A 34-year old Eritrean lady, Mariam Wuolou, who was receptionist to Pope Francis, has been found dead.
She was seven-months pregnant when her body was discovered at her small apartment on the outskirts of Rome, Italy.
She had worked as front-of-house at Pope Francis’ home, a priests’ guesthouse Santa Marta for years, acting as a kind of gatekeeper for the pope.
The pope opted to live at the Santa Marta guesthouse after his appointment in 2013, rejecting the grand papal apartments because he found them too sumptuous and he feared isolation.
Miriam is thought to have died alone, of suspected problems related to her diabetes, which had already led doctor to warn that her pregnancy at risk.
Police are investigating a case of neglect and have interviewed family members, her ex-husband from whom she was separated, and most recent boyfriend, thought to be a policeman in the Vatican, according to Rome-based newspaper il Messaggero.
Her brother found the body on Friday after he had not heard from her for several days.
The autopsy has been carried out, and DNA tests are to be carried out on the fetus.
Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said. ‘Pope Francis had been informed of the death. We are all pained by this news.’