However, no human remains were found in the Vatican graves.
There are no human remains, no coffins, no urns and no bones in the two 19th century graves in the Teutonic Cemetery inside the Vatican where forensic experts were searching for the remains of Emanuela Orlandi.
A statement by the Holy See Press Office on Thursday confirmed that the operations at the Teutonic Cemetery to verify the hypothesis of the presence of human remains attributable to Emanuela Orlandi ended at 11.15 a.m. and have yielded negative results.
The statement said that investigations were carried out by staff of the Fabbrica di San Pietro in the presence of the Orlandi family's lawyer, and Emanuela's brother.
Vatican justice and police authorities were also present.
Two empty tombs
“A careful inspection of the tomb of Princess Sophie von Hohenlohe brought to light a large underground space of about 4 meters by 3.70 that is completely empty. Subsequently, the second tomb, that of Princess Charlotte Federica of Mecklemburg was opened. No human remains were found inside. The relatives of the two Princesses were informed of the outcome of the search,” Gisotti said.
The Press Office director informed the press that ulterior investigations are underway regarding structural interventions that took place in the cemetery area in two different periods: at the end of the 19th century and between the ‘60s and ‘70s in the 20th century.
Gisotti highlighted how the Holy See has always shown sensitivity and closeness to the suffering of the Orlandi Family, in particular to Emanuela's mother. This sensitivity, he said, is demonstrated yet again on this occasion, by accepting the specific request of the family to go ahead with digging operations in the Vatican’s Teutonic Cemetery.
In an earlier statement, Gisotti said that operations to open the grave were preceded by a prayer.
Edited from a report by Linda Bordoni for Vatican News.va