Ex­pert: Vat­i­can space holds bones of dozens

Antelope Valley Press (Sunday) - - Second Front - By FRANCES D’EMILIO

VAT­I­CAN CITY — A ge­net­ics ex­pert re­tained by the fam­ily of a girl who went miss­ing in 1983 said Satur­day an un­der­ground space near a Vat­i­can ceme­tery holds thou­sands of bones from dozens of in­di­vid­u­als, both “adult and non-adult.”

The ex­pert, Giorgio Portera, said the “enor­mous” size of the col­lec­tion un­der the Teu­tonic Col­lege was re­vealed when Vat­i­can-ap­pointed ex­perts be­gan cat­a­logu­ing the re­mains, which were dis­cov­ered last week .

“We want to know why and how” the bones ended up there, Portera said. Frag­ments were also found, com­pli­cat­ing the foren­sic ex­perts’ work, he said.

Portera is work­ing for the fam­ily of Emanuela Or­landi, a Vat­i­can cit­i­zen who van­ished at 15 af­ter she left her fam­ily’s Vat­i­can City apart­ment for a mu­sic les­son in Rome. Some have the­o­rized the girl was kid­napped in a ran­som bid to win free­dom for the Turk­ish gun­man who wounded Pope John Paul II in St. Peter’s Square in 1981.

A Vat­i­can state­ment Satur­day made no men­tion of the num­ber of re­mains in the newly dis­cov­ered space near the Teu­tonic Ceme­tery but said the foren­sic work would re­sume on July 27.

Or­landi’s fam­ily pre­vi­ously re­ceived an anony­mous tip to search near the 19th-cen­tury tombs of two Ger­man princesses in the tiny grave­yard.

But when the Vat­i­can opened the tombs re­cently at the fam­ily’s re­quest, they were empty.

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