When a British woman walking her dog found what she thought was a human toe sticking out of a muddy field she immediately called the police. But Katie Wilkinson, 26, was left embarrassed when a major police operation discovered that what she thought was a toe was actually a potato. Or pota-toe!
Katie’s bizarre story is best heard straight from her mouth. So over to Katie:
‘While walking I saw something sticking out from the ground and I immediately thought it looked like a toe. I bent down to get a bit closer and to take a photo. I thought surely it can’t be a toe, it must just be a really weird looking plant or something. I continued on my walk and made my way back home.
I just couldn’t stop thinking about it. It was just going round and round in my head that it could have been a toe. It could have been severed from someone’s foot or it could still be attached to a body. I got home and bathed Phoebe, I then looked at the photograph I had taken again and I was convinced it was a toe.
I sent it to all of my friends and family and asked what they thought it was. I also wanted to make sure I wasn’t being daft. Every single person replied saying that it was definitely a toe. That confirmed it to me and I decided I needed to ring the police.
‘I called 101 and told them that I had found a toe sticking out of the ground. After I made the call and they said someone was on their way, I started crying and I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I was really scared. I called my mum to let her know what was happening and she even got sent home early from work because everyone thought I had found a body.’
Ms Wilkinson says that when she arrived back at the field, there were already two police cars and about six police officers there ready to investigate.
‘I had never been in a police car before. I was really panicking. I really hoped I hadn’t found a body, but I was also really scared about wasting the police’s time and facilities. However, when we were in the car, they had asked me that if something did come of the discovery would I want therapy. This made me really nervous as it seemed like this meant they also really thought it was a toe.
‘When I arrived I had to explain and show the picture to all the police officers that were there. Then everyone began searching, I was walking in and out and around the field trying to find it again. It had gone from where I had found it.
‘During the search, more and more people kept arriving. More police officers, sergeants and detectives. Every time a group of new people arrived I had to show the picture and explain what had happened. All of the police, the sergeants and the detective thought it was a toe too.
‘After about two hours of searching in the pitch black through the muddy field, it was decided to get bring in some sniffer dogs to help with the search. I just felt full of sheer panic and fear. There were two dogs and their handlers, about seven police cars, loads of police officers, two detectives and few sergeants at the scene now. I felt like I was in a murder documentary.
‘The dogs were sent into the field and within 45 minutes they had found what I had thought was a toe. One of the sergeants walked over to me and said ”is this your toe?” He then held out his hand which was holding a potato. I immediately felt so embarrassed. I couldn’t believe I had wasted all their time for a potato.
‘I was so apologetic. I just kept repeating that I was so sorry for wasting their time. I felt awful.’
This strange and funny incident happened in a field in Winlanton, Gateshead England on January 5th, 2021.