Nestled in the snug confines of Elliott Bay, Washington, a quiet stretch of beach called Centennial Park plays host to joggers, fishermen, and other Seattleites who have discovered the area’s undisturbed bliss. On any given day, much like other Seattle beaches, trash and garbage of all kinds can be found washed up on the park’s shores. Early on a Tuesday last May, a volunteer group cleaning up trash on the park’s beaches came across something far more gruesome than the usual beer cans and candy wrappers: a tennis shoe filled with the decomposing remains of a human foot.
The shoe and its contents were immediately turned over to the Port of Seattle Police Department, who in turn sent it directly to the King County Medical Examiner’s Office. The office has