The Vatican on Tuesday said workers have discovered human bones at one of its properties and the police are investigating the matter, reported AFP.
“During restoration works in a space annexed to the Apostolic Nunciature of Italy... fragments of human bone were found,” the Vatican said in a statement referring to the diplomatic office of the Holy See in Rome.
The statement said chief prosecutor Giuseppe Pignatone was heading the investigation. Forensic specialists have been asked to determine the “age, sex and date of death” of the body, according to Reuters.
Italian media reports said forensic scientists were examining if the remains might be those of Emanuela Orlandi, the 15-year-old daughter of a member of the Vatican police who disappeared in 1983. Police are also checking if the remains belong to Mirella Gregori, another 15-year-old who had disappeared in Rome 40 days before Orlandi.
Orlandi’s disappearance was widely linked to organised crime or to an attempt to force the release of Mehmet Ali Agca, a Turkish man who had tried to assassinate Pope John Paul II in 1981, according to BBC.
Orlandi’s brother Pietro has campaigned for decades to find out what happened to her and has accused the Vatican of remaining silent.
The Vatican statement, however, made no mention of Orlandi. Investigators have not ruled out that the disappearance of Orlandi and Gregori could be connected.