PHOTO: Vatican Media
Now playing
01:33
Possible lead in search for missing Vatican teen
screenshot myanmar funeral on streets
PHOTO: Reuters
screenshot myanmar funeral on streets
Now playing
02:26
Shocking images emerge from Myanmar as military cracks down
Screengrab of Our lady of Salvation Church in Baghdad, Iraq from Ben Wedeman's pkg
PHOTO: CNN
Screengrab of Our lady of Salvation Church in Baghdad, Iraq from Ben Wedeman's pkg
Now playing
03:04
CNN revisits church where massacre occurred ahead of Pope's visit
screengrab Japan oldest woman Olympics torchbearer Kane Tanaka
PHOTO: Source: Kane Tanaka
screengrab Japan oldest woman Olympics torchbearer Kane Tanaka
Now playing
02:43
This 118-year-old woman is set to break Olympic record
Sergey Aleksashenko
PHOTO: CNN
Sergey Aleksashenko
Now playing
01:15
Navalny ally: Of course I'm scared but I cannot hide myself
A split of a Muslim religious leader and the Archbishop of Westminster being interviewed by CNN's Becky Anderson.
PHOTO: CNN
A split of a Muslim religious leader and the Archbishop of Westminster being interviewed by CNN's Becky Anderson.
Now playing
02:14
Pope's Iraq visit is risky. 2 religious leaders explain why it's key
Middle east Iraq Christians pope francis Wedeman pkg intl hnk vpx_00000823.png
Middle east Iraq Christians pope francis Wedeman pkg intl hnk vpx_00000823.png
Now playing
03:44
What's behind the mass exodus of Christians from Iraq?
PHOTO: CBS
Now playing
01:39
Duchess of Sussex says Buckingham Palace is 'perpetuating falsehoods'
Screengrab for Paula Hancocks live segment on Myanmar
PHOTO: Twitter
Screengrab for Paula Hancocks live segment on Myanmar
Now playing
03:13
Video shows dramatic escalation of violence in Myanmar
Now playing
03:24
Author describes what happened when ISIS underestimated women fighters
FILE- In this Nov. 7, 2019 file photo, the International Criminal Court, or ICC, is seen in The Hague, Netherlands. The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court said Wednesday, March 3, 2021 that she has launched an investigation into alleged crimes in the Palestinian territories. Fatou Bensouda said in a statement the probe will be conducted "independently, impartially and objectively, without fear or favor."(AP Photo/Peter Dejong, File)
PHOTO: Peter Dejong/AP
FILE- In this Nov. 7, 2019 file photo, the International Criminal Court, or ICC, is seen in The Hague, Netherlands. The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court said Wednesday, March 3, 2021 that she has launched an investigation into alleged crimes in the Palestinian territories. Fatou Bensouda said in a statement the probe will be conducted "independently, impartially and objectively, without fear or favor."(AP Photo/Peter Dejong, File)
Now playing
01:57
ICC to investigate alleged war crimes by Israel and Hamas
Attorney-General Christian Porter speaks during a media conference on March 03, 2021 in Perth, Australia. Attorney-General Christian Porter has publicly confirmed he is the cabinet minister named in a historical rape allegation from 1988 which came to light in the last week and has emphatically denied the allegations.
PHOTO: Paul Kane/Getty Images
Attorney-General Christian Porter speaks during a media conference on March 03, 2021 in Perth, Australia. Attorney-General Christian Porter has publicly confirmed he is the cabinet minister named in a historical rape allegation from 1988 which came to light in the last week and has emphatically denied the allegations.
Now playing
02:25
Australian Attorney General denies historical rape allegation
Now playing
03:08
Cuba aims to produce its own Covid-19 vaccine
Police shoot stun grenades at Arab Israelis protesting an increase in gang violence in their towns.
PHOTO: CNN
Police shoot stun grenades at Arab Israelis protesting an increase in gang violence in their towns.
Now playing
04:18
Police shoot stun grenades at peaceful Arab-Israeli protesters
Mount Sinabung in Indonesia erupted on March 2, launching a cloud of ash and dust several kilometers into the sky. No one was injured in the eruption but authorities have warned people to stay away from the crater.
PHOTO: olcanological Survey of Indonesia via Reuters
Mount Sinabung in Indonesia erupted on March 2, launching a cloud of ash and dust several kilometers into the sky. No one was injured in the eruption but authorities have warned people to stay away from the crater.
Now playing
00:40
See this volcano in Indonesia erupt
New satellite images taken by Maxar show that North Korea sometime in the past year built a structure that may be intended to obscure entrances to an underground facility where nuclear weapons or nuclear weapons components are stored.
PHOTO: Courtesy Maxar
New satellite images taken by Maxar show that North Korea sometime in the past year built a structure that may be intended to obscure entrances to an underground facility where nuclear weapons or nuclear weapons components are stored.
Now playing
01:47
See images US intelligence claims is a secret weapons site
(CNN) —  

Thousands of bones have been unearthed in two ossuaries discovered in the Vatican City, as part of an ongoing search for clues into the disappearance of a 15-year-old girl more than three decades ago.

Emanuela Orlandi, who was the daughter of a prominent Vatican employee and lived within the walls of the holy city, disappeared in the summer of 1983 while on her way home from a music lesson in central Rome.

Emanuela Orlandi
PHOTO: Courtesy Pietro Orlandi
Emanuela Orlandi

The mystery surrounding Orlandi’s disappearance gripped Italians for more than three decades, and inspired conspiracy theories involving everyone from mobsters to international terrorists, and the highest echelons of the Vatican.

Interest in the case was renewed in summer last year, when the Orlandi family received an anonymous tip, hinting that Emanuela’s remains may be located in the tombs of Princess Sophie von Hohenlohe and Princess Charlotte Federica of Mecklenburg at the Teutonic Cemetery.

Thousands of bones were found in two ossauries discovered at the Teutonic Cemetery in Vatican City.
PHOTO: ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images
Thousands of bones were found in two ossauries discovered at the Teutonic Cemetery in Vatican City.

The family had received an image of a sculpture and an instruction to “look where the angel is pointing.” This led them to the Teutonic Cemetery, which is located adjacent to the grand Saint Peter’s Basilica and is typically reserved for the burials of German-speaking Catholics.

After the Vatican agreed for forensic investigators to open the tombs on July 11, no human remains nor traces of coffins were found. The Vatican indicated that the remains of the princesses may have been removed during renovation work on the cemetery and surrounding buildings in the 1960s and 70s.

Nevertheless, two ossuaries – chambers in which bones of the dead are stored – were uncovered during their investigations beneath the floor of an area inside the Teutonic College.

Investigators subsequently discovered “thousands of bones” in the chambers, which are believed to correspond to “dozens of people,” according to Giorgio Portera, a geneticist appointed by the Orlandi family.

Pope John Paul II with Emanuela Oralndi (pink jumper, center), and (from right) her brother Pietro, father Ercole, and mother Maria.
PHOTO: Courtesy Pietro Orlandi
Pope John Paul II with Emanuela Oralndi (pink jumper, center), and (from right) her brother Pietro, father Ercole, and mother Maria.

DNA analysis will now take place on each set of remains, but Vatican spokesman Alessandro Gisotti said the precise data will have to await “morphological evaluations next Saturday.”

“It must be considered that many of the bones being dated are shattered and therefore this increases the number present, many of which are small,” Gisotti told CNN. “This means that there may be more fragments of the same bone structure.”

While the origins of the bones remain unknown, Emanuela’s brother, Pietro Orlandi, 60, said the investigation into the ossuaries had been “a great satisfaction.”

“In the ossuaries, there shouldn’t be any recent bones, so if there are, even if it’s not Emanuela Orlandi, it will be a problem for the Vatican,” he told CNN. “There are hundreds, thousands of bones and now the Vatican is classifying them by age and will investigate the more recent ones.

Pietro Orlandi says that the investigation into the ossuaries has been a "great satisfaction."
PHOTO: ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images
Pietro Orlandi says that the investigation into the ossuaries has been a "great satisfaction."

“To think if she was buried in the ossuary all these years, just 200 meters from our house, it would be devastating.”

He added that it is important for an independent expert to investigate the bones to ensure the objectivity of the results.

“The Vatican doesn’t want this out and doesn’t want to be seen in this way, but finally I feel like they have taken a step back and we have moved a step forward,” he said.

The Vatican responded in a statement, according to Reuters, saying that it is “once again showing its openness towards the Orlandi family” in agreeing for investigations to take place in the Teutonic Cemetery, even when only based on an “anonymous report.”