Thousands of bones found in Vatican search for missing teen
Published time: 21 Jul, 2019 17:17
Edited time: 22 Jul, 2019 06:53
Experts opening the ossuary at the Teutonic Cemetery © Vatican Media / Handout via Reuters
Thousands of bones have been unearthed by forensic experts from two ossuaries within the Vatican as part of an ongoing search for the remains of a missing Italian teen who disappeared in 1983.
Forensic workers extracted thousands of bones from the burial chambers that are believed to belong to dozens of people on Saturday. The Vatican did not speculate about who the bones may belong to, but a representative for the family of Emanuela Orlandi was present when the extraction took place.
The bones will now undergo DNA testing to establish their identities, and a Vatican representative said it’s impossible to predict how long the analysis will take. However, as Emanuela Orlandi’s brother pointed out, if there are any “recent bones” among the find, “it will be a problem for the Vatican.”
The search for the daughter of a Vatican clerk who went missing 36 years ago has been fraught with peculiar twists and turns. The latest taking place on July 11 when an anonymous sparked a search of tombs where two 19th century princesses were believed to be buried.
However, the tombs were found to be completely empty, with no bones from either Orlandi nor the two princesses, who died in the mid-1800s.
Last week, Vatican officials announced that records show construction work carried out on the cemetery at the end of the 19th century and again about 60 years ago, might have led to the princesses’ bones being moved to the ossuaries located under a trapdoor of the Pontifical Teutonic College, which flanks the graveyard.