The public prosecutor’s office in Rome has opened a new investigation into the mysterious 1983 disappearance of a teenage girl who lived in the Vatican in one of Italy’s most famous legal mysteries, Transalpine media reported on Monday.
Emanuela Orlandi, 15, whose parents worked at the Vatican, was last seen in central Rome on June 22, 1983, after a music lesson.
For forty years, the affair has given rise to countless speculations and has never ceased to fascinate Italians in the wake of conspiracy theories involving the secret services, the Mafia, high Vatican officials or Freemasonry.
The case also inspired the recent hit documentary series “Vatican Girl,” which aired on Netflix.
The family’s lawyer, Laura Scro, told AFP on Monday that she had learned of the opening of the trial from the media and promised that it would be “undoubtedly good news”.
It was the family’s relentless pleas that led the Vatican in January to first reopen its own investigations into its most notorious unsolved case.
After this move, the daily Corriere della Sera assures that “the Rome prosecutor’s office has also formally reopened the investigations of the Orlandi case.”
For years, the Vatican has been accused of stalling investigations, but according to La Repubblica newspaper, its chief prosecutor, Alessandro Titti, and his Romanian counterpart are “cooperating in the case”.
“This is the first time that Italian and Vatican prosecutors are working together to find the truth,” Skro commented.
According to Corriere della Sera, the new investigation is based on the declarations of a former prosecutor, to whom two representatives of the Vatican promised to reveal the whereabouts of the victim’s body.
One of the more popular theories is that the girl was kidnapped by gangs to pressure the Vatican into collecting a debt.
Others say she was abducted to persuade authorities to release from prison Mehmet Ali Akka, a Turkish national who attempted to assassinate John Paul II in 1981.
In the Netflix series, a friend of Emanuela’s says she told him she was molested in the Vatican garden by someone close to Pope John Paul II a week before her disappearance.