Vatican City experienced one of its most significant tragedies on June 22, 1983, when 15-year-old Emanuela Orlandi disappeared on her way home from a flute lesson. While police initially believed she had fled, they eventually launched an investigation, but there was no news of the missing teenager. Over time, the issue became international, with theories linking it to other incidents including the assassination attempt on the pope, a banking scandal and even a mafia dispute. As the disappearance and its theories are meticulously explored in Netflix’s ‘Vatican Girl: The Disappearance Of Emanuela Orlandi,’ let’s find out if she’s been found, shall we?
What happened to Emanuela Orlandi?
Emanuela Orlandi was a 15-year-old girl who lived with her parents and four other siblings in Vatican City. Described as a lively and cheerful girl, Emanuela was fun-loving like any ordinary teenager and was very popular among her friends. She even shared a deep bond with her family members and was known to have high aspirations for her future. Reports claim that their family was quite well known in their neighborhood since his father worked as a clerk in the Vatican ministry. So, Emanuela’s disappearance was even more shocking as no one knew why anyone would want to hurt the 15-year-old.
As Emanuela was a music class student at the Tommaso Ludovico Da Victoria school, she decided to attend his flute class on June 22, 1983. Her brother, Pietro, later revealed that his sister had asked her to do so. drop off in class, but Pietro couldn’t because he had a prior engagement. Thus, Emanuela left alone, and her family had no idea that they would never see the teenager again. It is said that once Emanuela finished her music lesson, she called her mother to inform her that a man, claiming to be a representative of the Avon company, had approached her with an opportunity to find work. in the cosmetics industry. As the teenager seemed excited about the opportunity, she was asked to go home and discuss it before giving an answer. However, that was the last time Emanuela’s family spoke to her, as she disappeared soon after and never returned home.
Worried and anxious, Emanuela’s family went to the police, but authorities appeared to believe she had fled. Still, they registered a missing person case and opened an investigation, but to no avail. Police scoured local areas and even posted posters of the missing teenager in the area. They even went door to door looking for witnesses and interviewed several acquaintances of Emanuela. Yet, since Emanuela was known to be friendly to everyone she met, no immediate suspects came to mind. Unfortunately, with no leads or witnesses, the progress of the case was reduced to a crawl, and the authorities found themselves back at square one.
Once Emanuela’s family posted posters and released her phone number, she began to receive many calls, most of which turned out to be dead ends. Yet two callers mentioned seeing a girl named Barbara selling cosmetics near the Tommaso Ludovico Da Victoria school. One of the callers even said Barbara regretted not attending her school concert, and that seemed like a viable lead since Emanuela had missed a concert shortly after the disappearance. Still, the tip got nowhere and Emanuela was left missing.
Has Emanuela Orlandi been found or has she disappeared? Is she dead or alive?
Sadly, Emanuela remains missing to this day, making her current status a mystery. However, his brother, Pietro, refuses to give up and is determined to get to the bottom of it. Things got weird once Pope addressed the issue and mentioned how Emanuela was taken away from her parents. He even said he hoped the teenager would be sent home, leading people to believe the Vatican administration knew something about the disappearance.
Over the years, there have been several theories as to why or how Emanuela disappeared. One of the theories mentioned that she was kidnapped by the same men who sent Mehmet Ali Acga to assassinate the Pope in 1981. The men were even said to have demanded Mehmet’s release in exchange for Emanuela, although Mehmet himself condemned the incident. Eventually, Mehmet spoke up and claimed that he did not belong to a terrorist group but rather was trained by the KGB. Since Emanuela’s alleged abduction did not appear to involve the KGB, this theory was discarded.
Emanuela’s family even received a phone call from someone claiming to be an American and alleging that he planned to kidnap the teenager in order to free Mehmet. The man, who was later identified as Marco Accetti, played the teenager’s voice to Emanuela’s family and even insisted he had kidnapped Mirella Gregori, a girl who had been missing for 40 days before Emanuela’s disappearance. However, further investigation revealed multiple holes in Marco’s account and the police hit another dead end.
Nevertheless, the most prominent theories seemed to be the one involving the Mafia, as it claimed that Emanuela had been kidnapped by organized crime boss Enrico De Pedis, who wanted to pressure the Vatican banks into paying him money. money they owed him. Although Enrico, who was a member of the Banda Della Magliana, breathed his last in 1990, his girlfriend, Sabrina Minardi, claimed she spotted Emanuela being held against her will by the mafia. Sabrina even mentioned that after having kept the teenager captive for about ten days, Enrico asked her to drop her off at a place, and a man, who looked like a priest, put the teenager in his car before leave.
About 37 years after the disappearance, one of Emanuela’s friends has come forward and claimed the teenager was the victim of an alleged sexual assault at the hands of a papal ally shortly before his disappearance. This is where things get mysterious as the show mentions a leaked Vatican file, which claimed that the Vatican administration spent a significant amount of money on Emanuela Orlandi. Moreover, the money was spent in London, which indicates that the teenager was transferred to a convent there. Still, a note about expenses for his return to Vatican City deepened the mystery.
Although Emanuela’s family never believed she was dead, reports claimed that after he was elected in 2013, Pope Francis mentioned that Emanuela was in heaven. While this raised suspicions with the Vatican administration, a letter, from an unnamed source, in 2019 insisted the teenager was buried under the sculpture of an angel with arms pointing downwards. One such grave was located and police even found bone fragments inside, but they did not match the missing teenager. Since then, the Vatican administration has remained silent on the matter, although Pietro, as well as the public, believe they know much more than they are letting on. Pietro doesn’t want to stop either and is determined to find out what happened to his sister.
Read more: Mirella Gregori: Found or missing? Is she dead or alive?