Italian authorities are investigating the possible involvement of an uncle in the disappearance of a schoolgirl who ‘disappeared’ 40 years ago.
Emanuela Orlandi, the 15-year-old daughter of a Vatican employee, was last seen leaving a music class in Rome on June 22, 1983.
His disappearance was linked to everything from a gangster kidnapping to an attempt on the life of Pope John Paul II to a financial scandal involving the Vatican bank.
But Rome prosecutors are now investigating the possible involvement of his uncle Mario Meneguzzi, who allegedly sexually abused his older sister following a tip from the Vatican, according to Italian media.
It comes after the city-state handed over its case files to Rome in June, saying they included “some lines of inquiry worthy of further investigation.”
Emanuela Orlandi (pictured), the 15-year-old daughter of a Vatican employee, was last seen leaving a music class in Rome on June 22, 1983.
But Rome prosecutors are now investigating the possible involvement of his uncle Mario Meneguzzi (pictured), who allegedly sexually abused his older sister.
The files include a letter in which a priest told the Vatican secretary of state that Orlandi’s older sister, Natalina, had revealed during the confession that her uncle, Mario Meneguzzi, had sexually abused her, according to the television channel. Italian The 7.
But Orlandi’s brother Pietro, who for years has campaigned for the truth and believes the Vatican knows what happened to Emanuela, reacted angrily to the La 7 report.
He told the AdnKronos news agency: ‘They can’t put everything in the family. I’m furious’ and he claimed the authorities had ‘crossed the line’ by blaming his uncle.
Meanwhile, Natalina told a press conference on Tuesday that while her uncle had ‘prompted’ towards her, he stopped after being turned down. “There was no rape,” she said.
Orlandi said that the alibi of his uncle, who was on holiday away from Rome at the time, had been established and verified.
“The Vatican is trying to deny any form of responsibility,” he said, renewing his call for a parliamentary commission to be set up.
His disappearance was linked to everything from a mob kidnapping to an attempt on the life of Pope John II, to a financial scandal involving the Vatican bank.
But Orlandi’s brother Pietro (pictured), who for years has campaigned for the truth and believes the Vatican knows what happened to Emanuela, reacted angrily to the La 7 report.
Meneguzzi, who died several years ago, looked remarkably similar to a drawing of a man seen talking to Emanuela on the street after her music lesson, La 7 said.
He also played a key role in the months after her disappearance, answering calls from the alleged kidnappers, according to the report.
Meneguzzi had ties to the secret service and managed to get a family lawyer to pay, La 7 added.
During the first, brief investigation into him, the service also warned him that he was being followed by police, he said.
Meneguzzi told investigators at the time that he was out of Rome the day the teenager disappeared, in the town of Torano, east of the capital, along with several relatives, including Emanuela’s father, Ercole, according to the online newspaper. Open.
But Ercole Orlandi told investigators on several occasions that he was not in Torano that day, but in Fiumicino, west of Rome, Open said.
Investigative reporter for Corriere della Sera, Fabrizio Peronaci, said Tuesday he had also uncovered information that the hijackers had insisted from the start that Meneguzzi be their point person for ransom negotiations.
A poster announcing the disappearance of Emanuela Orlandi, the daughter of a Vatican employee
The Vatican has been accused of obstructing investigative efforts for decades, but it finally launched an investigation into its most famous cold case in January. Rome prosecutors opened their own new investigation in May, the third so far.
In July 2019, the tombs of two princesses in the Vatican’s Teutonic Cemetery, opened in search of Orlandi’s body, were found empty.
In late November 2018, Rome prosecutors said that bones found in an annex of the Vatican nunciature in Italy do not belong to Orlandi or the other girl, Mirella Gregori, who disappeared a month before Orlandi went missing.
The twists and turns of the case were documented in a 2022 Netflix TV series, “Vatican Girl,” though it did not focus on Meneguzzi.
In the documentary, a friend claimed that the teenager confided in him the week before she disappeared that she had been harassed in the Vatican gardens by a figure close to Pope John Paul II.
Another often-repeated claim in the Italian media is that she was kidnapped to force the release from prison of Mehmet Ali Agca, the Turk who tried to assassinate Pope John Paul II in 1981.