A mystery girl found perfectly preserved in a coffin in a backyard in San Francisco finally has a name and a final resting place.
The Southern California Garden of Innocence Project worked with researchers to identify the toddler-aged girl. Her body was discovered by construction workers last May as a family remodeled their home.
According to KTVU, the girl was found in an ornate coffin with glass paneling. Through the glass, workers could see a perfectly preserved girl with long hair and a long white dress with a cross made of flowers lying on her chest.
KGO reports she had purple flowers woven through her long, blonde hair.
"She was right here," homeowner Ericka Karner told KGO, pointing to the spot on her patio where construction workers found the girl.
The girl was nicknamed “Miranda Eve” until researchers could find out more.
After 11 months of research and testing, experts have finally identified the girl as Edith Howard Cook. They identified Peter Cook as Edith’s grand-nephew.
Peter Cook told KTVU in a statement that he was “beaming” when he found out that he was related to the girl.
Funeral records indicate Edith died of “maramus,” which in the 1800s meant severe undernourishment, which can be caused by a number of reasons. Experts speculate that the girl likely became sick from a bacterial infection and stopped eating, leading to undernourishment.
Edith died on Oct. 13, 1876. She was buried in a family plot on Oct. 15, 1876 in Odd Fellows Cemetery. SF Gate reports she was about a month and a half shy of her third birthday when she died.
In the early 1930s, all the coffins at the cemetery were exhumed and re-interred at Greenlawn Cemetery in neighboring Colma, Calif. But Edith’s body was somehow left behind.
Ericka Karner and her husband, John say they're glad Edith has found her final resting place. The homeowners have two young daughters of their own. They told KGO that they would hear footsteps running through their home.
“I’ve heard them,” John said.
“We know very well what a toddler sounds like, and it wasn’t our kids,” said Ericka.
They have not heard the footsteps since the body was moved.