Exhumation intensifies Vatican mystery

Exhumation intensifies Vatican mystery

ROME - Agence France-Presse
Exhumation intensifies Vatican mystery

Pietro Orlandi, the brother of the missing girl, arrives at Sant’ Apollinare Basilica. AP photo

The tomb of an Italian gangster in a Roman church was exhumed on May 14 in search of clues on the disappearance of a Vatican employee’s daughter in a conspiracy-filled inquiry that has gripped Italy.

Enrico de Pedis, the leader of the Magliana gang which terrified Rome in the 1970s and 1980s, was killed in 1990 and buried in a basilica, a rare privilege seen as due to his dubious Vatican financial connections.

Emanuela Orlandi, whose father worked in the Vatican prefecture, disappeared on June 22, 1983, at the age of 15 and her fate has remained a mystery which conspiracy theorists have linked to a settling of accounts in the Vatican.

De Pedis’s mistress claimed he was involved in the kidnapping and murder of Orlandi and an anonymous caller on a television chat show in 2005 made the claim that the gangster’s tomb contained clues about Orlandi. Officials said that preliminary tests had shown the coffin contained only the remains of De Pedis, Italian media reported, but it appears this will do little to dampen the air of intrigue on the case. “Today is an important step towards resolving this mystery that has lasted for years,” Orlandi’s brother Pietro said.
“I hope this is the start of a cooperation between magistrates and the Vatican to find out the truth,” he said. The Vatican gave the go-ahead for the exhumation of the coffin, which is in the Sant’Apollinare basilica that is controlled directly by the Vatican, and the mafia boss will now be buried in a cemetery in Rome.