At Vatican, empty tombs add new twist to missing girl mystery
The Vatican opened two tombs on Thursday to see if the body of a girl missing since 1983 was hidden there and ran into a new mystery when nothing was found, not even the bones of two 19th century princesses supposed to be buried there.
Experts were looking for the remains of Emanuela Orlandi, the daughter of a Vatican clerk who failed to return home following a music lesson in Rome. Her disappearance has been the subject of wild speculation in the Italian media for years.
Exhumation work began after a morning prayer in the Teutonic Cemetery, a burial ground just inside the Vatican walls used over the centuries mainly for Church figures or members of noble families of German or Austrian origin.
Officials were expecting to find at least the bones of Princess Sophie von Hohenlohe, who died in 1836, and Princess Carlotta Federica of Mecklenburg, who died in 1840, but there was no trace of either.
"The result of the search was negative. No human remains or funeral urns were found," Vatican spokesman Alessandro Gisotti said.
11th July 2019