Wednesday, 23 October, 2019

Mystery deepens surrounding teen's 1983 disappearance in Rome

The tombs of two princesses in the Vatican's Teutonic Cemetery have been opened and found to be empty The tombs of two princesses in the Vatican's Teutonic Cemetery have been opened and found to
Steven Clarke | 13 July, 2019, 18:06

Vatican spokesman Alessandro Gisotti said that not only were Orlandi's remains not in either of the tombs, neither were either of the princesses'.

Vatican opened graves of two princesses in search for missing girl.

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The Vatican dig followed an anonymous tip-off that the cemetery may be the last resting place of Orlandi, the daughter of a Vatican employee, who was last seen leaving a music class aged 15.

By Linda BordoniThere are no human remains, no coffins, no urns and no bones in the two 19th century graves in the Teutonic Cemetery inside the Vatican where forensic experts were searching for the remains of Emanuela Orlandi.

Theories about Orlandi's disappearance have run the gamut from an attempt to secure freedom for Mehmet Ali Agca, the Turk jailed in 1981 for trying to assassinate Pope John Paul II, to a connection to the grave of Enrico De Pedis, a mobster buried in a Rome basilica.

Princess Sophie's tomb led to a large empty underground room and no human remains were found in Princess Carlotta's tomb, he said. The Vatican agreed to open two tombs near the angel, that of Princess Sophie von Hohenlohe, who died in 1836, and Princess Charlotte Frederica of Mecklenburg, who died in 1840. No human remains were found inside.

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Surprisingly, the Vatican agreed to open two tombs at the Teutonic Cemetery, which dates to the 1800s.

Following the opening, the Vatican said in a statement that it "wants to reiterate that it has always expressed attention and closeness to the suffering of the Orlandi family, especially Emanuela's mother". After searching for Emanuela incessantly for three decades, the family's lawyer had said they wouldn't be happy "if they find Emanuela's corpse just 200 yards from their home". Scientific testing ruled out that the remains were Orlandi's.

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". In February, they petitioned the Vatican Secretary of State to permit the tombs to be opened.

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.

Both graves were opened due to their proximity to one another and to "avoid possible misunderstandings about which grave is the indicated grave", a Vatican tribunal said. There was speculation that the youngster may have been buried alongside him - but DNA tests failed to find a match.

Last year, bones found during ground work at the Vatican embassy in Rome prompted a media frenzy suggesting they might belong to Emanuela or to Mirella Gregori, another teenager who disappeared in 1983. There were renovations carried out in the cemetery at the end of the 1800's, and then again in the 1960s and 1970s.

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