Belfast Telegraph

Hotline set up as search for Nora enters second week in Malyasia

Meabh Quoirin, mother of missing British girl, and father Sebastien Quoirin, thank searchers in Seremban, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia
Meabh Quoirin, mother of missing British girl, and father Sebastien Quoirin, thank searchers in Seremban, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia
Nora with her mother

By Padraig Collins

Police in Malaysia searching for missing teenager Nora Quoirin have set up a hotline in the hope of getting new information on her disappearance.

The search for Nora (15), whose mother is from Belfast, has entered its second week with hundreds of people combing the jungle around the Dusun holiday eco-resort, around 40 miles south of Kuala Lumpur.

Negeri Sembilan police chief, Mohamad Mat Yusop said yesterday that no missing person had been reported in the past decade, apart from hikers who lost their way in the jungle and they were usually found within 48 hours.

He said police are investigating all angles, including reports that villagers heard the sound of a truck early on the morning Nora disappeared. Mr Yusop said: "We are very worried about her safety. We don't know how long she can survive."

Nora's mother Meabh and her French father Sebastien believe she was abducted.

Referring to Nora's learning and physical disabilities, they said she was born with holoprosencephaly, a malformation that causes her to have a smaller brain.

They said she isn't independent, has difficulty walking and has never wandered off on her own or become lost before, despite having been to other Asian and European countries.

Police are treating her disappearance as a missing person case, however they have not ruled out a possible criminal element. They believe she climbed out of the holiday cottage at the resort through an open window. The search operation continued yesterday, despite a major Muslim festival taking place.

Nora's mother thanked the searchers. "You have given up your time especially at a special festival time," she said, referring to Hari Raya Haji, the Islamic "festival of sacrifice" celebrations.

Mr Yusop said some of those involved in the search had attended Hari Raya Haji prayers yesterday morning at a nearby mosque. "However, this will not hamper the search," he said.

A total of 317 search and rescue personnel were deployed on Saturday, with the search continuing through the night.

"So far, we have no credible leads on where she is but we will continue with the search. We are accepting information from all parties and our investigation is exploring all angles," he said, ading that there was no evidence to indicate that Nora had been abducted, the local Star publication reported.

The Daily Mail reported that background checks were carried out on criminals and paedophiles as part of standard procedure when searching for missing people.

A taxi driver who drove the family to their holiday villa has also been questioned, the paper reported.

"We have also questioned several people as well as checked the homes of hotel staff.

"There is also no evidence that anyone has sighted Nora Anne anywhere," Mr Yusop said.

Ms Quoirin and her husband Sebastien, a French-Irish couple who have lived in London for 20 years, said "terima kasih", or "thank you" in Malay, to those searching for their daughter.

In a short speech, Ms Quoirin held back tears, as her husband stood beside her.

She said: "We want to say thank you to each and every one of you. We know you're searching night and day for Nora.

"We see you working so hard and also praying with us and being with us."

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