Meat-like substance and bones discovered in three children's shoes on a Victoria beach last week was a “pretty sick” hoax, say police.
“The shoes found yesterday washed up on the beach of Clover Point yesterday contained non-human remains,” VicPD spokesperson Const. Mike Russell confirmed Friday.
Police are investigating the case as public mischief.
“(This) hoax caused a significant alarm for our community and caused a lot of people a lot of worry and also expended numerous police resources,” Russell said.
Three shoes, including one pair, were found around 5:30 p.m. on Aug. 30. The first was found by a tourist from the Lower Mainland, who alerted police.
Officers, with the help of a canine unit, found two more during a search of the beach. The Clover Point turnaround was closed for about five hours as police searched.
Both a local pathologist and a Simon Fraser University forensic anthropologist are analyzing the shoes and contents.
“We anticipate being able to show the shoes sometime next week in hopes of generating tips or leads that will help us with this public mischief investigation,” Russell said.
Conviction of public mischief charges carries up to a five-year prison sentence.
Anyone with information on the hoax should call VicPD at 250-995-7444 or CrimeStoppers 1-800-222-TIPS.