In 2016, a group of builders discovered a small, sealed coffin in a San Francisco home which contains the body of a little girl with long blonde hair. The girl was in her white lacy dress and is holding a red rose. Investigators temporarily named her ‘Miranda Eve’.
The mystery girl, according to initial reports, was said to be from the 19th century. Elissa Davey, a genealogist and founder of the Garden of Innocence Project, decided to determine the identity of the girl believing she would be properly laid to rest that way.
Through examining hundreds of burial information and grave plots nearby and tracking down living relatives to get a sample of DNA, researchers have finally found the answers to the little girl’s identity. Earlier this month, after a year of intensive study, researchers revealed that the girl was Edith Howard Cook. A few strands of Edith’s hair matched a man named Peter Cook who is a descendant of her brother, Milton H. Cook.
Edith was the second child and first daughter of Horatio Nelson and Edith Scooffy Cook. The two got married in 1870 and Horatio was noted to have served as Consul for Greece. Findings also revealed that the family was quite well-off given that she was buried in an expensive metal coffin with two viewing windows on the lid.
After Edith’s death, her parents had another daughter named Ethel Cook, who was declared by a Russian aristocrat as the most beautiful woman in America.
Professor Jelmer Eerkens, from the Anthropology department of UC Davis, who also helped the investigation, noted that Edith died from marasmus or extreme malnourishment. It was possible that she acquired an illness that weakened her immune system which led to her passing.