Possible breaks in the missing feet mystery
For the past year, police have been looking for the owners of the feet that have washed ashore on the beaches of southwestern British Columbia.
Now, CTV is reporting major developments on two fronts, one in B.C. and a second just south of the B.C.-U.S. border in Washington State.
CTV News has learned that one of the feet that have washed up on B.C. beaches, matches the DNA of a missing man.
The first foot washed ashore on Jedidiah Island in Georgia Strait on August 12th of last year. It was a men's foot in a size 12 campus running shoe, distributed primarily in India.
Six days later, another men's right foot was found on Gabriola island. That shoe was a size 12 Reebok.
It's believed one of those feet is that of a depressed man who went missing last year.
Police were talking to his family on Friday. Police and the coroner's office have received a number of tips since the photos of the shoes were released to the public at a press conference in Vancouver, July 10.
"The investigation into the other feet that were publicized last week is ongoing and the investigators continue to investigate and generate a number of leads that have been generated as a result of us going public with the descriptors of the feet last week,'' said Jeff Dolan of the BC Coroner's Service.
CTV anticipates that it will find out more about this person next week. Of course, there are four other feet that still need to be identified, including one pair. So, three other families are still waiting and wondering.
Meanwhile, CTV news has uncovered what may be another piece of the puzzle of the mystery feet. On Friday, a CTV reporter spoke to a coroner in Washington State, who is dealing with a body with no feet.
A probe of that case now has investigators trying to figure out if there could be a link to the feet that turned up on B.C. shores.
The footless body was found by a hiker on Orcas Island beach in March 2007.
As investigators examined the scene, they discovered it was badly decomposed, but they could tell it was a man, about five feet, ten inches tall with gold teeth.
Right away, San Juan Islands Coroner Randy Gaylord noticed something peculiar.
The body had no feet. no feet
Just five months later, feet with no bodies attached would start washing ashore just north of the San Juan Islands along the B.C. coast.
It means that all of the feet have been floating around in the same body of water.
That connection hasn't gone unnoticed in B.C.
"In the past 12 months a dedicated team of investigators have been working on a number of leads,'' said RCMP Const. Annie Linteau.
Last week the RCMP revealed oceanographers working on the case have identified the San Juans as part of the area they're looking at.
"We have been in contact with some of our local police departments here as well as some in Washington State,'' said Linteau.
But Gaylord says Canadian authorities never contacted him, and despite international media coverage he admits he never bothered to tell them he had a footless body.
It wasn't until CTV News called Gaylord that he decided to inform the BC Coroners Service. It's asked for DNA.
The long delay in making the connection between the U.S. body and the B.C. feet raises questions about communication between jurisdictions.
San Juan Island Sheriff Bill Cumming also investigated the orcas body. He too didn't mention the detail of the missing feet in his reports. He only called it a partial skeleton
With DNA profiles of the B.C. feet already completed, it shouldn't take long to find out if there's a match and a major break in cases that have baffled authorities on both sides of the border.
With a report by CTV British Columbia's Jon Woodward.