Bones recovered in Vatican may be teen's who went missing 36 years ago

The bones were dated within five hours but will take longer to profile by DNA.

July 23, 2019 19:30
1 minute read.

Pope Francis leads the Palm Sunday mass at Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican. (photo credit: REUTERS)

The remains of Emanuela Orlandi, who went missing in Rome in 1983, may have just been collected from the depths of the Vatican this Saturday, ABC News reported.

The 15-year-old girl's family has been searching for her since she went missing 36 years ago. Her sister Frederica, along with their lawyer and a forensic expert, stayed as the bone containers were unsealed for six hours.

Future forensic examinations will reveal whether Orlandi's remains are among the bones. "Obviously it's an emotional experience because I think my sister's bones could be there, but I won't think about it until we have the results," Frederica said.

"There are really very many [bones], and so we assume the presence of the remains of a few dozen people," said Giorgio Portera, the forensic expert who had accompanied the revealing of the bones. "They were all piled up inside a cavity."

The assortment of some one to two thousand bones was found after an anonymous source said that the remains of the missing teen may be found under an angel statue that points to a grave in the Teutonic cemetery. Two tombs of princesses are there, but upon further research, not only were the bones of the teen nowhere to be seen, but neither were those of the princesses.

Vatican officials later realized that structural work took place on the cemetery and the Pontifical Teutonic College prior to Orlandi's disappearance, and so the bones of the princesses were most probably moved.

The scientists, according to BBC, will be able to date the bones within five hours and formally identify them by DNA in a longer amount of time.

Emanuela Orlandi first went missing in June of 1983 when she was seen at a bus stop in central Rome after a flute lesson. After that, she was never seen or heard from again.

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