ETA: Link's dead, here's the full text.
Quebec farmer finds winter boot containing severed foot
Published: Wednesday, May 27, 2009 | 5:56 PM ET
Canadian Press Andy Blatchford, THE CANADIAN PRESS
MONTREAL - Once the rushing, springtime waters of the Riviere-du-Nord recede back within its banks, it's a given that Michel Robitaille's Quebec farm will be littered with debris.
This year, among the usual bottles, boxes and buckets that the river washed onto his property, Robitaille made what he initially thought was another common find - a boot.
That was until he peeked inside the leather, size-7.5 piece of footwear and found a severed right foot.
"My first impression was that it was heavy - it had some weight to it," Robitaille said of the boot Wednesday in a phone interview from his property, about 50 kilometres northwest of Montreal.
"I just thought there was sand or earth (in the boot). I rolled down the sock to look inside and I noticed it was white."
Robitaille first spotted the shiny, black winter boot earlier this month as he chugged across the 20-hectare farm in his tractor.
Still unsure what the boot contained, he tossed it on the back of the machine and continued working the field for another 15 minutes.
But his growing curiosity pushed him to eventually unzip the unisex boot, so he could pull that blue sock down a little bit further.
"I touched it and pretty much saw that it was a foot," he said of the badly decomposed member.
"It took a real effort to (try and) get it out."
Stunned by his discovery, Robitaille grabbed the boot and a pair of scissors and cut the sock with his neighbour watching, just to make sure his imagination hadn't run wild.
"That's when we really saw that it was a bone," said Robitaille, who promptly called local police.
Officers picked up the boot and searched unsuccessfully for clues along the riverfront, just outside the village of St-Canut.
"It's odd," Det. Daniel Rivest, a 30-year veteran of the Mirabel police force, said of the May 3 discovery. "It's the first time I had ever heard of something like this."
Rivest said police shipped the boot - and the foot - to a forensic laboratory in Montreal and are still waiting for results. They have also been searching missing persons databases, hoping for a match.
He said the boot could have travelled from as far as 40 kilometres to the north, where the headwaters begin.
"When the water levels go back to normal there are lots of surprises on the properties - this year, it was an unusual surprise," he said.
Robitaille, who raises grain-fed calves for veal, said finding the foot was a surprise "but I didn't panic or anything."
The father of two said he hopes that the loved ones who have been looking for the rest of the body won't have to wait much longer.
"We really let our imaginations go when we look for someone and can't find them," he said.
ETA: Something's going around: a foot in Washington state last August, and a severed leg in New Jersey just this week.