No bones found in Vatican tombs searched for missing girl
No bones found in Vatican tombs searched for missing girl
Vatican grave search for missing Italian teen finds tombs empty
13 July, 2019, 18:03
"No human remains or funeral urns were found", Vatican spokesman Alessandro Gisotti said.
In March, the Orlandi family's lawyer revealed the family had been sent a letter with a photo of an angel above a tomb in the Vatican cemetery.
The Vatican said it had informed the princesses' descendants that their remains were missing.
The latest search for Orlandi, who vanished without a trace on 22 June 1983, followed an anonymous tip-off received last summer by her mother and brother, who still live within the Vatican's walls.
Orlandi's 60-year-old brother Pietro, who has never given up hope of finding her alive, arrived early on Thursday at the site as a small group of forensic scientists, tomb curators and an expert appointed by the family began to open the graves at the Teutonic Cemetery. He is the Turk who attempted to assassinate Pope John Paul II in 1981. 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.
Searchers not only didn't find Emanuela's bones - unexpectedly, they found no remains at all. "In that moment I told myself, "he knows something, more than us", he said.
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On the eve of the opening of the tombs, Andrea Tornielli, editorial director of the Dicastery for Communication, interviewed Giovanni Arcudi, the forensic anthropologist who was to lead the scientific investigation of the remains in the two tombs in the Vatican's Teutonic Cemetery. Inside it, no human remains were found.
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". Scientific testing ruled out that the remains were Orlandi's.
Vatican officials said they plan to research records to investigate why neither of the princesses' remains were in their tombs. In the other one they found a sarcophagus, also empty. Opening the tombs at the family's request was another sign of that concern. In February, they petitioned the Vatican Secretary of State to permit the tombs to be opened.
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.
A man is seen on a ladder as people open a tomb in a cemetery on the Vatican's grounds to test the DNA of bones to help solve the 36-year-old disappearance of a teenage daughter of a clerk in the Holy See, in the Vatican July 11, 2019.
The family braced for a possible breakthrough past year, when human remains were found at a Vatican property in Rome, but the bones discovered dated back to an earlier period. 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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