On Monday, the Vatican announced they will be reopening the case of the missing teen, Emanuela Orlandi.

This case has been the subject of much speculation and conspiracy theories since the girl’s disappearance in the 1980s.

The director of the Holy See Press Office, Matteo Bruni, shared in a statement that the decision to reopen the case was partly due to requests from the Orlandi family. The prosecutor for the Vatican, Alessandro Diddi, has also confirmed the decision.

Emanuela Orlandi, the 15-year-old daughter of an envoy of the Prefecture of the Pontifical House and a citizen of Vatican City State, went missing on June 22, 1983 after leaving for a music lesson in Rome.

In April 2020, the case had been officially closed by a Vatican judge. The case had been reopened the previous year after the Orlandi family received a tip that her remains could be in a Vatican cemetery.

This led to the opening of two tombs in the cemetery of the Teutonic College, which sits on Vatican-owned property. These graves were found to be empty. But in an unexpected twist, officials found “thousands” of human bones in a previously unknown ossuary nearby.

However, scientific tests on bone fragments conducted in July 2019 revealed that the bones were too old to be Orlandi’s remains.

The Vatican has not provided any further information on the reasoning behind reopening the case.

Soon after Emanuela Orlandi disappeared in 1983, Pope Saint John Paul II made an appeal for those responsible for her disappearance to come forward.
Her family then began receiving calls from people claiming to be associated with Turkish nationalist groups, who said they had kidnapped Orlandi as a bargaining chip to secure the release of Mehmet Ali Ağca, who attempted to assassinate Pope John Paul II.

Some media have speculated that the Italian mafia or a cleric within the Vatican might have been involved in her disappearance. The Vatican denies having any role in the case.

Orlandi family lawyer Lauro Sgr told the Wall Street Journal: “We are happy and we trust there will be a careful and in-depth investigation. We need to deliver the truth to the family.”

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