Tuesday, 16 July 2019
Latest news
Main » Graves dug in missing teen search empty: Vatican

Graves dug in missing teen search empty: Vatican

13 July 2019

Vatican officials said they plan to research records to investigate why neither of the princesses' remains were in their tombs. She was 15 years old.

The Vatican said Thursday it would be opening both the "angel" tomb and a similar-looking one next to it "in order to avoid any possible misunderstandings about which tomb was indicated".

Opening the Vatican tombs of a princess and a duchess July 11 in a search for the remains of a young Italian woman missing for more than 30 years, the Vatican found no human remains at all.

The Orlandi family had received an anonymous letter saying Emanuela's body might be hidden among the dead in the Teutonic Cemetery where a statue of an angel holding a book reads "Requiescat in Pace", Latin for "Rest in Peace".

The Vatican had announced it had engaged a forensic anthropology expert, a professor of forensic medicine at a Rome university, to examine the remains and prepare them for DNA testing.

Officials were expecting to find at least the bones of Princess Sophie von Hohenlohe, who died in 1836, and Princess Carlotta Federica of Mecklenburg, who died in 1840, but there was no trace of either. "We are all amazed", Orlandi family lawyer Laura Sgro said Thursday after the fruitless opening of the tombs. "Thirty-six years have passed, there have been three different popes at the Vatican", she said.

The small, leafy plot, located on the original site of the Emperor Nero circus, is usually the last resting place for German-speaking members of Catholic institutions.

White-suited and masked forensic scientists strapped on headlamps to climb down and search the underground chamber.

Dozens of journalists and crowds of curious tourists had gathered at the entrance to the Vatican nearest the cemetery.

Workers open one of two tombs within the Vatican's grounds in the Teutonic Cemetery is opened on July 11, 2019, as part of a probe into the mysterious 1983 disappearance of teenager Emanuela Orlandi.

For decades, wild theories have swirled in the Italian media about Orlandi's disappearance.

Pietro Orlandi, who is now 60 years old, said some people in the Vatican might have been involved in his sister's disappearance. Because the family lived inside the Vatican walls, numerous rumors involve the Vatican itself: that she was murdered in connection to the Vatican bank scandals of the 1980s; that she was kidnapped to barter for the freedom of a man who attempted to kill Pope John Paul II; that she was kidnapped as part of a sex slavery ring inside the Vatican.

In 2017, conspiracy specialists were driven into a frenzy by a leaked - but apparently falsified - document, purportedly written by a cardinal and pointing to a Vatican cover-up. Enrico De Pedis, head of the Magliana gang, was suspected of involvement in her kidnapping and some speculated the youngster may be buried alongside him - but DNA tests failed to find a match.

Graves dug in missing teen search empty: Vatican