November 23, 2018 / 1:48 PM / a month ago

Vatican embassy bones were not from missing girl - source

FILE PHOTO: Italian Army members and police stand in front of Holy See Embassy to Italy where workers had discovered human bones in Rome, Italy, October 31, 2018. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini/File Photo

ROME (Reuters) - Human bones found at the Vatican’s embassy in Rome belong to a male who died more than 50 years ago, a judicial source said, dispelling speculation they might solve one of Italy’s most enduring mysteries: the 1980s vanishing of two teenage girls.

An almost complete skeleton and other bone fragments were unearthed last month during work on an annex to the Holy See’s imposing embassy compound near Rome’s famous Villa Borghese museum.

The discovery sparked media stories suggesting the remains might belong to Emanuela Orlandi, the 15-year-old daughter of a Vatican employee who vanished in 1983, or to Mirella Gregori, another Rome teenager who disappeared the same year.

However, the judicial source said DNA testing showed the bones were male, while carbon dating showed they predated 1964.

The mystery surrounding Orlandi’s fate has bedevilled Italians for decades, with that of Gregori thought linked to it.

Orlandi’s disappearance was initially connected to a possible attempt by unknown persons to win freedom for Mehmet Ali Agca, the Turkish gunman who shot Pope John Paul II in 1981 and was then serving a life sentence in an Italian jail.

In 2005, an anonymous caller to a television talk show said the secret to her kidnap was buried along with Enrico “Renatino” De Pedis, a mobster who once led the feared Magliana gang which terrorised Rome in the 1980s.

Police eventually opened his tomb in a Rome basilica in 2012 looking for clues but came up empty handed.

A Vatican exorcist, Gabriele Amorth, once alleged that he had discovered during his exorcism work that she had been seized by Vatican insiders and used as a sex slave.

Reporting by Domenico Lusi; Writing by Crispian Balmer

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