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Vatican closes probe into 1983 disappearance of Italian teen


April 30 (UPI) — The Vatican has closed its latest investigation into the disappearance of an Italian teen who went missing in 1983, the Holy See Press Office said Thursday.

Emanuela Orlandi, the daughter of Holy See employee Ercoli Orlandi, disappeared on June 22, 1983, from a central Rome street while waiting for a bus as she was on her way to a music lesson.

The probe opened last year into two tombs in the Vatican’s Teutonic Cemetery found that bone fragments discovered there were too old to be the remains of the missing Italian teenager.

“The fragments that were found can be dated back to before the disappearance of poor Emanuela,” the judge said in a Holy See Press Office statement Thursday. “The most recent of them dates to at least 100 years ago.”

As a result, Vatican prosecutors asked for the case to be shelved and the judge accepted the request.

“Thus the request to archive the case closes this sad chapter regarding the disappearance of Emanuela Orlandi, in which Vatican Authorities offered, from the beginning, the widest possible collaboration,” the statement said.

The probe was carried out on behalf of the Orlandi family with forensic anthropologist Giovanni Arcudi as their consultant.

Orlandi’s family said they received a tip from someone who said they were holding her hostage in exchange for the release of Mehmet Ali Agca, who was serving a life sentence for shooting Pope John Paul II in 1981. The family has received a number of tips over the 36 years since she has been missing, including one involving bone and teeth fragments found during a construction project that led them to the latest probe opening last year.

In the latest probe, the Vatican court ordered the opening in July of 2019 of two tombs in the Vatican’s Teutonic Cemetery, which belonged to Princess Sophie von Hohenlohe, who died in 1836, and Princess Carlotta Federica, who died in 1840.

The tombs were found empty, but further investigation discovered human remains in ossuaries adjacent to the tombs. Still, Arcudi found that those remains pre-dated Orlandi’s disappearance.

The Holy See noted that the Orlandi family can still proceed privately with further investigation.


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