(Tea Party 247) – Now, this is one of the strangest stories you’ll read for a while.
A Vatican cemetery will soon be searched for the remains of a girl who went missing decades ago.
Church Militant reports that Emanuela Orlandi was 15 years old when she went missing in central Rome in the summer of 1983, when her father, Ercole Orlandi, served as a lay official at the Vatican.
She has remained missing all this time.
But this year, a new, mysterious tip was received:
In March, a lawyer for the family received an anonymous letter indicating that Emanuela’s remains can be found at the Teutonic Cemetery — a small graveyard on the grounds of Vatican City, so named because German and Austrian priests and religious have been buried there for centuries.
“Last summer, I received an envelope,” the lawyer, Laura Sgrò, told NBC News. “I opened it and there was a picture of the statue of an angel in the Teutonic Cemetery inside the Vatican. And a letter that simply said, ‘If you want to find Emanuela, search where the angel looks.'”
The Vatican announced on Tuesday that two tombs in the Teutonic Cemetery will be opened, in response to the anonymous tip. Members of the Orlandi family will be present for the opening, as will relatives of the people who were known to have been buried in those spots.
Remains found in the two tombs will be subject to DNA testing, as well as tests determining their age.
Pietro Orlandi, Emanuela’s brother, believes that the lead is a good one. He recently said, “It’s a rumor that has been circulating within the Vatican for a while now.”
“If it turns out she really is buried there, there will be many people inside the Vatican who will have to be held accountable and answer difficult questions,” he added.
His sister would be 51 years old if she is alive today.
Her disappearance has been shrouded in mystery, particularly considering her body was never found. But it has also been speculated that she was kidnapped as a warning to her father who, Church Militant notes, may have come across daming evidence of corruption at the Vatican Bank.
False, contradictory and misleading tips have haunted the investigation for years, beginning just a few days after she went missing.
Soon after Emanuela vanished, there were anonymous phone tips by two young men, “Pietroluigi” and “Mario.” Each of them claimed to have spoken recently with a young woman whose appearance fit law enforcement’s description.
A few days later, Pope St. John Paul II publicly appealed for the girl’s release, as there were suspicions that she had been kidnapped.
After that, there was a series of phone messages claiming Emanuela was taken hostage as a bargaining chip for the release of Mehmet Ali Agca, the man who had tried to assassinate the Pope in St. Peter’s Square in 1981. The men giving these phone messages further claimed that “Mario” and “Pietroluigi” were fellow members of their terrorist group and had planted false leads.
Then, in 2012, Italian officials received another anonymous tip saying that Emanuela’s body had been placced near the corpse of Enroc de Pedis, the murdered head of the Italian gang called the Banda della Magliana.
When police opened up Pedis’ coffin, however, the girl’s body was not there. There was, however, an unidentified body found in the crypt that was determined to be from over a century ago.
That same year, an Italian journalist claimed to have obtained a five-page memo that implicated Church officials in hiding information relating to the girl’s kidnapping, but even he said he was unsure about the document’s authenticity.
Then, the next year, Pope Francis told the girl’s family members that “Emanuela is in Heaven,” bizarrely enough.
Emanuela’s brother, Pietro, told the Pope that he hoped his sister was still alive. After the encounter, Pietro started wondering whether Pope Francis secretly knew his sister’s fate and accidentally let the cat out of the bag. But many thought Pope Francis simply made a bad choice of words because he was speaking off-the-cuff, potentially without fully understanding the situation.
Then, human remains were found last year–but whether or not they were Emanuela’s was unknown:
In late October of 2018, human remains were found at the Vatican’s nunciature, or embassy, to the Italian government — a building outside the walls of Vatican City, but still owned by the Vatican. Even more bones were discovered there in early November.
There was a lot of speculation that at least some of the bones were those of Emanuela, or perhaps Mirella Gregori — another girl who mysteriously went missing in Rome in 1983. But scientific testing indicated that the skeletal remains were male, and dated to about 90–230 A.D.
Naturally, there has been much speculation about how and why Emanuela disappeared.
Among those thought to be responsible for her kidnapping and likely death are Communists, Freemasons and Italian gangsters.
In 2012, Rome’s chief exorcist Fr. Gabriele Amorth (who died in 2016) posited that she was kidnapped and killed in connection to a sex abuse ring. Father Amorth told Italian newspaper La Stampa, “This was a crime with a sexual motive. Parties were organized, with a Vatican gendarme acting as the ‘recruiter’ of the girls.”
Father Amorth continued, “The network involved diplomatic personnel from a foreign embassy to the Holy See. I believe Emanuela ended up a victim of this circle.”