Vatican To Open Tombs To Help Solve 36-Year-Old Murder

The Vatican will open two tombs in a bid to solve the 36-year-old mystery over the disappearance of a teenage girl.

Emanuela Orlandi, 15, went missing in 1983 and has been the subject of wild speculation in Italy.

Orlandi was the daughter of a clerk of the Holy See, and her disappearance has been a modern mystery in the Catholic Church.

Emanuela Orlandi. Photo: AAP

Unproven theories over the decades have run the gamut from an attempt to secure the freedom of a gunman jailed for trying to assassinate Pope John Paul II, to a connection to the grave of Enrico De Pedis, a mobster buried in a Rome basilica. His tomb was opened in 2012 but nothing was revealed.

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The decision to open the tombs comes after the family received an anonymous letter, claiming her bones had been buried inside the Vatican's Teutonic Cemetery.

The cemetery is a small burial ground in the Vatican used for centuries to bury  church figures of mainly German or Austrian origin.

St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City, Rome. Photo: Getty

Over the decades, police have maintained since her suspected murder could be unrelated to the church, or she could have been abducted for human trafficking.

Last year bones were found at the Vatican embassy in Rome, with Italian media suggesting they belonged to Orlandi. DNA tests returned negative.

Flashmob in front of the basilica of S. Apollinare in Rome, Italy on June 22, 2019 to remember Emanuela Orlandi. Photo: AAP

The Vatican said in a statement the tombs will be opened on July 11, with representative of the Orlandi family present.

The Orlandi's lawyer, Laura Sgro, said the family was grateful for the Vatican's decision to open the tombs.

With Reuters.