By Tom Callis, Peninsula Daily News
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The discovery Friday — and reported to Clallam County authorities Saturday — came nearly a year after the first of five shoes containing feet were found washed ashore in British Columbia.
An woman who declined to be identified found the large black, high-top shoe in seaweed while walking along the shore near the Merrill & Ring Silver King Resort at the mouth of Jim Creek on Friday.
The woman, who had been camping on private land near Milepost 34 on Highway 112, reported it to the Clallam County Sheriff's Department at about 2:30 p.m. Saturday.
Clallam County Detective Sgt. Lyman Moores said the shoe probably belonged to a man, but he couldn't identify the brand or size.
He thought that it probably washed ashore during high tide because of its position among seaweed and other debris.
Human or animal?
But he said he doesn't have any idea where it came from — or if the decomposing bones and flesh belong to a person or an animal.
"Of course we are concerned," Moores said. "We are curious.
"We can't come to any conclusions on what it is."
Five athletic shoes containing human feet have been found along the Strait of Georgia between Vancouver Island and the British Columbia mainland since August 2007.
Investigators have not solved the mystery of the shoes' origin
A sixth foot found in June was determined to be an animal paw that had been shoved inside an athletic shoe as a hoax.
"We're a little apprehensive since the last one was a hoax," Moores said of the shoe found near the logging settlement of Pysht between Port Angeles and the town of Clallam Bay.
"Whether it's human or not, we will have to wait and see."
The bones and flesh should be identified as human or not by the end of this week, Moores said.
Moores will meet with Clallam County Prosecuting Attorney/Coroner Deb Kelly on Monday to determine if the evidence should be sent to the King County Medical Examiner's Office or a Washington State Patrol crime lab for further examination.
A DNA profile could take up to eight weeks to complete.
Moores said deputies packed the shoe and its contents in ice and placed them in a cooler in the Sheriff's Department's evidence room in Port Angeles.
Deputy Ed Anderson and Detective Tom Reyes also assisted in the investigation.
Reporter Tom Callis can be reached at 360-417-3532 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.