Preserved Body Of Child Found In Glass Coffin Under House Finally Identified


A little girl who died in the 1800s and was buried in a glass coffin, perfectly preserved for hundreds of years, has been identified.

The body was discovered underneath a house in San Francisco, entombed in a small lead and bronze coffin, in May last year, much to the alarm of both the residents.

You can watch KTVU’s full report on the case in the clip below:

Since the discovery, a research team has been working to identity the young girl.

Their year-long efforts have paid off and the Garden of Innocence project just announced the deceased is none other than Edith Howard Cook, the daughter of a prominent high-society couple.


Edith was two months short of her third birthday when she died on October 13 1876, probably of severe undernourishment caused by an infection, according to researchers working with Southern California’s Garden of Innocence non-profit organisation.

The unearthing of her tiny body, dressed in white lace and well-preserved alongside a delicate red rose and lavender, which was woven into her hair, came as a huge shock.


Officials had previously believed that all the bodies in the 19th century Richmond District cemetery had been removed.

Edith was one of about 30,000 people with graves at the old Odd Fellows Cemetery.

But the majority were moved to Colma in the 1920s, and it is a mystery as to why Edith’s body was left behind.


Alongside Odd Fellows cemetery archive documents, researchers from UC Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz and UC Davis, tracked down a living Cook relative for a DNA sample.

This allowed them to verify Edith’s identity.

Her resting place of hundreds of years was discovered during a Lone Mountain home remodelling.


Ericka Karner, the property owner, was told by the city’s medical examiner’s office that – because the body was found on private property – she would have to deal with the body.

Garden of Innocence helped Karner respectfully dispose of the remains. On June 4, Edith – who was dubbed Miranda Eve before being identified – was reburied at Colma’s Greenlawn Memorial Park.


About 140 people attended the service.

Another memorial service is scheduled for June 10 at the burial site to recognise her newfound identity.