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franklin county times

Unsolved mystery

By Staff
Family dog finds human foot in Hester Heights
Jonathan Willis
An ordinary Saturday evening turned out to be anything but that for one Russellville family.
John Cook received a call from his wife just before 7 p.m. Saturday while at work. The news he heard coming from the other end of the line was unimaginable, he thought.
"She said that our dog had drug up something and it looked like a foot," Cook said.
His 8-year-old daughter, Gabby, told his wife that the family's dog had something in his mouth outside the family's home in the Hester Heights subdivision of Russellville.
Her brother, 14-year-old Nick Cook, went outside to see what was happening.
"He came back in and told my wife that he thought it was a foot," Cook said.
Cook worked a while longer, still wondering if it was possible that a human foot was outside his home.
"I kept thinking, 'this can't be a foot," Cook said. "I called the police and told them what I thought it was."
A couple of officers from the Russellville Police Department took the findings to the emergency room at Russellville Hospital where a doctor identified it as being a foot. The officers then had it observed by a local orthopedic surgeon who also identified the remains as being a human foot.
Investigators with the Alabama Bureau of Investigation and the city police department searched for other remains in the area for more than 12 hours Sunday.
Police Chief Chris Hargett said that tests conducted by the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences Monday were inconclusive.
"They weren't able to determine if it was or was not human remains," Hargett said.
Medical officials at UAB Hospital will examine the findings and could have a report sometime today.
"We are going to continue to treat it as if it were a human foot," Hargett said.
Cadaver dogs and search team members from Huntsville combed the wooded areas throughout Hester Heights and an area at the end of Wilson Boulevard Tuesday. That area leads to the backside of Hester Heights subdivision.
Cook said the find was startling because of the condition of what he believes to be a foot.
"It's not something that's been out there for a while," he said. "The heel and the ends of the toes are missing, but it still has the tendons on it."
Hargett said the size of the foot leads him to believe that it was a child. There are no reports of any missing children in the area, however.
Anyone with information about a missing person is asked to call the Russellville Police Department at 332-2230.