Human foot found near Port Renfrew

Coroner says the foot washed up on Botanical Beach Sunday afternoon, and was found by a hiker.

Port Renfrew’s Botanical Beach is a world-renown place of many marine wonders, including micro-ecosystems and natural splendor not seen anywhere else – but there was an object slightly out of place Sunday, spotted along the beach by a hiker.

A running shoe, with what appeared to be a human foot inside.

After Sooke RCMP were alerted to the grim discovery, the B.C. Coroners Service later confirmed the foot, which was encased in a sock and shoe, is of human origin.

Grim as it may seem though, it’s not the first time a foot has turned up on Vancouver Island’s shores.

This is the 13th foot to show up since 2007, and the first on the West Coast of Vancouver Island, said Barb McClintock, a B.C. Coroners Service spokesperson.

Most of the other feet were on the eastern side of the Island or Lower Mainland area and coast such as the Sunshine Coast and Powell River.

Of the 13, a total of 10 have been identified, coming from seven separate individuals; three were pairs.

McClintock said none of the cases had any homicide or foul play involved and that they were all the result of accidents or suicides.

Who the foot belongs to and where it came from is still unknown.

“Work will now continue with the identification unit of the B.C. Coroners Service and our community and police partners to try to determine the identity of the individual concerned and a cause of death,” McClintock said in a press release.

“Final confirmation in these circumstances must come from DNA testing.”

McClintock added that the type of shoe in question was first sold in North America in March 2013, which implies the shoe’s owner died at some point between March 2013 and December 2015.

And as far as how it separated from the rest of the body, a preliminary coroner’s examination suggests the foot disarticulated naturally from the rest of the body as a result of prolonged immersion in water.

In the case where a foot is found, the reason it stays relatively intact is because it’s held together in a sock and the shoe itself, which also has far more buoyancy.

So far, there are 178 unidentified cases of missing persons at sea the B.C. Coroner Service is investigating.

And it can look into for a long time, too. McClintock said that of the 10 identified, two had gone missing in the 1980s.

People have gone missing in the Port Renfrew region before, so nothing is ruled out at this point, said Sooke RCMP Staff Sgt. Jeff McArthur, adding that the detachment is working with the coroner to figure out what bodies they have outstanding, where they’re from and see if anything matches.

“It could be from anywhere, someone taken with the currents, it could even be from the [United] States, we’re looking into that in assistance to the coroner’s role.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vancouver Island’s current COVID-19 case count officially hits zero

Of the 130 recorded Island Health cases, five people have died, 125 recovered

Black bear sighting reported on UVic campus

University urging residents in the area to be careful

National Doughnut Day pays tribute to those on frontlines of First World War

The Salvation Army will be handing out doughnuts to community partners on Friday

MISSING: High-risk woman last seen on May 25

Police are asking for the public’s help in locating Jennifer Daughinee-Mendelson

CRD to consider plan for mountain biking trails at Mount Work

SIMBS seek new trails in Hartland, Partridge Hills

MAP: Dr. Henry reveals which B.C. regions have seen most COVID-19 cases

B.C. health officials release a first look at how the novel coronavirus has reached all corners of the province

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Plan in place for BC Ferries to start increasing service levels

Ferry corporation reaches temporary service level agreement with province

B.C. starts to see employment return under COVID-19 rules

Jobless rate for young people still over 20% in May

Alert Bay resident carves tribute to his community kicking COVID-19’s butt

‘Our little village crushed the curve with love and commitment’

End of an Era: Tofino hair studio closes shop

“We were getting excited to start ramping up and then all of sudden we had to close our doors.”

Kelowna Mountie on desk duty following ‘aggressive’ arrest

The officer involved in an arrest that took place on May 30 in Kelowna has been placed on administrative duties

Protests shift to memorializing George Floyd amid push for change

‘There is something better on the other side of this,’ says Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottom

Most Read