The exhumation of an Italian mobster in Rome has raised questions of the Vatican's involvement in a nearly 30-year-old case involving the missing 15-year-old daughter of a Vatican employee.
Emanuela Orlandi went missing in 1983 while taking a walk from her house to a music lesson in Rome. Orlandi's father was an employee of the Holy See, and some charged that the Vatican had not fully cooperated with the investigation surrounding the missing girl.
Vatican officials however, had denied such allegations, insisting that they had done everything possible.
"Doubt has been raised as to whether Vatican institutions or personalities truly did everything possible to contribute to the search for the truth about what happened," Rev. Federico Lombardi stated in April. "All the Vatican authorities collaborated, with commitment and transparency, with the Italian authorities to deal with the kidnapping in the first phase, and, then, later in the successive investigations."
To further dispel any suspicion and pushed by a new interest to resolve the case, the Vatican has allowed officials to exhume the body of Enrico De Pedis, a reputed Italian mobster. Pedis' one-time girlfriend had previously accused the mobster of kidnapping the young girl, according to The Huffington Post.
Vatican officials at the time did not regard the girlfriend's statement.
In 2005, an anonymous caller reported that the answers to the missing 15-year-old had been buried with Pedis. On Monday, in a literal translation of the report, officials decided to exhume the remains of Pedis, who was killed in 1990.
Pietro Orlandi, brother to the 15-year-old victim, stated that the new initiative suggested a promising new direction for the case.
"I think it's something very positive, both from the point of view of the Vatican and the prosecutors," he told reporters outside of the Basilica.
Speculation has also been raised as to whether Orlandi's death had something to do with the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II; others have suggested a possible sexual assault. Some have also gone as far as to suggest that a huge Italian banking scandal was involved, stating that Archbishop Paul Marcinkus had ordered the girl to be kidnapped. Marcinkus had frequently proclaimed his innocence.