Belfast Telegraph

Family still desperate for answers over Nora Quoirin's tragic death

Claire McNeilly

By Claire McNeilly

Nora Quoirin’s devastated family have vowed to pursue “more answers” to their “many questions” over the death of their daughter in Malaysia.

The vulnerable 15-year-old’s naked body was discovered on Tuesday — 10 days after she vanished from a holiday villa.

She disappeared from the Dunsun resort shortly after her arrival with her parents and siblings on August 3. Her body was discovered near a waterfall less than two miles away.

Malaysian police believe the teenager, whose mother Meabh is from Belfast, died from internal bleeding probably caused by hunger and stress.

They found no evidence of abduction or kidnapping “for the time being”.

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Nora Quoirin

It has now emerged that British and French police carried out their own investigation at the jungle eco-resort she disappeared from.

The disclosure came as her distraught family said they were preparing to bring her body home following a tragic end to what they had all hoped would be the holiday of a lifetime.

After meeting Malaysia’s deputy prime minister and minister for the state yesterday, her mum and dad Sebastien said the family is “struggling to understand the events of the last 10 days”.

The statement, issued on the family’s behalf by the Lucie Blackman Trust, added: “The initial post-mortem results have given some information that helps us to understand Nora’s cause of death.

“But our beautiful innocent girl died in extremely complex circumstances and we are hoping that soon we will have more answers to our many questions.”

Meanwhile, it has been reported that British and French police officers stayed at the hotel and were able to see if an intruder would have been able to break in undetected and abduct the teen from a bedroom while sleeping alongside her siblings.

A police source in Seremban said the officers — from Paris and the UK’s National Crime Agency — requested to stay at the hilltop resort after arriving in Malaysia.

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The resort where they were staying when Nora disappeared

It is understood they will submit a report on their findings, but have not raised any suspicions of foul play with the Malaysian police.

Child protection officer Jim Gamble, who has been in daily contact with the Quoirin family, has appealed for authorities to retain an “open mind” about the cause of death.

“The family themselves have always had a question mark of whether there was any criminal activity and I think everyone should retain an open mind,” he told the BBC.

Malaysian police said Nora, who was born with the brain defect holoprosencephaly and was described by her family as “vulnerable”, is likely to have spent a week in the jungle on her own.

The results of a post-mortem examination revealed that she died between two and four days before her body was discovered.

“In the villa we do know that the downstairs window was broken so it couldn’t have been locked by the family and could have been opened from outside,” Mr Gamble added.

“We know why Nora died, in simple terms from starvation, we know where she ended up, but we don’t necessarily know how she got there.”

The family said they will be bringing Nora’s body home “where she will finally be laid to rest, close to her loving families in France and Ireland”.

They also thanked Malaysian authorities and search parties for their efforts.

“Tragically, as we know, this wasn’t enough to save Nora,” they said.

It has been reported that Irish and French police are satisfied with the work of the pathology team that carried out Nora Quoirin’s post-mortem examination.

Her grandfather Sylvain Quoirin, however, said he still fears she was abducted.

Mr Quoirin said he believes “someone put” the teenager’s body in the place where she was found. He told The Irish Times that the circumstances surrounding Nora’s death are a criminal matter.

Nora’s uncle Pacome Quoirin also said the family remain “very dubious”.

Nora’s maternal grandparents are Eithne and Michael Agnew. Eithne is a board member of Restoration Ministries, which is headed by Rev Ruth Patterson from Northern Ireland.

She told the Belfast Telegraph: “We need to respect the grandparents and the wider family’s privacy at this time, and we are full of admiration for the dignity and courage with which they are dealing with such a tragic situation.

“We are praying for them, together with so many people all over the world, and they are getting a great deal of support.

“It is a time of unspeakable anguish.”

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