Cpl. Sunshine Coast RCMP Karen Whitby said that the Daily Hive Coupland photo is a realistic movie prop, not a real cut foot. She also said the photo was unrelated to the investigation, although it caused a lot of confusion.
“Coupland’s Instagram post was a very ill-advised farce,” she said.
The severely decomposed remains were found at around 6 a.m. on Saturday on Roberts Creek beach, according to a police press release.
It is not known if Coupland was aware of the discovery when he staged a photo of the shin inside a Nike shoe on a nearby beach.
Daily Hive contacted the artist to ask him why he had shared the image but had no response.
More than a dozen severed feet have been washed up on British Columbia beaches in the past decade. They are often owned by people who are missing or have died by suicide, and frothy sneakers can bring shoes back to the surface of the water.
It is not known if Coupland alluded to this phenomenon in his message.
The artist is known for his cultural commentary and is the author of works examining the intersection of technology and society. He has designed several works of public art in Vancouver, including the Digital Orca near Canada Place.