A black, high-top sneaker was discovered Tuesday near the Jersey Shore with human remains still attached.
Police investigators reached out to the public on Wednesday seeking possible information about a size 5 ½ Adidas sneaker that was discovered by a fisherman Tuesday afternoon. The shoe still contained a human foot. Some of the toes still had nail polish on them police said.
"The Southern Regional Medical Examiner's Office determined that the remains are a right foot, inside a black Adidas ADI Rise 2 high top sneaker, size 5 ½. Some of the toes have colored nail polish, but the gender and age are unknown. The remains will be sent to the State Anthropologist for examination and DNA testing," the New Jersey police department said in a statement. The statement was also shared on their Facebook page, requesting individuals with information to call the New Jersey State Police Major Crime Unit.
Several shoes containing human remains have washed in Canada and Washington over the past several years. The feet belong to five men, one woman, and three other persons of unknown sex. Three feet, and on pair of feet, have been identified. Foul play is not suspected.
It is believed that the feet may belong to victims of boating accidents or those killed in a tsunami, whose bodies were never collected. Entomologists have suggested that the foot is more likely to detach from the body because the ankle is a weak bone.
Oceanographer Curt Ebbesmeyer warned West Coast residents last year that over 100 sneakers containing human remains could surface on beach shores following the 2011 tsunami in Japan. He asked those who discovered one of the sneakers to treat it with care.
"That may be the only remains that a Japanese family is ever going to have of their people that were lost," Ebbesmeyer said, according to the New York Post. "We're dealing with things that are of extreme sensitivity. Emotional content is just enormous. So be respectful."