The 1983 disappearance of 15-year-old Emanuela Orlandi is back in the Vatican spotlight as the remains of her reported kidnapper, Enrico De Pedis have been exhumed in hopes of finding her body.
A basilica in Rome was taken over by forensic police on Monday in order to obtain the remains of an Italian mobster. According to The Star, this is being done to try to solve one of the Vatican's greatest mysteries; the disappearance of a Vatican employee's teenage daughter back in 1983.
Samples from the body of Enrico De Pedis were taken, but there were also boxes of old bones near it says the De Pedis family lawyer. Such a claim brings back to life the notion that 15-year-old Emanuela Orlandi could have been buried with him.
Orlandi vanished on her way to a music lesson Rome from her home in Vatican City, and her father was a lay employee of the Holy See.
De Pedis, who was a member of the Roman Magliana mob, was killed back in 1990; his one-time girlfriend supposedly informed prosecutors that Orlandi was kidnapped by De Pedis, and an anonymous 2005 phone call at a call-in indicated that all the answers to the teen's disappearance lay within De Pedis' tomb.
The horrid stench of sewage filled the air surrounding the courtyard of De Pedis' burial ground, Rome's Sant'Apollinare basilica. Medical experts clad in white pant suits and masks worked under a blue tent where the body of De Pedis is said to have been brought for the first tests, to according to the Huffington Post.
At first, the kidnapping of Orlandi was believed to have somehow been related to the assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II two years earlier, as well as the incarceration of Ali Agca, his would-be killer.
Alan Johnston of the BBC, noted that De Pedis' reputation as a "significant figure in Rome's underworld" has an uncommon place to be buried for a mafioso, and some may find it to clash with the honor of being laid to rest in one of Rome's most important churches.
De Pedis' casket will reportedly be moved and buried in another location within the next few days.