Bones found near foot in South Kitsap declared human
June 9, 2009 · Updated 5:14 PM
The bones found near a severed foot Monday evening by dogs trained to find cadavers were confirmed as human by the King County Medical Examiner’s Office, Kitsap County Deputy Scott Wilson said.
Wilson said the both dogs, who are from the Northwest Disaster Search Dogs, a non-profit based in Pierce County, "alerted" multiple times at a spot near the construction site on Harold Avenue where human tissue and bones were found Saturday afternoon. When a backhoe was used to move the earth, an investigator "spotted something, and all work was halted."
Washington State Patrol crime scene investigators were then called in to help, and the Kitsap County Coroner's Office responded. Wilson said investigators searched on their hands and knees, sifting through the dirt, and at 8:30 p.m. they found more bones.
“I was told they were ‘very, very grubby,’ so it was hard for investigators to determine what they were,” he said, explaining that the bones were immediately collected by the coroner’s office and transported to the King County Medical Examiner’s Office for further inspection. “First thing we need to determine is if we have a complete set, and if we don’t, do we need to keep digging?"
Wilson said the bones were found “within yards" of the foot, but he could not speak to how deeply they were buried. He said that with the work going on in the area, more dirt had likely been piled on the bones and buried them deeper than they originally were.
Wilson could not speak to whether the bones were a complete set, or whether they matched the foot. He said more information would be released as it became available.
The shoe was found by a crew working on a construction site on the 3100 block of Harold Avenue off Lundberg Road at around 6:30 p.m June 6.
“At first they thought someone had just tossed the shoe out,” Wilson said. Soon, however, they noticed a sock that still contained bones and tissue believed to be human. The Sheriff’s Office has enlisted the help of the King County Medical Examiner’s Office in testing the foot to find out more about the human it belonged to.
“We are hoping to determine a gender, age, and how long the foot has been unattached,” Wilson said, adding that he could not speculate at all as to when the foot was severed, only that it was “not a clean break.”
He said the break appeared consistent with a fall, and perhaps the person had fallen onto some rocks “and died from the fall, and maybe some critters dragged off the shoe.” He described the shoe as similar to a hiking boot — “half-boot, half-athletic shoe.”
Wilson said it was extremely unlikely that the person the foot came from was still alive, and detectives did not see a connection between this foot and any others that had washed ashore in British Columbia and Washington in the past two years.