TWO Vatican tombs that were exhumed and opened after an anonymous tip-off in the search for a 15-year-old girl who went missing 36 years ago, are empty.
Emanuela Orlandi's family received a chilling tip-off earlier this year claiming her body lies in the Vatican's Teutonic Cemetery under an angel statue whose hands point down.
A police search was launched after her family demanded the Vatican open the tomb and investigate the records relating to the cemetery.
However, no human remains were found in the tombs, the Vatican said.
In a statement on Thursday, the city-state said: "No human remains or funeral urns were found."Pietro Emanuela's brother Pietro, today in his 60s, has led the 36-year campaign to find out what happened to his beloved sister.
He told CNN ahead of the exhumation: "Until I don't find Emanuela's body, for me it's a duty to look for her alive."
The Vatican has never collaborated with the investigators, with us family members."
If his sister's remains are there, it is "at least part of the truth," he added.
"Then I would like to know the reasons why.
"Even if nothing was to be found, it cannot be the end of the story.
"The Vatican has never collaborated with the investigators, with us family members."
What happened to Emanuela Orlandi?
Emanuela's disappearance has gripped Italy since she vanished in 1983.
Numerous conspiracy theories have swirled including a plot to kill Pope John Paul II, the collapse of a Vatican bank, the Mafia and the intelligence services.
The 15-year-old left her apartment in June of 1983 to go to flute lesson in central Rome and never returned.
Her father worked for the Catholic church as a clerk in the city-state.
In March, her family received an anonymous letter that claimed the schoolgirl was buried in a tomb in the Teutonic Cemetery – which is reserved for German, Austrian, Dutch and Flemish Catholics.
Above the tomb is a statue of an angel which points down towards the ground.
The tip-off said: “Look where the angel is pointing.”
Look where the angel is pointing."
The area became dedicated to German speakers during the 15th century.
According to newspaper Corriere della Sera, tests showed the tomb had been opened at least once in the past.
In a letter to the Vatican, the family’s lawyer Laura Sgrò said: “Some people knew there was a chance Emanuela Orlandi’s body had been hidden in the German cemetery.”
She added that flowers had been left at the tomb regularly “for some years.”
What happened to Emanuela?
- Emanuela, who lived inside the Vatican City, was last seen at a bus stop talking to woman with red hair on June 22, 1983.
- On her way to her lesson, the teenager was stopped by a man in a green BMW who tried to sell her Avon cosmetics.
- Emanuela was so troubled by that encounter that she called one of her sisters.
- She was due to meet another of her siblings after her lesson but never turned up.
FAMILY WANTED POPE INTERVENTION
Lawyer Ms Sgrò previously said: “Seeing as the Pope has decided to open the Vatican archives for the pontificate of Pius XII in 2020, we make an appeal to the pontiff to give us access to the dossier that regards the investigation into the disappearance of Emanuela Orlandi.
“Francis must clarify this deeply shadowy story as well.”
In October last year, her family were given a glimmer of hope when workmen found a skeleton beneath the foundations of the Vatican’s embassy to Italy.
But tests later proved that the remains did not belong to Emanuela.
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In 2012, cops exhumed the body of an alleged Mafioso in the hopes of finding Emanuela’s remains buried in the same crypt, but came up empty handed.
Another theory links her alleged kidnapping to the attempted assaintion of Pope John Paul II in 1981.
It is thought she may have been snatched from the streets of the Vatican to force the release of Mehmet Ali Agca – the Turkish national who tried to murder the Pontiff.
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