Nora Quoirin: Body found in Malaysia is missing girl

Nora QuoirinImage copyright LBT/Family handout/PA Media
Image caption Nora Quoirin, 15, went missing from her room on 4 August

The parents of Nora Quoirin have identified a body found in Malaysia as that of the missing teenager.

Nora, who had special needs, was on holiday with her family when she disappeared from her room at the Dusun resort on 4 August.

Police said the 15-year-old Londoner’s parents have confirmed the body discovered by a search team on Tuesday was their daughter.

A post-mortem examination will be carried out on Wednesday.

About 350 people had been hunting for Nora, who was of Irish-French descent, in dense jungle near the resort.

Her body was found just over a mile (2km) away from the Dusun, according to BBC correspondent Howard Johnson.

Malaysia’s deputy police chief Mazlan Mansor said Nora was found beside a stream in a “quite hilly” area of plantation, and was “not in any clothing”.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Rescuers found Nora’s body near to the Dusun resort

Authorities have been treating Nora’s disappearance as a missing persons case, but her family have said they believe she may have been abducted.

Her cause of death has not yet been confirmed.

Nora was born with holoprosencephaly, a disorder which affects brain development, and her family said she was “not independent and does not go anywhere alone”.

On Monday, her parents Meabh and Sebastien, a French-Irish couple who have lived in London for 20 years, put up a 50,000 Malaysian ringgit (£10,000) reward for help to find her.

While announcing the reward, they described their daughter as being “so precious to us”, adding their “hearts are breaking”.

More than £110,000 has been donated on two crowdfunding sites set up by relatives to cover costs incurred by the family during the 10-day search.

Over £98,000 has been raised on a page set up by Nora’s aunt, while a second created by her uncle which allows people to pay in euros has reached more than €17,500 (£16,000).

Investigators previously said they had not ruled out a “criminal element” in the teenager’s disappearance.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption About 350 people had been searching dense jungle for Nora

Nora, her parents and her younger brother and sister arrived at the resort in a nature reserve near Seremban, about 39 miles south of Kuala Lumpur, on 3 August for a two-week stay.

Her father raised the alarm at 08:00 local time the next day after she was discovered missing from her bedroom.

Search teams were assisted by local Orang Asli people, who have knowledge of the jungle terrain, while two shamans also joined the operation.

The National Crime Agency (NCA), the Met Police, Irish and French police have also been providing support to Malaysian authorities.

Irish President Michael D Higgins has offered his “deepest condolences” to Nora’s family and thanked Malaysian authorities for their search efforts.

“Our thoughts and prayers are now with Nora’s family, at this most difficult time,” he said.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar tweeted: “Our thoughts and sincere condolences are with Nora Quoirin’s parents, siblings and wider family at this unimaginably difficult time.”

In a statement, France’s Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs said French police remain “at the disposal of the Malaysian authorities so that light can be shed on the circumstances of her death”.

Missing persons charity the Lucie Blackman Trust said it was “thinking of the family and continue to support them as they come to terms with this news”.

St Bede’s School in south London, which Nora attended, has opened its doors to allow the community “to join in prayer for Nora and her family… in this heartbreaking and horrific moment”.

Nora Quoirin disappearance: Timeline

3 August: The Quoirins arrive at the Dusun forest eco-resort

4 August: Nora disappears from her room

5 August: The Lucie Blackman Trust says Malaysian police are treating Nora’s disappearance as a potential abduction, but officers deny any foul play is involved

6 August: Nora’s family say they believe she has been abducted

11 August: Malaysian police set up a hotline dedicated to receiving information about teenager

12 August: A reward of £10,000 – donated by an anonymous Belfast business – is made available for information leading to Nora’s safe return

13 August: A body is found in the search for Nora

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