Feet That Washed Ashore in Northwest Identified

Oct 21, 2011 11:28am
nc severed foot canada beach jrs 110831 wblog Feet That Washed Ashore in Northwest Identified

This file photo obtained from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police shows shoes recovered after they washed ashore in Canada's Pacific coast in 2008 with the remains of feet in them. (Newscom)

Two of the mysterious 12 feet that have washed ashore near Vancouver recently have been identified as belonging to a missing Canadian woman.

The woman, whose name was withheld at the request of her family, jumped to her death from the Pattullo Bridge in New Westminster, B.C., in April 2004, according to the Coroners Service.

The woman’s right foot was found in May 2008, and the left was in November 2008, at two different points in the Fraser River near Richmond, B.C.  The feet, which police said detached naturally from the body over time, were in New Balance running shoes.

The Coroners Service identified the woman through a postmortem investigation and DNA analysis, according to a statement.

Eleven feet in all have washed ashore on the Northwestern coast since 2007, when the phenomenon began. Canadian authorities have said that the eight feet in their province are most likely the result of suicide bridge-jumpers in the area’s many water-ways. After being submerged in water and strong currents, bodies begin to deteriorate, leading to the separation of foot from leg.

Police say the buoyant, lightweight sneakers found on most of the feet account for the recent trend: as the feet separate from the body, the sneakers carry them up to the surface, where they then wash ashore. Heavier sneakers and shoes sink to the bottom.

The BC Coroners Service has now positively identified six of the feet as belonging to four individuals.

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