Investigators hope DNA will solve mystery of foot found in Flint River

Saginaw County Sheriff believes the foot belonged to man
Published: Mar. 3, 2021 at 6:06 PM EST
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SAGINAW COUNTY, Mich. (WJRT) - New information on a shocking discovery, as a boot with a human foot still inside was found in southern Saginaw County.

Sheriff Bill Federspiel made his first comments on the discovery today.

“We are looking at all possible angles,” says Federspiel.

There are a lot of angles to cover after the work boot was snagged by two teenagers who were fishing along the Flint River in southern Saginaw County. The remains of a human foot were inside.

“There wasn’t any flesh, but there was tissue. Our dive team went out there and searched, again its odd they couldn’t find the whole body,” says the sheriff.

There are many questions. How long was the boot in the water?

“This boot and foot may have been in the water anywhere from sixty days, up to two years, maybe longer,” says Federspiel about the preliminary findings.

What did the boot look like?

“The pictures we have of are of a very wet, soaked boot but it appeared to be made of leather, so it appeared dark, now when it dries out we might have a different color,” he says.

Still in question is how the foot was found separate from the body.

“Was it severed before it was thrown into the water, or did it break apart from the body because of decomposition, there are all these things we don’t know,” says Federspiel.

He says the size of the boot was 10 and a half. The discovery has investigators looking at missing persons cases in the region.

The mother of Eric Franks, who vanished from the Saginaw area ten years ago this month, confirms Franks wore a similar size boot.

Franks’ family and investigators are still waiting for DNA results to come back on skeletal remains found in woods in 2018 in Chapin Township.

Federspiel is hoping it doesn’t take that long to get results back on the newly discovered foot.

“I’m hoping, that somewhere along the line, whoever this person is, would have been documented somewhere and there is some DNA on file,” he says.

The Michigan State Police Crime Lab now has the remains for DNA testing.

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