A foot in a shoe washed up on the shore of a Florida beach and authorities are trying to find out what happened to the rest of the body. According to NBC News on Jan. 2, a woman was walking the beach when she found the severed foot still in a sneaker and called authorities.
This eerie find of a human foot still wearing a shoe is not something you would expect to discover while walking the white beaches of Florida. This would mean that the rest of that person has to be somewhere and that is what authorities are trying to figure out today. The Orlando Sentinel reports the woman who was walking the beach actually kicked up the foot in a sneaker on New Year's Day.
Police are combing the north end of Jupiter Island along Peck Lake Beach, which is the location where this severed foot was found. The authorities are searching the area on foot along with the K-9 unit. The area is also being searched from the air.
So far no other body parts have been found. The foot was taken to the crime lab to help in identification as police continue the investigation.
This isn’t the first time a severed foot in a shoe has washed ashore in America. The Pacific North West has seen more than 13 feet in sneakers wash ashore in the last several years. Since 2007 sneakers with feet still in them started coming ashore from the Pacific Ocean in the U.S. and Canada.
As of 2011, 13 severed feet had come ashore, with two more incidents reported in Ocean Beach San Francisco and Gull Island, Lake Ontario in 2013. In both 2013 discoveries the sneakers were size 11, but the feet came from two different people, according to Unknown Country when this website reported on the last feet in sneakers discovered in 2013.
Police have linked a few of the severed feet back to local people. One woman, who was known to commit suicide by jumping in the water was the owner of one of the discovered feet. A couple of the feet were traced back to missing locals, but how or when they died remains a mystery. This “Dexter” type mystery has spawned theories of serial killers to stowaways falling overboard.
Some thought they may belong to the passengers on ships that went down or passengers from planes that crashed into the sea. The ocean current could feasibly carry a sneaker-clad foot hundreds if not thousands of miles away from where a person originally went into the water. Look at the tsunami debris field, things are washing up along the Pacific shore in the U.S. that are traced back to Japan's 2011 tsunami, proving the ocean currents can carry objects for thousands of miles.
The sneaker is buoyant and it acts as a protective capsule for the severed foot, which could keep it intact for a very long time. Where sea creatures would have long-ago devoured the rest of the body, a foot is protected from sea predators in a sneaker. The same could ring true for the gruesome find in Florida of a foot in shoe. Depending if the shoe added protection to the foot and if it was buoyant, it could have come from a long way away.
Either way, finding a foot in a sneaker is a disturbing find and one that suggests there is or once was a body to go along with it.