Monday, August 4, 2008

King Co. medical examiner takes on foot mystery

By KING and Staff

PORT ANGELES, Wash. - The King County Medical Examiner now has the foot that washed ashore along the Strait of Juan de Fuca, about 30 miles west of Port Angeles.

Clallam County investigators say a black, right sneaker, probably a man's, washed ashore near Pillar Point some time Friday.

A woman who was camping in the area made the discovery.

"They dumped the sand out of the shoe and found a sock in it and subsequently opened the sock and found the bones," said Det. Sgt. Lyman Moores. "We don't know at this point whether that's animal, whether it's human, or what it is."

Officials aren't sure if the shoe is related to an ongoing mystery in Canada.

Five athletic shoes containing human feet have been found between Vancouver Island and the British Columbia mainland since August of last year. The shoe found in Washington doesn't match any of those.

A sixth foot found in June turned out to be a hoax.

The coroner in Washington's San Juan County is trying to determine whether any of the feet belong to a footless body found along Orcas Island in March.

Earlier this summer, Canadian authorities identified one of the feet as belonging to a man who had been depressed and disappeared last year.

Some experts say extremities like feet are often the first things to detatch from a body after it has been submerged in the ocean, and these feet are likely being discovered because they are in laced up running shoes that float.

Investigators stress there is no evidence any of the feet were actually cut from a body, but they still have no idea where the feet are coming from.

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