The announcement article told HotE has 16 plastic minis, so there has to be 16 miniatures. There is one extra Shapeshifter for custom paint job or customizing.
aka somebody messed it up when they came up with the announcement, but then FFG gave an example on how a publisher should fix this type of communication issues: they pretended it never happened and added a random (and basically useless) miniature to the lot.
I think that works far better than getting submerged by hundreds of angry customer yelling at them "Hey you said we would get 16 miniatures in the box and I only got 15".
Bizarre but effective marketing strategy in my opinion.