Bone Fragments at Vatican May Be Connected to Girls Who Vanished 35 Years Ago

Published November 1st, 2018 - 04:00 GMT
Rome Skyline with Vatican St Peter Basilica of Vatican (Shutterstock)
Rome Skyline with Vatican St Peter Basilica of Vatican (Shutterstock)

Officials say human bone fragments found at the Vatican during digging for a construction project may be connected to one of two girls who vanished 35 years ago.

DNA tests will be done to see if the remains could belong to Emanuela Orlandi or Mirella Gregori, 15-year-old girls who each disappeared in 1983.

Rome Chief Prosecutor Giuseppe Pighatone directed the Scientific Police to determine the age and gender of the victim and how long the bones have been there.

The skeletal remains were found Tuesday during renovations of a building attached to the Vatican's Italian embassy. Officials said they consist of bone from the head and teeth of the victim.

Orlandi's father worked for the Institute for the Works of Religion, also known as the Vatican Bank. Her body was never found.

The girl disappeared after leaving her Vatican City home to attend a music lesson. Her disappearance has been linked to various conspiracy theories, including organized crime and the attempted assassin of Pope John Paul II in 1981.


Other theories suggest Turkish nationalists kidnapped Orlandi and demanded that Italy release Mehmet Ali Agca, who was imprisoned for shooting and wounding the pope. For months, the Orlandi family received phone calls from a man with an American accent saying the Turkish group Grey Wolves kidnapped both Orlandi and Gregori.

Gregori disappeared a few months before Orlandi after leaving her house in Rome, saying she "had a date" with a former classmate. She was never seen again.

In 2012, police exhumed the body of a reputed mobster from a crypt at the Roman Basilica and found no signs of her body there.

More recently, an investigative journalist published a five-page document that he said links the Holy See to Orlandi's death. It was written by a cardinal and listed expenses for Orlandi's care after she disappeared. The Vatican said it was a fake.


This article has been adapted from its original source.

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