Rome (CNN)The Vatican has ordered two of its own tombs to be searched -- the latest twist in the mysterious disappearance of a teenager, 36 years ago.
Vatican to open tombs in bid to solve 36-year-old cold case
Emanuela Orlandi was 15 when she vanished without a trace in the summer of 1983. The daughter of a prominent employee of the Institute for the Works of Religion -- better known as the Vatican Bank -- Orlandi was last seen at a music lesson in the grounds of Sant'Apollinare basilica in Rome.
On Tuesday, Gian Piero Milano, the Vatican's Promoter of Justice, authorized two exhumations in response to a petition launched by the teenager's family, who believe that her body is buried at the Teutonic Cemetery in Vatican City.
Orlandi's mother and brother still live inside the Vatican's walls and have continued to push for her case to be investigated throughout the years. The family's lawyer received an anonymous tip last summer suggesting that they should "seek where the angel indicates," Italian news agency ANSA reported.
The clue led the family to a wall in the Teutonic cemetery which features an angel pointing. The tombs will be opened on Thursday July 11, Vatican spokesman Alessandro Gisotti announced Tuesday.
Gisotti described the case as "a long and painful one" but also appeared to try to temper expectations of a quick resolution, adding that any bones found during the search would have to undergo laborious DNA analysis.