A severed human foot discovered in a sleepy English village has led police to launch a "very strange" appeal to female amputees that had private medical surgeries.
The foot was discovered in April 2019 in New Waltham, a village in North East Lincolnshire, by a pair of stunned dog walkers, according to local news. Police scoured the surrounding fields and villages looking for more remains, but nothing was found.
To investigate further, detectives took DNA samples from the foot and compared them to missing people, both nationally and internationally. They also contacted the NHS to see whether it had any link to historical surgeries. Unfortunately, both lines of enquiry dried up, but police are still holding onto the idea that the lost limb might have come from a surgical operation.
“One line of our enquiry is that the foot may have been clinical waste from a medical procedure. This line of enquiry cannot be ruled out without a full and thorough investigation,” Detective Chief Inspector Alan Curtis, Senior Investigating Officer in the case, said in a statement.
In light of their investigation, the police are now calling on any female in the local area to contact the police if they have had their left foot amputated since 2014.
“Although this must seem a very strange request we are now appealing for any female in the Humberside Police Force area and Lincolnshire that has had a medical procedure to remove her left foot since 2014 to contact us,” added Detective Chief Inspector Curtis.
“The NHS have been able to provide certain information in relation to historical surgeries but this would not include any private medical procedures, so by issuing this appeal now we are hoping to rule out anyone within this category of patient,” he added.
Lost limbs have sparked a number of unusual investigations over the past century. In 1935, a 4.4-meter (14.4-foot) tiger shark threw up a human arm sporting a tattoo at an aquarium in Sydney, sparking one of the strangest murder cases in Australian history.
There is also the mystery of the alarming number of human feet that have washed up on the coasts of the Salish Sea in the US and Canada since 2007. Some speculated this could be the work of sinister or even supernatural forces, but it actually might be explained by a change in sneaker design that rose to prominence in the late-2000s.
THIS WEEK IN IFLSCIENCE