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updated 8/31/2011 9:20:34 AM ET 2011-08-31T13:20:34

Police in Vancouver, British Columbia, say a human foot inside a running shoe has washed ashore, the latest in roughly a dozen such cases since 2007.

Police say the foot and leg bone were seen late Tuesday afternoon floating along the shore of Vancouver's False Creek.

Police so far have no theories about how the foot ended up in the water.

In the past four years, about a dozen feet encased in shoes have washed up on beaches near Vancouver, along the southern Georgia Strait and off Washington state.

Video: Another mysterious foot washes up on beach (on this page)

Most of the remains are unidentified, although investigators said at least two of the feet belong to men who were reported missing.

In previous cases, police said it appeared the feet separated from bodies naturally in the water and foul play wasn't suspected.

According to The Vancouver Sun, all of the feet have been found in running shoes.

The grisly discoveries have sparked a rash of hoaxes, including reports of fake feet and, according to the Sun, animal bones.

Story: Latest 'foot' to wash ashore is animal paw

In 2008, a forensic pathologist and an anthropologist determined bones found in a shoe were an animal paw inserted into the shoe with a sock and packed with dried seaweed.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Video: Another mysterious foot washes up on beach

  1. Transcript of: Another mysterious foot washes up on beach

    MADDOW: I offer absolutely no editorial content whatsoever. I will tell you what we know, and I will not venture any speculation whatsoever as to what explains what we know. As to what explains what I'm about to tell you, OK? About three years ago, August 20th , 2007 , a man and his daughter were walking on the beach of Jedediah Island which is just northwest of Vancouver . On the beach, the girl found a running shoe , she looked inside the running shoe and found, I'm sorry to say, the remains of a human foot. It was a size 12 men's shoe, it was a right foot. Here is a picture of the shoe in question. But I'm just going to put this shoe here on the desk to represent what happened there. You will understand why in just a second. Less than a week after this shoe, well, this representational shoe, was found on Jedediah Island , same thing happened again. Now, feet tend to come in pairs, so you're thinking, hey, Maddow , it's not that weird that the second foot was found a few days after the first one was found. But here's the problem. The second foot was also a right foot. It was found on Gabriola Island , not far from foot one, six days after the first foot was found. It was also a right foot, also wearing a sneaker, also a size 12, but this time it was wearing a Reebok . This is not a Rebook , but this is the representation. So what we've got now in the space of a week is two right feet, foot one and foot two. Five and a half months later, in February of 2008 , foot three is found, just south of foot two, on Valdez Island . This one is wearing a size 11 man's Nike sneaker. And, yes, this one is also a right foot. So now we're talking three feet, all found in a six-month period, all very near each other, and they're all right feet. Three and a half months after foot three was found, hello, foot four, this one was found on Kirkland Island at the mouth of the Frazier River South of Vancouver in late 2008 . This one, foot four, yes, also a right foot. But this one, for the first time , was wearing a woman's shoe, a woman's size seven New Balance . Now, less than a month later, we got our first left foot, it's wearing a male size 11 Nike , it's also found at the mouth of a Frazier River but on a different island called Westham Island . So, at this point, we've got four right feet, one, two, three, four, and one left foot. Feet one through four are right foot, foot five is left. Now, here's where it gets weird. Weirder. Just two days after foot five was found, there is another finding, also in that part of British Columbia , they think that it is foot number six. OK? Right foot, male size 10, Adidas sneaker fits the profile. Only, it turns out it is a hoax. Someone put an animal paw and a bunch of seaweed into a shoe and laced it up, it is not a human foot. So, that was just fake foot number six. Real foot number six turns up a month and a half later, in early August 2008 . It is the first one found on the Washington State side of the border, just west of Port Angeles . It is another right foot wearing a Levi 's tube sock and a size 11 Everest brand hiking shoe. We're now up to sixth feet and rising. Now, the month after foot six in the hiking shoe, someone put a fake plastic foot into a shoe. A fake plastic foot into a shoe, and left it on a beach in East Vancouver but it was a fake plastic foot. So that one does not count as foot number seven. Real foot number seven turned up back on the Canadian side of the boarder in Richmond, British Columbia , around election time 2008 , November 2008 , another left foot in a women's running shoe . Foot eight, that's foot eight, right? Foot eight turned up last October in the same area, Richmond , B.C. , this one was another right foot wearing a size 8 1/2 Nike . So minus the hoaxes, we're now up to eight feet, all wearing shoes, six right feet, and two left feet. This weekend, we learned about foot number nine. This one found on Whidbey Island in Washington State . So, allow us to compete our understanding here of the found feet, nine of them. See detail about foot number nine? No shoe. It's a right foot. No shoe, though. So, there's this -- there are two other things I need to tell you about this, so you can do your own figuring because, as I said I refuse to speculate about what any of this means. First thing, I need to tell you about is this, foot one was matched to a man who is dead. A man who went missing in 2007 . It has been matched to a known but dead man. Foot three and foot five, they match, see, they match. They belong to one man, a man who wore size 11 Nikes but who otherwise remains a mystery, but they've been accounted for. Foot four and foot seven, also match. They belong to one woman who is dead, and whose identity is known. So if you take those out of the mix, there remain foot two, foot six, the one in the hiking shoe, foot eight, and the new one, foot nine, the shoeless one, which I feel gross about, but there you have it. These are the ones that are unaccounted for and that match no other found feet. That's one thing I needed to explain. About the matching. So there's sort of out of contention. Here's the other thing you need to know. For all of these nine feet, found without bodies, there is also one body that has been found that has no feet. This Toronto Star article gets -- there we go, there's the map of where they all are, Toronto Star article on this subject, it's right to the point on the footless body. The headline from the Toronto Star on this is, now there's a body with no feet. A body found right in the same area of all of these -- of all of these feet being found, it's found on Orcas Island in Washington State , and it was found there five months before the first foot turned up. At this point, nobody seems to be able to tell me if the man with no feet is thought to match any of the feet with no man. I can tell you that heads, hands and feet are the things that are most expected to fall off when a body is in a water for a long time. I can tell you that many running shoes float. I can tell you that some of the feet are said to have been naturally disarticulated from the body and some are not described that way, but I cannot tell you anything about the story because, yes, wow, I can't believe we're talking nine feet. Nine! Discuss amongst yourself. That does


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