Vatican bones not those of missing girl

An analysis of an enormous number of bones discovered in a Vatican cemetery during a search for the remains of missing girl Emanuela Orlandi reveal they cannot be hers.

Hundreds of partially intact bones and thousands of bone fragments were studied by a forensic anthropologist and found to date from before the end of the 19th century.

They cannot be the remains of Orlandi who went missing in the 1980s, say Vatican officials.

However, an expert representing the family of the missing girl wants more tests on some of the bones.

He says 70 bones were not examined because they were judged to be very old. They should be checked, he says.

The Vatican police have taken possession of the remains, pending a court ruling on the question.

Although 15-year old Orlandi disappeared in the 1980s, a fresh search was commissioned after a mysterious message was sent to her family via their lawyer.

The message was a picture of an angel-topped grave in the Vatican’s Teutonic cemetery, with a note that read: “Look where the angel is pointing.”

Although no bones were found in the place the angel was pointing, a further search found thousands of bones underneath the college.

The Vatican has said the bones were likely moved during work on the cemetery and college during the 1970s and 1980s.

Numerous theories have circulated about Orlandi’s disappearance.

Some say she was snatched by mobsters to put pressure on the Vatican to recover a loan; others say she was taken to force the release from prison of Mehmet Ali Agca, the Turk who attempted to assassinate Pope John Paul II in 1981.

In 2017, a leaked, but apparently falsified document purportedly written by a cardinal, pointed to a Vatican cover-up.

The Holy See press office says the operations at the Teutonic College cemetery confirms their “willingness to seek the truth about the disappearance of Emanuela Orlandi”.

It added it “categorically denies that this attitude of full cooperation and transparency can in any way mean, as some say, an implicit admission of responsibility.”


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