VATICAN CITY. – The family of a teenager who went missing in Italy in 1983 called Wednesday on the Vatican to provide more details on the discovery of human remains in one of its properties.
The bones were uncovered on Monday by builders refurbishing a building owned by the Vatican in Rome, the Holy See said, in a potential breakthrough for police investigating one of Italy’s darkest mysteries.
Since the grisly find, Italian media have been rife with speculation that they could shed light on the fate of one or possibly two teenagers who went missing in the 1980s.
“We will ask Rome prosecutors and the Holy See how the bones were found and why their discovery has been linked to the disappearance of Emanuela Orlandi or Mirella Gregori,” the Orlandi’s family lawyer, Laura Sgro, told the media.
The statement released by the Holy See on Tuesday “provides hardly any information,” she said.
Sgro was speaking on behalf of the family, which she said would not comment until DNA tests had been performed.
The remains were discovered in a building in the leafy grounds of the Holy See’s embassy to Italy.
The property had been left to the Vatican in 1949 by a Jewish businessman who belonged to the Fascist party before the introduction of racial laws in Italy, and later converted to Catholicism, according to Italian media.
Builders found a near-complete skeleton in one spot and fragments of bones in another, the Repubblica daily said.
The Vatican’s statement on Tuesday made no reference to either Orlandi or Gregori.
Both girls were underage when they went missing separately in Rome in 1983.
Orlandi was the daughter of a member of the Vatican’s police, and was last seen on June 22, 1983 when leaving a music class.
Theories have circulated that the then 15-year-old was kidnapped by an organised crime gang to put pressure on Vatican officials to recover a loan.
Another claim was that she was taken to force the release from prison of Mehmet Ali Agca, the Turk who attempted to assassinate Pope Jean Paul II in 1981. – AFP