Severed Feet Keep Washing Up On Northwest Shores, Which Is So Grisly And So Weird
Near Seattle's Pier 68, a severed foot in a white tennis shoe has been found in a park. As if that weren't gruesome enough, this is the 13th severed foot found in the Northwest region since 2007. Say what? The foot was discovered by volunteers cleaning the park: "They were cleaning up trash at the park and came across a tennis shoe," Port of Seattle spokesman Peter McGraw told The Seattle Times. "Upon further examination, they found there was a foot in it."
Since 2007, there have been a dozen similar cases of feet washing up ashore near the U.S. and Canadian coasts off the Salish Sea, prompting locals to nickname the phenomenon The Mystery of the Salish Sea Feet.
In 2012, British Columbia coroner Stephen Fonseca made a public announcement revealing a grisly explanation for the mystery. Almost all of the feet that had been found at the time belonged to suicide victims who jumped off bridges over British Columbia's Fraser River, which flows into the Pacific Ocean at Vancouver. Oceanographer Curtis Ebbesmeyer, of Seattle, explained to The Seattle Times that it's common for decomposing bodies to come apart at the joints. Shudder.
Still, mysterious elements remain — like the influx of feet found within a short span of time, and the fact that they were nearly all wearing sneakers.
2007: The first foot was found in August, 2007, when a girl visiting Jebediah Island from Washington State found a man's foot inside a size 12 Adidas shoe. A few days later, a couple on Gabriola Island found a second foot, also in a size 12 sneaker. They initially thought that they had found the counterpart to the foot that the girl had discovered, but it turned out that both feet were right feet.
2008: Five more severed feet were found this year in the same region. On Feb. 8, the third foot was found on Valdes Island, also wearing a sneaker and sock. On May 22, the fourth was found on Kirkland Island, but this time it belonged to a woman, who was also wearing sneakers and socks. The fifth foot, seen floating in the water on June 16, was the first left food found, and it was confirmed that it belonged to the same man whose foot was discovered in February. The sixth foot washed up on shore on Aug. 1 near Pysht, Wash., and it was in a size 11 athletic sneaker. The seventh was found on Nov. 11 in Richmond, and a forensic analysis was able to confirm that it matched with the woman's foot found in May.
2009: The eighth foot was found on a Richmond beach on Oct. 28 in a white, size 8.5 Nike sneaker. The person's gender, age, and ethnicity were indeterminable.
2010: On Aug. 27, the first shoeless foot is found off Whidbey Island. Based on its size, investigators determine it could have belonged to a woman or a child.
2011: In August, the tenth foot was found in Vancouver's False Creek. The foot was inside a size 9 men's Bum Crosby sneaker and found attached to the lower leg bones. There was no sign of trauma to the remains. In November, another disembodied foot was found and was later identified as belonging to Vancouver resident Stefan Zahorujko, who had been missing since a boating trip in 1987.
2013: In September, the 12th foot was found off the coast of San Francisco's Ocean Beach in a green, size 7.5 Puma sneaker.