>WATCH: A Duncan family visiting Botanical Beach this weekend, came across an item that didn’t belong – a shoe with what looked like human bones inside. Monica Martinez reports.
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It was on a family trip to Botanical Beach that Charlotte Stephens made a gruesome discovery.
“(My husband) was up on the driftwood and he happened to find the shoe, He picked it and brought it out on to the beach and we had a look at it for about five minutes and we thought it almost looks like there is an actual foot bone in it,” she said.
The couple called Sooke RCMP to investigate.
“We were wondering if maybe that was another foot that washed up from somewhere.”
The B.C. Coroners Service confirmed the remains inside the left New Balance shoe are human.
They say it’s hard to determine how long the shoe was in the water, but based on the style and manufacturer, they can get a sense of when the person went missing.
“What we believe is that shoe is manufactured and then made available to the public sometime after March 2013. So I think it’s fair to say we are looking for someone gone missing from March 2013 and December 2015,” said Matt Brown, the regional coroner.
Brown said it is hard to pin point where the shoe came from given the ocean currents.
“That is why we are working with our police counterparts and through our own information to determine who may be missing in the area perhaps use that as a starting point,” he said.
There have been a series of similar incidents since 2007, including a few hoaxes.
In total, 15 feet have washed up on the shores of B.C. and Washington State.
The first foot was found on Jedediah Island. The same month, another foot washed up on Gabriola Island, and a few months later, another was found on Valdees Island.
The latest incident was in Seattle in 2014. Two years earlier, a a shoe washed up in Vancouver’s Kitsilano.
“I believe most of these were determined to be suicides. Now in this case, we don’t believe there is anything to indicate any level of suspicion at this time.”
The coroner hopes to identify the remains and bring the family closure.