Mobster's Tomb Opened in Quest to Solve Vatican Mystery

Bones removed from Roman basilica in search for missing teen
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 15, 2012 5:00 AM CDT
Mobster's Tomb Opened in Quest to Solve Vatican Mystery
Italian teenager Emanuela Orlandi, the daughter of a Vatican employee, is believed to have been kidnapped after a music lesson in Rome on June 22, 1983.   (AP Photo, File)

Italian cops cracked open the jewel-encrusted tomb of a murdered mob boss yesterday in a bid to solve the 1983 disappearance of a Vatican employee's teenage daughter. Experts opened the casket of Enrico de Pedis inside the crypt of a prestigious Roman basilica and discovered that he was the only one inside it, although boxes of old bones from the nearby ossuary were removed for testing, AP reports.

Police had received a tip that 15-year-old Emanuela Orlandi, daughter of a Vatican bank functionary, had been buried with the mobster after he was gunned down in 1990. She disappeared without a trace on her way to a music lesson, and the mystery has fueled many conspiracy theories. The Vatican issued a statement last month insisting that officials had done everything possible to help solve the case. Orlandi's brother says the move to exhume the tomb is a positive step that shows that the Vatican is now willing to cooperate. (More Enrico de Pedis stories.)

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