The Vatican press office confirmed news reports that human bones had been found during reconstruction work in a building connected to the Vatican Embassy to Italy.
Italian media immediately surmised that the bones could be those of Emanuela Orlandi, the daughter of a Vatican employee who presumably was kidnapped in 1983 at the age of 15. The case has never been solved but has been the subject of speculation for more than 35 years.
In a statement, the Vatican press office said Rome’s chief prosecutor has asked police to carry out a forensic study of the bones to determine “the age, sex and date of death.”
“During some reconstruction work in a building connected to the apostolic nunciature to Italy,” the statement said, “some human bone fragments were found.”
Vatican police were called, and they called “superiors of the Holy See, who immediately informed Italian authorities for the appropriate investigations.”
The nunciature is sovereign Vatican property, so the Italian police enter only when requested to do so.
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Picture: Italian Army and police officers stand in front of the apostolic nunciature to Italy in Rome where workers discovered human bones during a reconstruction project. Italian media immediately raised the possibility that they could be the remains of a Vatican employee’s daughter who was kidnapped 35 years ago at the age of 15. A forensic examination of the bones is underway, the Vatican said. (CNS photo/Stefano Rellandini, Reuters).