Officials say human bone fragments found at the Vatican during digging for a construction project may be connected to one of two girls who vanished 35 years ago.
DNA tests will be done to see if the remains could belong to Emanuela Orlandi or Mirella Gregori, 15-year-old girls who disappeared in 1983.
Rome Chief Prosecutor Giuseppe Pighatone directed the Scientific Police to determine the age and gender of the victim and how long the bones have been there.
The skeletal remains were found Tuesday during renovations of a building attached to the Vatican’s Italian embassy. Officials said they consist of bone from the head and teeth.
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Emanuela’s father worked for the Institute for the Works of Religion, also known as the Vatican Bank. She disappeared after attending a music lesson. Her disappearance has been linked to various conspiracy theories, including organized crime and the attempted assassin of Pope John Paul II in 1981.
The Vatican’s chief exorcist Gabriele Amorth claims Emanuela could be held as a sex slave in the Vatican.
“This was a crime with a sexual motive,” Amorth said. “I believe Emanuela ended up a victim of this circle.”
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Other theories suggest Turkish nationalists kidnapped her and demanded that Italy release Mehmet Ali Agca, who was imprisoned for shooting and wounding the pope. For months, the Orlandi family received phone calls from a man with an American accent saying the Turkish group Grey Wolves kidnapped both girls.
Mirella disappeared a few months before Emanuela after leaving her house in Rome, saying she “had a date” with a former classmate. She was never seen again.
In 2012, police exhumed the body of a reputed mobster from a crypt at the Roman Basilica and found no signs of her body there.