Human foot in hiking boot washes ashore in Canada

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French Beach Provincial Park,west coast of southern Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. (File photo)

In Canada, the mystery of the dismembered feet continues.

A man was out for a Sunday afternoon stroll on a British Columbia beach when he made a gruesome discovery: a human foot in a hiking boot, lodged in pile of wood.

Authorities aren’t saying much more about the foot. But it’s the 14th found washed up on a shoreline over the past decade in or around the Salish Sea between Vancouver Island and the British Columbia mainland.

Nine of the 14 feet have been identified, and officials determined they belonged to six people. According to the British Columbia Coroners Service, no foul play was involved in the previous cases.

Police believe the remains could be either from suicides or accidental drownings, CNN affiliate Radio Canada reports.

“There’s no reason to believe that they (the cases) were connected in any way,” a spokesman for the Coroners Service told CNN in December, when the last foot was found. Authorities determined that foot belonged to a 79-year-old Washington state man who had gone missing almost three months earlier.

Why are only feet washing ashore? Authorities say it’s because of the way human bodies decompose and how feet are protected by shoes from the elements and marine creatures.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the Coroners Service are still working on identifying the foot and the cause of death. It was found on Gabriola Island, along the east coast of Vancouver Island.

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