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Catholic News Agency

By Phil Lawler, Catholic Culture, July 15, 2019

Just a few days after announcing that excavations inside the Vatican yielded no evidence to shed light on the disappearance of Emanuela Orlandi, the Vatican has now said that some human remains were found, and the investigation will continue. What’s going on here?

The short answer: in all probability, not much. Not much, that is, of interest to anyone but historians and archeologists.

Last week I wrote about the Vatican’s remarkable decision to open tombs in the Teutonic Cemetery, responding to a rumor that the teenage girl who disappeared in 1983 might be buried there. Since no hard evidence about Emanuela Orlandi’s fate has ever come to public light, I was amazed that the Vatican would—after all these years—take the rumor seriously enough to dig up the remains of two German princesses. Did the Vatican have some information that hasn’t become public? It seems likely. We may never know.

However, the excavations conducted on July 11 produced no evidence about the Orlandi case. Instead they introduced another mystery: the remains of those two princesses, buried in the 19th century, were also missing!