Prosecutors in Rome say that "someone in the Vatican" knows the fate of Emanuela Orlandi, the 15-year-old daughter of a Vatican employee who vanished in June 1983.
Her kidnap in Rome by unidentified men has been the subject of scrutiny for three decades, with allegations that it was connected to banking scandals involving the Holy See.
One theory is that the girl's father, a Vatican employee, had stumbled on documents that connected the Vatican's bank with organised crime in Rome and that she was seized in an attempt to silence him.
The alleged mastermind of the kidnapping was Enrico "Renatino" De Pedis, the leader of the Magliana gang, Rome's most ruthless criminal band.
He was shot dead by rival gangsters in a street in central Rome in 1990 and his body interred in a crypt in the Basilica of Sant' Apollinare.
It has always been seen as highly unusual that a known mafioso should have been given the honour of being buried in a church in which popes and cardinals are interred.
There has been speculation that Miss Orlandi was murdered and her remains hidden in the tomb alongside De Pedis.
Prosecutors in Rome have for the first time explicitly pointed the finger at the Vatican, saying that senior cardinals are covering up the truth.
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