| 12.07,19. 03:54 PM |
Vatican opens tombs to solve missing person case, finds two more mysteries instead
No bones were found in the Vatican tombs suspected to have held missing girl's remains (ABC News)
The cold-case search for a girl
missing since 1983 has failed to find her body, but uncovered an even
older mystery — the disappearance of two 19th century Italian
The Vatican opened two tombs on
Thursday (local time), following a tip-off that a dead girl was hidden
inside, but found no remains, not even of the original listed
Experts were looking for the remains
of Emanuela Orlandi, the daughter of a Vatican clerk who failed to
return home following a music lesson in Rome.
Her disappearance has been the subject of wild speculation in the Italian media for years.
work began after a morning prayer in the Teutonic Cemetery, a burial
ground just inside the Vatican walls used over the centuries mainly for
Church figures or members of noble families of German or Austrian
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.
"The result of the search was negative. No human remains or funeral urns were found," Vatican spokesman Alessandro Gisotti said.
Gisotti said the Vatican would now examine records of structural work
done in the cemetery at the end of the 19th century and again about 60
years ago to see if they could shed any light on the new mystery.
Sophie's tomb led to a large empty underground room and no human
remains were found in Princess Carlotta's tomb, he said.
went down and found a room measuring 4 metres by 3 metres, which was
the first surprise ... There was absolutely nothing inside," Orlandi's
brother, Pietro Orlandi, told reporters outside the Vatican.
Anonymous tip-off led to the exhumation
The two tombs were opened in the presence of the Orlandi family and descendants of the princesses.
Orlandi family had received an anonymous letter that said her
daughter's body might be hidden among the dead in the Teutonic Cemetery
where a statue of an angel holding a book that reads "Requiescat in
Pace" — Latin for "Rest in Peace".
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.
His tomb was opened in 2012 but nothing was revealed.
year, bones found during ground work at the Vatican embassy in Rome
sparked a media frenzy suggesting they might belong to Orlandi or to
Mirella Gregori, another teenager who disappeared the same year.
DNA tests turned out negative.
in 1983 did not exclude the possibility that Orlandi may have been
abducted and killed for reasons with no connection to the Vatican or
been a victim of human trafficking.