Perfectly Preserved Body of a Young Girl Buried in the 1800s Found Under San Francisco Home

By Denisse Moreno
Denisse Moreno
Denisse Moreno
May 27, 2016 Updated: May 27, 2016

The body of a young girl who died around the year 1870 was found under a garage of a San Francisco home on May 9.

Garden of Innocence (GOI), an organization which arranges burials of unidentified children, said on Facebook that the coffin was found by contractors when a homeowner was having her garage floor torn up.

The young girl was found comfortably laid in a coffin manufactured in 1858 of solid lead and lined with bronze and purple velvet. Since there was no headstone, the identity of the girl is unknown, but the homeowner’s daughters ended up naming the young girl Miranda, which means worthy of admiration and wonderful.

(Courtesy: Garden of Innocence)
(Courtesy of Garden of Innocence)

 The 120-year-old child was also very well preserved.

“She was content, fully intact as if she had just gone to sleep,” said GOI.

“She has cute blond hair with lavender flowers tucked in her hair and a long white gown. She has red roses and eucalyptus leaves with her and she was mummified and perfect.”

“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,” Kevin Boylan, a worker, told KTVU.  

The girl that was found by homeowner Ericka Karner was apparently just 3-years-old.

Miranda’s body is now deteriorating, after a coroner opened the casket and exposed the girl to air.

The coroner found that the child had been properly interred and was not an abandoned body, meaning it wasn’t up to the city to rebury Miranda.

The homeowner’s residence had been built on land that used to be Odd Fellows Cemetery, according to GOI.

The cemetery was shut down in 1923.

The bodies of 180,000 were transferred to Colma, California, but not all bodies were moved.

“Actually every time they excavate in SF near one of those cemeteries, they find bodies…but we now have one of them,” wrote GOI.

(Courtesy: Garden of Innocence)
(Courtesy of Garden of Innocence)

Karner was now stuck with a casket of a little girl in her backyard. The homeowner couldn’t bury Miranda herself, because she didn’t have a death certificate to get a burial permit.

The Garden of Innocence is now helping to rebury Miranda. The Odd Fellows Lodge of San Francisco has offered to pay for a plot for the child. According to an earlier Facebook page,  Chrissy Vaults will donate a vault, and Allstar Custom Cabinets will make a casket that will fit the one she was found in.

GOI said it is still in need of monetary contributions for the burial, as well as donations of flowers and rose petals.

The organization said Miranda will be re-buried on June 4th at the Greenlawn cemetery in Colma.

Denisse Moreno
Denisse Moreno