Vatican reopens investigation into missing teenager after Netflix documentary

The Vatican has reopened an investigation into the disappearance of the 15-year-old daughter of an employee in 1983 - months after a Netflix documentary shed fresh light on the case.

Just weeks ago, her family once again asked the Italian Parliament to take up the cause, and now Vatican prosecutor, Alessandro Diddi, has opened a file on Emanuela Orlandi's disappearance.

The case has been reopened, in part, based "on the requests made by the family in various places", Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said.

A lawyer for the Orlandi family, Laura Sgro, said she had no independent confirmation of the development, which was first reported by Italian news agencies Adnkronos, LaPresse and Ansa.

She said her last Vatican filing on the case came in 2019.

Emanuela Orlandi vanished on 22 June 1983 after leaving her family's apartment in Vatican City to attend a music lesson in Rome. Her father was a lay employee of the Holy See.

Her disappearance has been one of the Vatican's most enduring mysteries in recent years and, over time, has been linked to the plot to kill St John Paul II, a financial scandal involving the Vatican bank and Rome's criminal underworld.

In 2019 the family thought they may have located her remains after bones were discovered in in the tombs of two 19th-century German princesses.

However, an investigation concluded that the remains were too old to belong to Ms Orlandi.

The recent four-part Netflix documentary Vatican Girl explored those scenarios and provided new evidence from a friend who said Ms Orlandi had told her a week before she disappeared that a high-ranking Vatican cleric had made sexual advances towards her.

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Last month, Ms Sgro and Ms Orlandi's brother Pietro announced a new initiative to convene a parliamentary commission of inquest into the case.

Three previous initiatives in the Italian Parliament have failed to get off the ground, but Ms Sgro and opposition politician Carlo Calenda argued the Vatican could not consider the case closed when so many questions remain unanswered.

Speaking to RaiNews24 on Monday, Pietro Orlandi called it a "positive step" that the Vatican has apparently changed its mind, gotten over its resistance and now will go over the case from the start.