updated 12/6/2008 9:01:49 PM ET 2008-12-07T02:01:49

A coroner has matched a pair of dismembered female feet that mysteriously washed up on the shores of British Columbia.

The British Columbia coroner said Friday it had matched a female right foot discovered on Canada's West coast in November with a left foot discovered in May. Both were encased in New Balance running shoes.

They were among five feet that have mysteriously floated ashore along the Strait of Georgia between Vancouver Island and the British Columbia mainland since August 2007.

A sixth foot was found on Washington State's Olympic Peninsula about 30 miles west of Port Angeles in August. The peninsula is separated from B.C.'s Vancouver Island by the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

All six feet were found in athletic shoes.

"In all cases, these remains appear to have naturally separated from the body," said the B.C. Coroners Service.

DNA testing linked one of the Canadian feet to a depressed man who disappeared in 2007. Investigators have also concluded that two of the five feet belonged to one man who has not yet been identified.

Experts say that when a human body is submerged in the ocean, the arms, legs, hands, feet and head usually come off the body. The Coroners Service said it is difficult to determine how long remains have been in the water.

The Coroners Service uses physical characteristics and DNA analysis of the feet to establish a profile. Those profiles are maintained in a provincial database for future comparisons.

Police have said they are reviewing almost 300 missing persons files to try to match up the feet.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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