Emanuela Orlandi is once again in the news as Italian authorities are reopening the case. The 15-year old girl, who disappeared from Rome, Italy, in 1983, continues to inspire many theories and conspiracy theories.
Background to Emanuela’s Disappearance
Emanuela, the daughter of an employee at Vatican City, was last seen on June 22, 1983 leaving a music lesson in Rome. Since over 40 years, her case has been shrouded in mystery. Theories range from a mafia kidnapping to an attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II.
Renewed Investigation Targets Uncle
Mario Meneguzzi, her uncle, seems to be the new focus of investigation. Recently, the Vatican handed case files over to Rome, which revealed that Meneguzzi played a major role in Emanuela’s disappearance. He was suspected of having ties with the secret services.
The files contained also allegations of sexual abuse by Meneguzzi. Orlandi’s older sister Natalina admitted that their uncle made inappropriate advances toward her.
Reaction of the Orlandi family
Pietro, Emanuela’s brother, has spent years fighting for justice. He is outraged by these new findings. He criticised the authorities for placing the blame on the family and stated that the Vatican had information about Emanuela’s fate.
Meneguzzi’s Role in Orlandi’s Disappearance
Meneguzzi was instrumental in the management of Emanuela’s disappearance. He died in 1999. He was the person who arranged a family attorney, answered the calls of the alleged kidnappers and was the main point person in the ransom negotiations. Investigators suspect him of involvement in the case despite his alibi.
Meneguzzi’s Appearance, Allegations and Claims
Meneguzzi also resembled a sketch depicting a man who was last seen speaking to Emanuela following her music lesson. This similarity has further fuelled the suspicion that Meneguzzi might be directly connected to her disappearance.
Vatican’s role in the Orlandi Case
Vatican silence over Orlandi has been criticized for decades. The Vatican is accused of obstructing an investigation. The Vatican began its investigation into the case in January 2023. Rome prosecutors launched their new investigation in May. This is the third official probe into Emanuela’s disappearance.
Prior Investigations and Findings
A series of unfortunate leads led to the discovery that two tombs, which were exhumed by the Vatican in July 2019 in search of Emanuela’s remains, were empty. In November 2018, bones found in the nunciature of the Vatican in Italy’s annex did not belong either to Emanuela, or Mirella Gregoryi, a girl who disappeared a month prior to Emanuela.
Netflix Documentary “Vatican Girl”, Orlandi’s Case
Netflix’s 2022 series “Vatican Girl” explored the theories and clues that surround the disappearance of Emanuela. The series didn’t explore the possibility of Meneguzzi being involved.
The Documentary Uncovers Secrets
A friend claimed that Emanuela confided in her about being harassed just one week before she vanished by someone with a close connection to Pope John Paul.
It remains to be determined whether or not the truth behind Emanuela Orlandi’s disappearance can be finally revealed.