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Severed leg washes up behind St. Pete home | News

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Severed leg washes up behind St. Pete home

St. Petersburg, Florida - When fishermen standing along a St. Petersburg seawall haul in their nets, they're hoping to see only flopping mullet.

And by Tuesday noon, so far so good; there was nothing unusual, nothing like what washed up just down the shore.

"A severed leg," informed one fisherman to a newcomer.

"No way, man. Really?" he replied.

St. Petersburg police say a family renting a waterfront house discovered the severed human leg about 7:30 Tuesday morning and word soon spread to the fishermen at nearby Bay Vista Park.

"We're all freaking out," said Norman Lovett of the news. "Like, wow... some poor person lost their life and somebody cut off their leg and it floats up here. It's a really sad situation."

The right leg (minus a foot) hadn't been in the water long and an accident is unlikely, so the limb has left police with a real "who dunnit?" and a "whose is it?"

"Obviously, this was found in the Bay, so there's a lot of different factors in terms of what jurisdiction this might have come from," said police spokesman Mike Puetz. "It's a major shipping channel as well, so there are a lot of options in terms of the origin of the leg itself."

The medical examiner's office says the leg appeared to come from a heavy-set person and it was clean shaven, so it may have belonged to a female. Investigators are still trying to determine for sure the sex and the race of that person.

The family visiting from Canada did not want to speak on camera, but they tell 10 News that the discovery was certainly an unexpected event. Tonight their agenda includes something a bit more typical for them: a hockey game.

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