Mystery over 15th foot that washed ashore in northwest Canada

Coroners are appealing for the public’s help to identify the person whose foot washed ashore in Vancouver last year, the 15th to turn up in northwest Canada since 2007.

The foot, believed to be male, was in a light grey Nike Free RN trainer with a black Nike swoosh logo and white base, white laces and a blue sock.

But authorities have not been able to establish who the person is after the limb was discovered on the British Columbia shoreline.

Pictures of the shoe, which was found at Vancouver’s 30th Street beach entry point in September, were released by the British Columbia Coroners Service (BCCS).

The shoe is a men’s US size 9.5 with an OrthoLite insert. It was manufactured between 1 Feb and 17 April 2017 and appeared to be in relatively new condition.

Using DNA evidence, the BCCS has determined the latest foot is that a man’s but they have not been able to match it with any of the DNA profiles on file for missing persons.

Based on the bone structure of the foot, the service’s identification specialist believes the man was under 50 when he died.

It is the 15th human foot found on British Columbia shorelines since August 2007.

Ten of those feet have been identified as belonging to seven people who died by accident or suicide, while five remain unidentified.

“Typically, our process would be that we would work with any of the available information that we would find at a scene to help determine the identity, but, in this case, we’ve exhausted those options,” Andy Watson, a BCCS spokesperson said.

“So, now we’re turning to the public, in hopes that we can get some information to help create a match and determine the identification,” he added.

He insisted the bizarre trend is not linked to “any sort of suspicious circumstance” and isn’t “cause for panic”.

The mystery of where the feet have come from has prompted much lurid speculation.

Theories have included organised crime murders, remnants from bodies that have floated across the Pacific Ocean following the 2004 tsunami and a serial killer with a particularly twisted signature.

But, according to Watson, feet are often the part of human remains that are found, as they easily separate from the body and remain afloat thanks to the foam shoe sole.

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