Extract from the Star Newspaper, Toddlers, Koi and Tooth Fairy all suspects as cops chew over toothy riddle
January 16, 2007 Edition 1
JOHANNESBURG: It's the riddle of 11 tiny teeth - and police are investigating just how they landed up in the swimming pool filter of a home.
Last week a man walked into the Sandton Police Station with a bag containing what appears to be 11 little white teeth, a police source said yesterday.
In his statement the resident claimed he had discovered the teeth in a newly-installed swimming pool in his sister's Khyber Rock house in Johannesburg.
Before going to the police the man approached a local vet, but was told they did not belong to an animal (such as a dog or cat).
Hearing this, he grew "very concerned".
On Thursday, the man gave the police a statement detailing his strange discovery. The 11 teeth were sealed and placed in the police's SAP 13 safe - as they would be later sent for forensic tests.
Although the case was a bizarre one, and there was no body or crime scene, police opened an inquest and a detective was assigned to the case. It was feared that the milk teeth belonged to a toddler, or several toddlers as they are too small to belong to an adult.
Yesterday investigators once more spoke to the man and were told he had discovered more teeth.
In total about 80 similar teeth were recovered from the swimming pool filter, the source revealed.
The man also told officers that the swimming pool had been built about three weeks ago on top of what used to be a Koi fish pond. The man suggested the teeth belonged to the Koi, and he apologised for wasting the police's time.
There was just one small problem with the man's theory - Koi fish don't have teeth.
Two fish experts were consulted yesterday to confirm that Koi, known as "water pigs", do not hunt and mostly tend to be vegetarian in their diet.
They scavenge in the water for food particles or tiny insects.
Their jaws do have a "rough cartilage" but definitely no teeth.
"It's impossible," the experts agreed. It is, however, unclear whether the teeth could belong to another type of fish.
While they sink their teeth into the mystery, some investigators have a more light-hearted theory on the case and suggest that what has been unearthed is the secret hiding place of the elusive Tooth Fairy.