Freakish twist in missing teen case as Vatican tombs unsealed

The Vatican said no human findings or funeral urns were found in the tombs

The mystery surrounding the disappearance of an Italian teenager 36 years ago has deepened after two graves at the Vatican thought to possibly hold her remains were discovered to be empty.

The graves at the Teutonic Cemetery were opened based on an anonymous tip the family received last summer, according to CBS News.

The Vatican issued a statement after this morning's work at the cemetery had concluded saying that the "research had given negative results: no human findings or funerary urns were found....the family members of the two Princesses were informed of the results of the research".

Emanuela's disappearance in 1983 is one of the most enduring modern mysteries of the headquarters of the Catholic Church and has been the subject of much speculation by Italian media.

Emanuela Orlandi, a Vatican City resident and the daughter of a Vatican employee, disappeared in Rome in June 1983 when she was 15.

Not only was the body of Emanuela Orlandi not found, but neither were the remains of Princess Carlotta Federica or Princess Sophie von Hohenlohe.

On Thursday, two tombs will be opened in the Teutonic Cemetery inside the Vatican.

Her father Ercole worked as a clerk in the pontiff's household and over the years there have been various investigations into her disappearance, all of which have proved inconclusive.

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"Careful inspection of the tomb of Princess Sophie von Hohenlohe has unearthed a large underground compartment of about 4 meters by 3.70, completely empty", Gisottti said.

He said he might be able to roughly estimate how old the bones inside the graves are, and whether they could belong to someone other than the people officially buried in them.

The Holy See expressed its "attention and closeness to the suffering of the Orlandi Family and in particular to Emanuela's mother", who still lives inside the Vatican. Another claim often repeated in the press was that she was abducted to force the release of Mehmet Ali Agca from prison, who was the Turk who attempted to assassinate Pope John Paul II in 1981. "We are all amazed", Orlandi family lawyer Laura Sgro said Thursday after the fruitless opening of the tombs. Opening the tombs at the family's request was another sign of that concern.

A second, similar grave alongside the first was also opened to rule out any misunderstandings over which grave was meant.

When the family went to visit the site, they noticed that one of the tombs had recently been opened.

And previous year, a bag of bones was found during ground work at the Vatican embassy in Rome, but DNA tests turned out negative.

Professor Arcudi can not predict how long the procedure will take: "It depends, precisely, on the state, quality and quantity of the remains that we will find", he says. There were renovations carried out in the cemetery at the end of the 1800's, and then again in the 1960s and 1970s.

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