up, but there have been 4 such discoveries since February this year. This last week alone 2 feet have been found and there are various theories being discussed as to how so many feet have come to be washed up. One theory suggests the feet may have belonged to victims of a plane crash a few years back. Five men were killed in a plane crash off Quadra Island in February 2005 but with six feet now being found this theory has been discounted.

Another hypothesis is the victims may simply be unreported deaths at sea. Other believe the feet may belong to murder victims. Some have also suggested the feet belonged to victims of the 2004 tsunami which struck south Asia. But police and officials are still puzzled and even DNA testing of the human remains have revealed little. Forensic experts say it is not unusual for body parts to become separated after they have been in the water for a long time. Running shoes help to preserve the remains and because the soles are buoyant, the feet are brought to the surface [BBC / Fox 13 / Vancouver Sun / The Province]. Late Thursday there was another twist in the story after police revealed that the latest shoe was a 'hoax' [CNN]. It was in fact a "skeletonized animal paw" which had been placed in a sock and athletic shoe that was packed with dried seaweed, the British Columbia Coroners Service announced.

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