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(CNN) -- A severed human foot was found washed up on an island on the western coast of Canada this week, the fifth detached foot found in the area in the past 11 months, according to local police and media reports.
The foot was found Monday on the shore of Westham Island south of Vancouver, according to Constable Sharlene Brooks of the Delta Police Department in British Columbia.
The severed left foot, which was in a shoe, was taken to a coroner for DNA tests, she added.
The foot was one of five found in area recently, she said.
"Our first step is to establish identity," Brooks said. "It is a little mysterious, but we don't know if it is linked to others."
According to the Vancouver Sun newspaper, the other four feet found in the area since August were right feet. See where the feet are turning up »
The gruesome discoveries have garnered a lot of attention, Brooks said. But it may be some time before police determine why so many severed feet have been found.
"We suffer from the CSI effect -- people think this can happen very quickly," she said. "It could take weeks or months. And even if we get a DNA sample, we need a sample to match it with."
The mystery has caused a stir and given birth to many rumors, locals say. One newspaper has began investigating a rash of young men who have gone missing in the area.
Some have wondered if the feet could belong to a group of men who were in a plane that recently crashed in the waterway where the feet were found.
"But there has also been rumors about gangs and stuff," said Diane Selkirk, a freelance writer who lives near where one of the feet was found.
"At first, the talk about it was really humorous. But as more feet turned up, the talk became sinister," she said. "These are pristine islands, not the place where you would expect to find a bunch of severed feet."