Girl from 1870s found buried in San Francisco backyard identified

This Saturday, June 4, 2016 photo shows the gravestone that will mark the new grave of a 3-year-old girl, found last month buried in San Francisco, at Greenlawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Colma, Calif. The unidentified girl, who has been named Miranda Eve, was found beneath the floor of a home being remodeled in San Francisco's Richmond District. (Michael Macor/San Francisco Chronicle via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT PHOTOG & CHRONICLE; MAGS OUT; NO SALES

SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) — A young girl found buried in a casket in San Francisco’s Lone Mountain neighborhood a year ago has been identified, a team of researchers announced Tuesday.

The girl, who was nicknamed “Miranda Eve” by the researchers, has been identified as Edith Howard Cook, who died on Oct. 13, 1876 at the age of two.

Edith, the second child of Horatio Nelson and Edith Scooffy Cook, is listed as having died of “marasmus,” a term used to describe severe undernourishment and wasting. Researchers Tuesday said the wasting could have been caused by a number of things but was most likely linked to an infectious disease.

The young girl in a tightly sealed metal casket was unearthed last May in the backyard of the home of John and Ericka Karner by a contractor doing remodeling work.

Edith was reburied at Greenlawn Memorial Park in Colma last June, but a team of researchers set about identifying her.

The area where the Karners’ home was built was known to have been part of the Odd Fellows Cemetery, which accepted burials from 1865 until around 1902.

Most of the bodies in the cemetery were exhumed and transferred to Greenlawn in the early 1930s, but Edith was left behind for unknown reasons.

Researchers were able to tentatively identify her through a search of cemetery records and then confirmed the identification through a DNA match with a living relative, Peter Cook.

Peter Cook, a Bay Area resident, is Edith’s grand-nephew and the direct descendant of her older brother, Milton H. Cook.



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