ROME - Two ossuaries found under the Pontifical Teutonic College in the Vatican were opened Saturday and forensic experts began to analyze the bones. The ossuaries were discovered by the Vatican last week after the opening of two tombs of princesses at the cemetery earlier this month revealed they were empty. The tombs had been opened as part of investigations into the disappearance of 15-year-old Emanuela Orlandi, the daughter of a Vatican employee, in 1983.
The mystery of the disappearance of Emanuela Orlandi, 36 years ago, continues to deepen at the Vatican, giving rise to more questions rather than answers. The latest mystery involves bones recovered on Saturday for analysis, located in two ossuaries found last week. Earlier this month the Vatican had opened two tombs and found the remains of the bodies that should have been there were not.
Church officials said the bodies of the two German princesses who were buried in those tombs may have been removed and never returned to their original resting place. The tombs were opened following a request from the Orlandi family.
Outside the Vatican walls, a group of supporters of the Orlandi family said they would continue to demand the truth about the disappearance of young Emanuela Orlandi, who disappeared in 1983 as she was on her way to a music class in Rome.
Emanuela’s brother, Pietro, still holds out some hope his sister may still be alive.
The family had requested the tombs be opened after receiving an anonymous letter earlier this year that stated Emanuela's body might be hidden among the dead in the Teutonic Cemetery where a statue of an angel holding a book reads in Latin “Rest in Peace.”
Pietro Orlando will not give up until he is given answers.
After no bones were found, Pietro Orlandi said that “it could not end here because obviously I want to know why in the last year, people whose names I know, have directed us there”, to look for Emanuela’s remains.
In a statement on Saturday the Vatican said that “with this latest expert operation… the Vatican is again showing its openness towards the Orlandi family. This openness has been shown from the outset in agreeing to check the Holy Teutonic Campus even on the basis of a mere anonymous report.”
Over the years, the Vatican has often been accused by the Orlandi family of failing to do enough to help with investigations into the disappearance of Emanuela Orlandi.
The identity of the bones recovered on Saturday remains a mystery. The Vatican statement also said it is “not possible, for the moment, to predict how long it will take for the morphological analysis of the remains to be completed”. The Vatican added that further tests would be carried out July 27.