A centuries-old mystery was solved when authorities identified a young girl whose body was buried in a coffin underneath a renovated San Francisco home last year, researchers announced Tuesday.
Edith Howard Cook was only 2-years-old when she died on Oct. 13, 1876, weeks before her third birthday, according to the Garden of Innocence, a nonprofit that buries unnamed children.
Construction workers found the girl’s remains last May. Her body was reburied the following month.
“I was jumping for joy because it gave me more opportunity to find out about my family,” Pete Cook, the girl’s grandnephew, told KPIX-TV.
It’s believed the girl was left behind when San Francisco’s Odd Fellows Cemetery, where she was originally buried, moved to Greenlawn Memorial Park in Colma in the 1920s.
Researchers spent hundreds of hours trying to find Edith’s identity when they came across a plot in which her parents, Horatio Cook and Edith Scooffy, were once buried.
Researchers then looked for Edith’s living relatives.
Cook, a Marin County resident, volunteered to get DNA tested and proved to be a match with Edith.
Cook expressed joy in learning that his family tree has come full circle.
“It will be something that I can pass on to my children,” he told the TV station.
A memorial for Edith is scheduled for June.
With News Wire Services