Clallam Bay, Washington — Clallam County Undersheriff Ron Peregrin led further investigation of the Jim Creek beach area at the former Silver King Resort, on Highway 112, on Washington State’s Olympic Peninsula, Sunday, August 3, after a shoe containing decomposing flesh and bones was discovered on the beach on Friday, August 1, and collected by the Sheriff’s Department on Saturday, August 2.
The investigation was conducted by Daisy, a specially-trained cadaver dog, owned by Searcher Ricki McLaughlin, a volunteer with Clallam County Sheriff’s Department’s Search and Rescue. They were assisted by Searcher Norma Snelling and Detective Sergeant Lyman Moores.
Moores said, “We didn’t find anything. We’re here specifically because of what we found yesterday.”
Moores said the Sheriff’s Department had not yet made a decision whether remains found in the shoe were human. “We won’t know that for at least a week. We’ll know as soon as we can get an anthropologist and medical examiner to look at it.”
Moores frankly said, “The search today was C.Y.A., to cover our bases investigatively. We’re fortunate to have access to a cadaver dog.”
Asked about the appearance of the contents, Moores said, “I did not examine them any further than I opened the sock to verify there were bones, and other than to feel through the sock. I didn’t want to jeopardize the investigation. There was decomposing flesh in the sock.”
Moores said the shoe was solid black. “When I looked at the shoe myself I did not immediately recognize the brand. That’s one of the things we’ll try to do this week, is to identify the brand.” He continued, “It’s a fairly large size. My guess it’s an ll or 12.”
Undersheriff Peregin said the search with Daisy continued all the way down from the western point of the beach, to the eastern point, and back into the woods.
“The dog didn’t find anything whatsoever,” said Peregrin.
Asked if the amount of wrack on the beach was unusual, he said, “This is pretty standard because the kelp and seaweed washes in. It dries and piles up at this beach. This is pretty standard for anything along the southern shore. We’ve had some very high tides. We’re in a little catch basin.”
Peregrin used a map to point out the distance between Jim Creek beach and the area of the recent shoe and foot discoveries in Canada. He said objects in the Strait of Juan de Fuca normally wash east and west with the tide, not south from Canada, but the recent change in the winds could have driven an object south.
To demonstrate how far objects can travel in the Strait, Peregrin described an incident last year: “We found a fisherman’s boat circling off Port Angeles. We found him two weeks later in Freshwater Bay.”
“The experts will tell us what happened to the tides,” said Peregrin. “The Coast Guard will plug it into their computers.”
“The Canadians have been working on this a long time. Our detective has contacted the Canadians,” said Peregrin. “We will be linking arms with them.”
Peregrin said it’s not unusual to find shoes on the beach. The camper who originally found the shoe poured the sand out of it, then left it in place. The next day, she returned with a fellow camper from the RV park above the beach.
“Another camper pulled out the sock,” said Peregrin. “When they saw the bones, they knew it was evidence.”
Television shows like CSI have contributed to public care with evidence, but Peregrin wanted to further stress what to do when finding something suspicious:
“If anyone finds anything, call 911 immediately. Treat it like a seal pup – don’t touch it.”