PHILADELPHIA – Bone fragments from an Irish woman who researchers believe was mysteriously killed working for a Pennsylvania railroad in 1832 will be reburied in her home country.
A funeral Mass for Catherine Burns is planned for July 19 in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland.
The service is being arranged by U.S. historians who discovered her remains near train tracks in suburban Philadelphia in 2009.
They think she worked as a cook or laundress among 57 Irishmen who died while building a section of the Philadelphia and Columbia Railroad called Duffy's Cut.
Cholera killed most of the immigrants. But forensic evidence indicates Burns and others died of violent means, likely because of ethnic hatred or fear of the contagious disease.
This is the second set of remains repatriated by Duffy's Cut researchers.