Vatican City – The Vatican on Tuesday said it will open two graves in a small cemetery as part of efforts to solve the decades-old case of a missing girl named Emanuela Orlandi.
The procedure at the Vatican’s Teutonic Cemetery is due to take place on July 11, in the presence of the missing girl’s relatives, Vatican spokesman, Alessandro Gisotti, said in a statement.
Orlandi, the daughter of a papal usher with Vatican citizenship, vanished at the age of 15 in Central Rome in 1983 and the case is one of the biggest mysteries in recent Vatican history.
Laura Sgro, a lawyer for the Orlandi family, said she received an anonymous letter suggesting that the girl may be buried in the Teutonic Cemetery.
“We are very happy, really pleased,’’ Sgro told the ANSA news agency, expressing her “most heartfelt thanks’’ to the Vatican’s second-in-command, Cardinal Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin.
“A series of wild conspiracy theories have swirled over the Orlandi case.’’
It was recalled that Orlandi’s disappearance has been blamed in turn on anti-papal plots by foreign intelligence services, on “Magliana Gang,’’ an Italian crime syndicate, and on sexual predators within the clergy.
“Last year there was hope for a breakthrough when bones were found in a Vatican embassy in Rome until forensic tests ruled out any connection to Orlandi.’’
However, the Teutonic Cemetery is the oldest German Catholic institution in Rome and it hosts the graves of distinguished German or Flemish-speaking Catholics who lived in Rome.