Vatican reopens cold case of employee’s missing teen daughter


(NewsNation) — The Vatican has reopened the investigation into the 1983 disappearance of the 15-year-old daughter of a Vatican employee, months after a new Netflix documentary purported to shed new light on the case and weeks after her family asked the Italian Parliament to take up the cause.

The Vatican prosecutor, Alessandro Diddi, opened a file on Emanuela Orlandi’s disappearance based in part “on the requests made by the family in various places,” said Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni.

Emanuela Orlandi vanished on June 22, 1983, after leaving her family’s Vatican City apartment to go to a music lesson in Rome. Her father was a lay employee of the Holy See.

Her disappearance has been one of the Vatican’s enduring mysteries, and over the years has been linked to everything from the plot to kill Pope John Paul II to a financial scandal involving the Vatican Bank to Rome’s criminal underworld.

The recent four-part Netflix documentary “Vatican Girl” explored those scenarios and also provided new testimony from a friend who said Emanuela had told her a week before she disappeared that a high-ranking Vatican cleric had made sexual advances toward her.

According to Doug Bishop, a cold case expert, the family has pushed to build awareness around the case since Orlandi’s disappearance, and the Netflix documentary piqued interest.

“Now, the only new information that is going to come from this is going to be from the Vatican. The Vatican is the only investigative resource connected to this case, (that) has never opened their files to the public,” Bishop said. “So, if there is missing information or information that does exist, they’re going to be the ones that have it.”

While the case has been open for 40 years, Bishop said there’s still a lot of evidence that can be obtained, especially if they’re able to find Orlandi’s remains.

“I think the biggest part of this is that this is a Vatican-investigated case … we’re talking about one of the largest entities, most private entities in existence,” Bishop said.

“So, they’re going to be the clue holders, in this case. And hopefully, what this represents is new hope for the family and an international community who has been following this case for four decades.”

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