Victoria police detectives say the “meat-like substance” stuck in multiple kids shoes planted at Clover Point last week has been determined to be poultry.
Three baby and toddler shoes were found Thursday, Aug. 30 on the beach off Dallas Road with the raw meat and bone placed inside.
Det. Const. Lori Beauvais, with the department’s major crimes unit, said the initial discovery that lead investigators to the beach had police convinced what was inside the kids shoe was human.
“We didn’t know until later (Thursday) night that we could be dealing with anything other than human remains,” she said. “The laces (on the first shoe), at the time, were pulled tight, and it really did look like human remains.”
Beauvais put five shoes total on display at Clover Point today, three of which were found with poultry inside. A fourth shoe, found empty, was the match to the first shoe, and a fifth shoe, also empty, was found near one of the other meat-filled shoes.
“This is an abhorrent activity, or in this case it’s a criminal investigation,” Beauvais said. “They were purposefully set to be found, they were structured in a way that really looked human-like, and it was disturbing, and it was sad to think that, if it was authentic, this could be the remains of a small child.”
Police are now asking for the public’s help in identifying the shoes. Of particular interest to Beauvais is the matching pair: a toddlers size 8 set of purple and beige Bum Kids shoes, with a purple, white and beige-striped cuff, and purple laces.
“I’m hopeful someone will recognize these ones because they are quite unique,” Beauvais said. “If anyone’s in the retail business of used shoes and recalls seeing any of these, I’d like to speak with you.”
Detectives believe the shoes were placed on the beach, 100 metres east and west of Clover Point, in the afternoon of Aug. 30. The first shoe was found at 4:30 p.m.
“I absolutely believe there is a connection between all of them. … I’m able to establish a time line and we feel that these were probably dropped of within an hour of when this (first) one was located,” Beauvais said. “I think they were all placed there at the same time.”
While police are following up on some leads, a call for witnesses who may have seen any activity on the beach on Aug. 30 has come up empty.
Detectives are investigating the case as public mischief. Conviction of public mischief charges carries up to a five-year prison sentence.
Police are asking anyone with information on the shoes or the hoax to call VicPD at 250-995-7444 or Crime Stoppers 1-800-222-TIPS.