SEATTLE -- A Port of Seattle spokesman says a human foot in a white sneaker has been found on the shore at a park near Seattle's Pier 68.
The Seattle Times reports that port spokesman Peter McGraw says volunteers cleaning the park found the shoe and foot Tuesday. Port police turned both over to the King County medical examiner's office.
To help identify the person whose foot was in the shoe, the King County Medical Examiner's Office released a photo of the shoe. The shoe is a New Balance athletic sneaker, men's size 10-1/2, white with blue trim. This model of shoe was first available for sale in April 2008. A black, cotton Hanes brand sock was also on the foot. The sex, age and ancestry of the person are not known.
Anyone who knows of a missing person that may have worn this type of shoe is asked to call the King County Medical Examiner's Office at 206-731-3232, ext. 1. Also, anyone aware of a missing person who has not been reported is asked to file a missing persons report with the appropriate local law enforcement agency.
Since 2007, there have been roughly a dozen cases in which a human foot encased in a tennis shoe has washed ashore in regional waters. A number of them were found in British Columbia. In a couple of cases, investigators determined the feet belonged to men who had been reported missing.
The Times reports that oceanographer Curtis Ebbesmeyer of Seattle says it's common for decomposing bodies to come apart at the joints, including at the ankles. He knows of at least two feet turning up in Puget Sound over the past decade. He says new lightweight sneakers stay buoyant and float sole up, protecting the remains.