Miriam Wuolou was not just any hotel receptionist. The 34-year-old Eritrean, who had Italian citizenship through marriage, was the receptionist at the Domus Santa Marta, the small hotel inside the walls of Vatican City where Pope Francis lives.
She was the smiling face he saw morning and night, the one who greeted him with his key and handed him his personal messages. He congratulated her when he found out she was pregnant, and he is said to be terribly upset about the news that she is now dead. Wuolou’s body was found in her private apartment in the Pisana suburb of Rome in an advanced state of decomposition after her brother alerted the police that she hadn’t been answering her phone. The military police went to the scene and forced open her door. Woulou, who was seven months pregnant, was reported to be clothed with no apparent signs of violence. Her medical records show that she was diabetic, which, during pregnancy, can be especially dangerous, and even fatal, but police clearly aren’t satisfied that an Insulin error caused her death. The Vatican also weighed in, asking for a complete autopsy and criminal investigation, according to Il Messaggero newspaper, which broke the story of the receptionist’s death on Tuesday.