VATICAN CITY – The Vatican said on Sunday that bones found in ossuaries in the investigation into the disappearance of Emanuela Orlandi in 1983 are too old to be linked to the case.
Emanuela, the daughter of a Vatican employee, went missing in Rome at the age of 15 and the circumstances of what happened to her are still completely unknown.
Two ossuaries in a Germany cemetery within the walls of Vatican City were opened last week in the presence of her relatives.
Thousands of bones were discovered inside but subsequent testing has revealed they date from no later than the 19th Century.
“During the investigations of forensic anthropology, Professor Giovanni Arcudi did not find any bone structure that dates back to a later period in the late 1800s,” the Vatican reported.
An expert appointed by the Orlandi family has requested laboratory analysis for around 70 bone fragments.
Professor Arcudi and his team did not support the request because the remains “have very old dating characteristics,” the Vatican said.
The issue will be decided by the Vatican Justice prosecutor.
On July 11 the tombs of Princess Sofia von Hohenlohe, who died in 1836, and the adjacent one, of Princess Carlota Federica of Mecklenburg, who died in 1840, were opened as part of the investigation but both were found to be unexpectedly empty.
The Orlandi family had requested they be investigated after anonymous sources indicated one of the tombs as the possible place where the missing girl’s remains were placed.
Orlandi disappeared on June 22, 1983, when she was leaving the San Apolinar music school in the center of Rome.
Since then there has been no news about her whereabouts but various theories of involvement from the Italian criminal organization Banda della Magliana or an attack on John Paul II by the Turkish assassin Ali Agca.
The family has been trying for years to find clues to what happened and in 2012 they asked for an investigation when unidentified bones were found next to a tomb in the Basilica of San Apolinar.
These remains were later identified as those of Enrico De Pedis, head of the “Banda de la Magliana” mafia of Rome during the 70s and 80s.
More recently bones were discovered in the basement of a nunciature or embassy of the Holy See in Rome but these were found to be from before 1964, according to the prosecutor of Rome.