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One year ago, a glass coffin containing the almost perfectly preserved body of a little girl was found underneath a house.

Now, the toddler has finally been identified.


Credit: KTVU

Edith Howard Cook, the daughter of a prominent couple, tragically died six weeks before her third birthday back in 1876.

Her body was discovered underneath a house in San Francisco inside a bronze and lead coffin.


Credit: KTVU

She was dressed in white lace, with a red rose and some lavender.

Her burial site used to be a graveyard, and she was buried alongside 30,000 other people. However, when the Odd Fellows Cemetery was moved in the 1920s, her tiny coffin was accidentally left behind.

The Garden of Innocence project has been tirelessly attempting to identify the child, alongside a team of researchers.

They've found out that she died on October 13 1876 and believe her cause of death to have been marasmus or, in simpler terms, severe undernourishment caused by an infection.

Professor Jelmer Eerkens, who helped with the DNA testing, told KTVU: "It's likely she was sick with some disease and at some point her immune system couldn't combat the disease and probably went into coma and passed away."

They managed to identify her by tirelessly searching through old cemetery records, and eventually tracked down a living relative to collect a DNA sample.

Researchers managed to find a map of the old cemetery at a University of California, Berkeley library. They then matched it to a plot where her parents, Horatio Cook and Edith Scooffy, were buried.

Her coffin was found when a contractor was digging up a slab floor in a homeowner's garage. They named her 'Miranda' initially. A month later, they reburied her at Colma's Greenlawn Memorial Park and around 100 people attended the service.

Michael Dunn, from the Garden of Innocence, said that it was important to have a real service for the little girl, as he explained: "She was forgotten and overlooked for more than 100 years, that ends today."

Now that they know her real name, they're hoping to arrange another memorial service for her this year.

Featured Image Credit: Facebook

Mel Ramsay

Mel Ramsay is an NCTJ trained Trending Journalist at LADbible and has worked here since 2015. She launched the 'LAD of the Week' feature in 2016 and has run it single-handedly ever since. She started her career writing obituaries and funeral guides online. Since then, her work has been published in a wide variety of national and local news sites. She is part of the BBC's Generation project and has spoken about young people, politics and mental health on television, radio and online.

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