Construction workers unearth 19th century coffin containing well-preserved girl under SF home
SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) - While remodeling a home in San Francisco's Richmond District, about three-feet under the garage, construction workers felt something with their shovels.
It was a small coffin, made of metal.
"It was weird. Shocked-like, you know," said worker Kevin Boylan.
They called the homeowner who was out of town.
"On one hand, slightly creepy and sad. The next thing was 'What do we do next?' said Ericka Harner.
She called the medical examiner who had the casket opened. Inside was the body of a little girl, estimated to be about three years old.
The body was well preserved even after being buried since perhaps the 1870's.
"All the hair was still there. The nails were there. That was a giveaway. There were flowers-- roses, still on the child's body. It was a sight to see," said Boylan.
According to historical records, the home near Rossi Park, sits on what was once a cemetery.
While other caskets there were relocated to Colma a century ago, this one apparently was left behind.
To her surprise, the homeowner says the medical examiner told her the casket and the little girl's body was her problem.
"It definitely seems to be city policy that it is the homeowner's responsibility," said Karner.
It is unknown how the child died, who her family was, or even her name. So the homeowner named her Miranda.
She contacted Garden of Innocence, a San Diego County based organization that handles burials of unidentified children.
"This little one has no voice. So we need to give her a voice" said Elissa Davey of the Garden of Innocence.
The casket has since been moved to refrigerated storage unit in Fresno.
The plan is for Miranda to have a graveside service in Colma next month, a second burial for the mysterious little girl who was left behind.