SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) – A woman was having her childhood home near Rossi Park in San Francisco renovated when contractors stumbled onto a very unusual sight under the garage.
“He said, ‘Do you have any idea what this is? We think it’s a casket,’” Ericka Karner told KPIX 5 via Skype.
Karner is living in Idaho while the work is being done. She told KPIX 5 it’s the casket of a little girl believed to have been buried 120 years ago. There are no identifying marks, so they decided to nickname her “Miranda.”
Officials believe Miranda was left behind when the Odd Fellows cemetery moved away. The Columbarium near Geary and Arguello is all that’s left of that burial ground.
Back in the 1930s, the rest of the Odd Fellows Cemetery went to Colma. That’s because the city ordered every burial ground in San Francisco to be dug up and all the bodies moved.
But some were accidentally left behind. And every now and then turn up in residential construction.
Karner said the city won’t reclaim the body. So she wanted to re-bury Miranda, but then the city told her she couldn’t get a burial permit without a death certificate.
“And we couldn’t get one,” Karner said. “So that put us in a position of unfortunately having this individual in our backyard and feeling awful as a mom knowing this is a small child.”
An organization called Garden of Innocence, which provides burials for unidentified children, has stepped in to help. They hope to determine Miranda’s true identity and bury her sometime this summer.