Thousands of bones discovered in search for Emanuela Orlandi

epa07729095 A handout picture provided by the Vatican Media shows experts opening the ossuary at the Teutonic Cemetery, to help solve the 36-year-old disappearance of Italian teenager Emanuela Orlandi, in Vatican City, 20 July 2019. Emanuela Orlandi, the daughter of a Vatican worker, disappeared in June 1983 at the age of 15. The Vatican has opened two burial chambers on the day as part of an investigation aimed at resolving the mystery case. EPA-EFE/VATICAN MEDIA HANDOUT HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES

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The Catholic News Agency (CNA) reports that the search for the remains of missing 15-year-old Emanuela Orlandi took another twist as Vatican officials discovered “thousands” of human bones in a previously unknown ossuary on Saturday. It is unclear if any of the bones belong to Orlandi, or how old they are.

On July 11, the Vatican opened two tombs belonging to Princess Sophie von Hohenlohe and Duchess Charlotte Frederica of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, who both died in the mid-19th century. The tombs, located in the cemetery of the Teutonic College, adjacent to the Vatican City State, were found to be completely empty of any human remains. Scientists were initially puzzled by this unforeseen development.

Afterwards, Vatican officials realized that restoration and structural work done in the 1960s and 1970s likely resulted in remains being moved.

Emanuela Orlandi case: Vatican carries new search to solve 1983 mystery
 A handout picture provided by the Vatican Media shows experts opening the ossuary at the Teutonic Cemetery, to help solve the 36-year-old disappearance of Italian teenager Emanuela Orlandi, in Vatican City, 20 July 2019. EPA-EFE/VATICAN MEDIA HANDOUT 

This led to the discovery of two ossuaries underneath the Teutonic College, which held containers of bones. Ossuaries are container, or even rooms, used to store skeletal remains after the rest of the body has decomposed. They are common in areas where underground burial space is limited.

Orlandi’s family think that Emanuela’s remains are possibly in the ossuary.

Giorgio Portera, a forensic expert working with the family, explained that the bones were not sorted, and were mixed together “all piled up inside a cavity.”

 

Via Catholic News Agency

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