Wash. state link to Canada's mystery feet?

Wash. state link to Canada's mystery feet? »Play Video
Authorities in Canada and Washington state are trying to determine whether a footless body that washed up in the San Juan Islands last year is connected to any of the mystery feet that have been washing ashore in British Columbia in recent months.

San Juan County Coroner Randy Gaylord said the footless body was found on an Orcas Island beach by a hiker in March 2007 - about five months before the first detached foot appeared in Canada.

"Well, we didn't know what to think at the time," Gaylord says. "There was nothing to believe it was foul play."

The body was listed as a cold case until Gaylord got a call a few days from Canadian officials who wanted to know if the body might be connected to one or more of the five mystery feet that have washed ashore since August 2007.

He said the body was badly decomposed, but he could tell it was a man, about 5-feet-10-inches tall with gold teeth.

But the strangest thing of all was that the body had no feet.

The spot where the body was found is only about 30 miles from where the nearest foot washed ashore on Valdes Island in B.C. And it's within the geographic area that Canadian officials now say they are investigating for clues to the origin of the feet, which have been floating ashore inside sneakers.

Gaylord says Canadian authorities have never contacted him until now. And he admits he never bothered to tell them he had a footless body - until now.

In fact, the Sheriff's Office report on the body makes no mention of the missing feet.

Now that investigators in Canada are aware of the footless body, they have asked for a DNA sample from it. And with DNA samples of the B.C. feet already complete, it shouldn't take long to tell if there's a match.

If so, it would be a major break in the case that has baffled officials for months now.

So far, officials have matched one of the five feet to a known missing person. They have also determined that two of the feet are from the same man, and that one of the feet is from a woman.

A team of investigators has been working on the bizarre case since the first foot washed up last August on Jedidiah Island in the Strait of Georgia.

Since last year, detached feet began appearing, floating within a few miles of each other along island shorelines in the Strait of Georgia near Vancouver. The bizarre findings baffled Canadian officials.

The first foot was found nearly a year ago on Jedidiah Island in the Strait of Georgia. Within days, another right foot was found inside a man's Reebok sneaker on nearby Gabriola Island.

The third foot was found in the same area, on the east side of Valdez Island in February. The fourth foot was found in May on Kirkland Island in the Fraser River, less than a mile from a the site where the fifth foot was found later on.

A sixth discovery last month turned out to be a hoax, with an animal paw stuffed inside a shoe.