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Boy in Iron Coffin Identified

Smithsonian scientists conclude that the body in a cast-iron coffin discovered by utility workers in Washington, D.C. two years ago is that of 15-year-old William Taylor White, who died in 1852, most likely from heart disease. He was buried in the Columbia College cemetery. Researchers believe the coffin was inadvertently left behind when the cemetery was later moved. White, from Accomack, Va., was a descendant of Anthony West, one of the Jamestown settlers, researchers say. He was a student in the preparatory school of the college, which later became George Washington University. A DNA test matched the boy with a living relative: a convenience store night clerk living in Lancaster, Penn.

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