Mystery Surrounds Foot Found On Florida Beach - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mystery Surrounds Foot Found On Florida Beach

Posted: Updated:

ORLANDO, Florida - Investigators in south Florida are trying to identify a human foot inside a tube sock and midsize white New Balance athletic shoe found by a beach walker on New Year's Day.

An autopsy on Thursday concluded that the foot likely separated naturally from a decomposing body in the water, either by the force of waves or because of a large fish shaking the body, Martin County Sheriff William Snyder told Reuters.

"There is no evidence of man-made trauma. No cutting or sawing on it," Snyder said. "It was a clean dislocation. It just came apart."

The autopsy indicated the body part had been in the water for a period of a few days to 10 days, but could not determine the sex, race or cause of death, Snyder said.

The foot was discovered shortly after noon on Wednesday under sea grass at Peck Lake Beach at the north end of Jupiter Island, north of Palm Beach. After a ground and helicopter search over several miles, investigators found a matching shoe but no other human remains.

The shoes were all white except for the New Balance logo, estimated to be size 7-9 and described by Snyder as a running or cross-trainer style. Snyder said his gut reaction is that the victim was male.

"It's a kind of shoe I would buy and I wouldn't buy anything that looked like a woman's shoe," said Snyder, acknowledging that it is "not a scientific answer."

DNA analysis is under way, he said, and it could help identify the remains. But one potential claimant was ruled out quickly: A man who reported that his own foot had been cut off several days earlier by a boat propeller in Palm Beach County. Snyder said that man's footwear and the found shoes were not a match.

Snyder said his agency is considering the possibility that the foot may have belonged to a Juno Beach boater or a woman from Sebastian who disappeared recently in separate incidents.

Investigators also raised the possibility of the victim being a refugee who failed to make it to shore, or even a homicide victim kept in a freezer for any length of time.

Snyder said he couldn't recall another time when a body part washed up on Martin County beaches.

"It's pretty uncommon for us. But we're a coastal state. So I don't know that it's that uncommon from Key West up to Jacksonville," Snyder said.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • PHOTOS: CASH REWARD offered for information leading to the arrest of these FUGITIVES

    PHOTOS: CASH REWARD offered for information leading to the arrest of these FUGITIVES

    Thursday, August 21 2014 9:29 PM EDT2014-08-22 01:29:40 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Crime Stoppers of the Inland Northwest is offering cash rewards for any information leading to the arrest of the fugitives listed on their website as of August 21, 2014. If you recognize any of these fugitives, you are asked call 1-800-222 TIPS.>>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Crime Stoppers of the Inland Northwest is offering cash rewards for any information leading to the arrest of the fugitives listed on their website as of August 21, 2014. If you recognize any of these fugitives, you are asked call 1-800-222 TIPS.>>
  • WATCH IT: A farmer. A trombone. An empty field. What happens next?

    WATCH IT: A farmer. A trombone. An empty field. What happens next?

    Friday, August 22 2014 1:42 PM EDT2014-08-22 17:42:29 GMT
    KHQ.COM - The video begins simply enough. A man who calls himself Farmer Derek Klingenberg walks into the frame with a trombone, looks at the camera, gives a "shhhhh" sign, and then sits down in a lawn chair and begins to play a cover version of Lorde's "Royals." >>
    KHQ.COM - The video begins simply enough. A man who calls himself Farmer Derek Klingenberg walks into the frame with a trombone, looks at the camera, gives a "shhhhh" sign, and then sits down in a lawn chair and begins to play a cover version of Lorde's "Royals." What happens next? An audience quickly forms. Check it out.>>
  • Woman attacked in parking lot of Kootenai County Fairgrounds

    Woman attacked in parking lot of Kootenai County Fairgrounds

    Friday, August 22 2014 2:23 PM EDT2014-08-22 18:23:37 GMT
    KOOTENAI COUNTY, Idaho - The Kootenai County Sheriff's Office is investigating an attempted rape that occurred Thursday night in the parking lot of the Kootenai County Fairgrounds. >>
    KOOTENAI COUNTY, Idaho - The Kootenai County Sheriff's Office is investigating an attempted rape that occurred Thursday night in the parking lot of the Kootenai County Fairgrounds. Deputies say the 26-year-old woman told them she had just finished working at the fair at around 8:00pm and was walking to her car when two men attacked her from behind and took her to the ground. >>
  • National NewsMore>>

  • Ice bucket challenge goes awry, firefighters hurt

    Ice bucket challenge goes awry, firefighters hurt

    Friday, August 22 2014 4:50 PM EDT2014-08-22 20:50:01 GMT
    CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. - A charity stunt that has grown into a social media phenomenon went terribly wrong for four Kentucky firefighters who were injured when a fire truck's ladder got too close to a power line after they dumped water on college students who were taking part in an "ice bucket challenge.">>
    CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. - A charity stunt that has grown into a social media phenomenon went terribly wrong for four Kentucky firefighters who were injured when a fire truck's ladder got too close to a power line after they dumped water on college students who were taking part in an "ice bucket challenge.">>
  • Investigators: Pentagon broke the law in swap for Sgt. Bergdahl

    Investigators: Pentagon broke the law in swap for Sgt. Bergdahl

    Thursday, August 21 2014 4:08 PM EDT2014-08-21 20:08:21 GMT
    KHQ.COM- Congressional investigators say the Pentagon broke the law when it swapped five Taliban leaders for Idaho native Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office says the Defense Department's failure to notify the relevant congressional committees at least 30 days in advance of the exchange broke the law.>>
    KHQ.COM- Congressional investigators say the Pentagon broke the law when it swapped five Taliban leaders for Idaho native Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office says the Defense Department's failure to notify the relevant congressional committees at least 30 days in advance of the exchange broke the law.>>
  • Doctor: No health risk from 2 US Ebola patients

    Doctor: No health risk from 2 US Ebola patients

    Thursday, August 21 2014 1:55 PM EDT2014-08-21 17:55:21 GMT
    ATLANTA - A doctor at the hospital that treated two American aid workers who were infected with the deadly Ebola virus in Africa says their discharge poses no public health risk.>>
    ATLANTA - A doctor at the hospital that treated two American aid workers who were infected with the deadly Ebola virus in Africa says their discharge poses no public health risk. Officials announced the release of Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol on Thursday. Brantly left Emory University Hospital on Thursday. Writebol left Tuesday. Family and officials say they're free of the virus. >>