When the contractors were renovating a house in San Francisco’s Richmond District earlier this month, they didn’t expect to unearth a hundred-year old casket buried in the ground, and yet they did.
But that wasn’t what shocked them the most; through the glass panel of the casket, they saw that the corpse inside the casket had been preserved, and looked as though it was recently buried.
“It looked like her mother had just laid her in there yesterday,” Elissa Davey told Inside Edition. “She still had her eyelashes, she still had her skin.”
Elissa runs Garden of Innocence, which buries unidentified children with the help of donated money and services.
According to a Yahoo! report, the homeowner’s family had renamed the girl Miranda Eve. They had reached out to Elisa’s organization after running into a “bureaucratic morass of red tape.”
Homeowner Erika Karner was told by an undertaker that it would take her $7,000 to reinter the girl’s body, and besides, she wouldn’t be able to simply bury it because she didn’t have a death certificate.
“[Erika] was stuck, Elissa said. “She didn’t know what to do. She couldn’t just leave someone’s child in her backyard.”
So she and her organization took care of matters.
“Miranda Eve was given a new, wooden casket with her name engraved on it, and was buried Saturday at Greenlawn Memorial Park, where donated money helped pay more than $10,000 to a ground crew that worked overtime to dig a resting place for the child born in the 1800s.”
“It was a very wonderful service,” said Elissa. “The headstone arrived, the baby arrived, the Knights of Columbus arrived—it was just wonderful.”
Now researchers are looking into the girl’s pedigree, combing through the cemetery’s old maps and trying to figure out which section corresponds to the spot where the glass-and-metal coffin was located.
Photo credit: SF Gate
Meanwhile, two groups of researchers will conduct a DNA test on the hair strand acquired from the three-year-old’s body and try to determine her genetic heritage.
The results will also be run through databases to see if a familial match can be found.
Many people have asked Elissa the reason behind her decision to bury a child she doesn’t know, asked how she could stand it.
“How can you not?”
READ: ‘Dead’ toddler who wakes up at own funeral
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