Belfast Telegraph

Malaysian police admit 'vital clues' could have been missed by 'inexperienced' officers during search for Nora Quoirin

Nora Quoirin (Lucie Blackman Trust/PA)
Nora Quoirin (Lucie Blackman Trust/PA)

Malaysian police have admitted that inexperienced officers may have missed vital clues during the 10 day search for Nora Quoirin, according to reports.

The 15-year-old was found on Tuesday near a waterfall less than two miles from the Dunsun eco-resort where she had been staying with her parents, Meabh and Sebastien, and her young siblings.

However, senior police officers involved in the search have told The Mail on Sunday that Nora- who is believed to have been alive in the jungle for up to a week- might have been found before her death.

The area where Nora's body was found on Tuesday had been combed by search teams in the first days of the search, although police later suggested she may have wandered there from elsewhere in the jungle.

A postmortem examination concluded Nora died of stress and starvation.

"The searchers included people who were inexperienced and got tired quickly in the hot and humid conditions and didn’t always walk at arm’s length from each other,’ an unnamed officer told The Mail on Sunday.

"We can’t blame them because it was the first time for many of these searchers working for so many hours in these conditions and water and food supplies were limited. Overall, I think they did a good job despite incredibly arduous conditions."

Another senior officer told the newspaper the area where Nora was found was still being investigated by forensic officers on Saturday to see if there were any signs that Nora was abducted or assaulted before her death. According to the officer, Nora's underwear has not been found.

However, the officer said: "We have found no evidence to support a criminal element so far and we are continuing to examine the area where she was found for clues. Locals are also being interviewed.

"The circumstances surrounding her death remain a complete mystery. Nora was barefoot and dressed only in her underwear when she disappeared from an open hall window of her holiday bungalow on the first night of the family’s holiday.

"Sniffer dogs only picked up her trail about 100 metres from the lodge, and how a child with special needs could have walked nearly two miles into dense forest and through a steep ravine is mystifying.

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Meabh and Sebastien Quoirin (Royal Malaysia Police/AP)

"Everyone is very upset and we have agonised over how she ended up in a waterfall area that had been combed by search teams in the first seven days."

Nora's body was taken by her family from the Tuanku Ja’afar Hospital in Seremban in the early hours of Saturday and transported to Kuala Lumpur International Airport for the flight to London.

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