When two people come together to make a family in love, peace, and unity, they are aware of all the things that could go wrong but only pray and hope the thorns in the roses do not come up to bruise them.

It’s like the evil that hovers over your head which you pray never falls on you. Sometimes families scale through happily. Other times, sad things happen – just like it did with the Orlandis. 

There was a missing child, with no trace whatsoever and no clue as to what might have happened for over three decades.

This is the case of the Orlandis, who lost their 15-year-old daughter many years ago. What’s worse?

There has been no closure for the family as noone knows what happened to her, neither has there been any leadings to her disappearance. 

If you continue reading, you will get first-hand knowledge about the disturbing story and disappearance of Emanuela Orlandi. But be careful now; you might get emotional on this one.


10 /10 Who Was Emanuela Orlandi?

Emanuela Orlandi was an average girl who grew up within the walls of the Vatican. Born January 14, 1968, Orlandi was her parents’ second youngest child (she was the fourth child of five children).

A student at Liceo scientific high school in Rome, at her disappearance, she played the flute. She also belonged to the choir of Saint Anna dei Palafrenieri, located in the Vatican.

On June 22, 1983, 15-year-old Emanuela disappeared on her way back from flute practice, and not a word has been heard from her ever since.

9 /10 Growing Up In The Vatican

According to Pietro Orlandi, Emanuela’s elder brother, growing up in Vatican City was every child’s dream – they had only happy memories.

They lived everyday life in a close-knit community. Their father, Ercole Orlandi, either worked in the Vatican as a clerk of the Vatican Bank or as an employee of the papal household. 

Due to Mr. Ercole’s position in the papal household, his children had free access to the Vatican Gardens. They had pretty enviable relations with Pope John Paul II. There are pictures of the family and the former Pope together.

8 /10 About 37 Years Ago

June 22, 1983, Emanuela set out for flute lessons at the Tommaso Ludovico Da Victoria School, as was her routine. According to her brother Pietro, she had asked him to give her a ride that faithful day.

However, he refused (he still blames himself, sadly). After lessons, Emanuela had a phone conversation with her sister about a job offer to market Avon Cosmetics – a proposal which her sister advised her to speak to their parents about.  

She was allegedly seen entering a dark BMW later that day after a friend reported leaving her at the bus stop, from where she rode the bus home every other day after music lessons.

7 /10 Rays Of Hope?

In 2019, the Orlandis received a letter with a cryptic message, simply asking them to “look where the angel is pointing.”

The letter contained a sculpted angel image found in the pontifical Teutonic cemetery locked away within the Vatican, guarded and out of bounds for tourists and everyone.  

Hoping this to be the breakthrough they sort for 36 years; the Orlandis campaigned to the Vatican to have two tombs in the cemetery exhumed. Their wish was granted.

Wikimedia Commons

6 /10 Opening Of Tombs

Following the letter in 2019, two tombs in the Teutonic cemetery were exhumed in the presence of a forensic expert hired by Orlandis. To the greatest dismay of many, it was empty.

It had neither Emanuela’s remains nor those of the two german princesses said to have been buried there. Two ossuaries were also found in the search, and the bones found there were examined. 

In 2012, the Italian Police received a tip that the answers to Emanuela’s disappearance are in the tomb of mobster Enrico De Pedis. This sadly led to a dead end with no possible lead.

Nonetheless, questions remain as to why a mobster was buried inside a significant church in Rome – the Church of Sant’Apollinare.

Senderistas / Shutterstock.com

5 /10 What Connects Emanuela Orlandi And Agca?

July 3 of the same year of Emanuela’s disappearance, the Pope made a public appeal to the captors of Emanuela for her release.

A couple of days after that, her family received a call from someone who claimed Emanuela was in the hands of a Turkish terrorist group and would only be released for the exchange of Agca – a member of the group who was in police custody for attempting to assassinate the Pope.

There were other calls after this (from the man whom locals termed The American), all of which proved futile. Agca was, however, later released in 2006 after being pardoned for his life imprisonment sentence.


4 /10 What Does The Holy See Know That It Isn't Saying?

Accusing fingers seem to be pointing to the Vatican, alleging that the Holy See might be involved in Emanuela’s disappearance.

According to Pietro, the Vatican’s stance for the many years Emanuela has been missing is characterized by non-collaboration, hostility, and secrecy. 

According to investigative journalist, FiorenzaSarzanini, the Vatican only approved the exhumations to finally an end to the claims that the Vatican is hiding their knowledge or involvement in the case.

She believes that they knew nothing would be found in the tombs.

Maciej Matlak / Shutterstock.com

3 /10 Accusing The Vatican

Following the Holy See’s alleged nonchalance about the case, exorcist Father Gabriele Amorth in 2011 claimed that Emanuela’s kidnapping was linked to the Vatican somehow.

According to Father Gabriele, Emanuela’s kidnapper was a member of the Vatican police; she was kidnapped for sex parties but was later murdered (to cover their tracks, maybe?).

In 2017, an Italian journalist released a document that claimed that the Holy See was involved in the disappearance. However, the Vatican dismissed this as false.

2 /10 Disheartening Speculations

The last thing the family of a missing person wants is to have their hopes raised and then squashed over and over.

Undoubtedly, the Orlandi family has been through a roller coaster of emotional and psychologically traumatic experiences following the disappearance of Emanuela Orlandi.

This was fueled by the numerous prank calls and false gotten during the period of her disappearance.  

Various people called the Orlandi family, claiming to have seen a girl who fit the description of Emanuela.

Espousing multiple theories, some claimed she had a haircut and went by the alias Barbra; others claimed she had told them she willingly fled home – an idea her family vehemently discredited.

1 /10 The Orlandis In Recent Times

Right now, things seem to have come to a dead-end for investigators and Emanuela’s family alike, with no concrete leads or evidence leading anywhere.

With Emanuela’s father dead (he died in 2004) and a lot of water passed under the bridge, the Orlandis can only pray that their daughter and sister, whose life abruptly came to an end at age 15, gets to be happy wherever she is. 

And if there is any hope that she may be alive somewhere in this world, then chances are they would do anything to know this and even go the extra mile to have her back.

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