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An autopsy on a human foot found on a Florida beach concluded that the appendage — discovered inside a tube sock and white athletic shoe — likely separated from the body naturally, either by wave action or the whipsaw effect of a large fish, the local sheriff said Thursday.
The autopsy also indicated that the foot had been in the water about 10 days. Who the foot belonged to, however, remains a mystery. Neither the sex nor the race of the individual could be determined.
"There is no evidence of man-made trauma. No cutting or sawing on it," Martin County Sheriff William Snyder told Reuters. "It was a clean dislocation. It just came apart."
The foot washed up on Peck Lake Beach at the north end of Jupiter Island near Palm Beach and was found by a walker on New Year’s Day.
A search of the beach found a matching shoe but no other human remains. The investigation to identify the remains, including DNA analysis of the foot tissue, was continuing.
A number of local theories have surfaced about the foot’s origins, including the possibility that it belonged to a boater or a woman who disappeared recently, but none have been conclusive.
The shoes were all white except for a New Balance logo, Snyder said. They were estimated to be a size 7-9 and were described by Snyder as a running or cross-trainer type of sneaker.
Reuters contributed to this report.