Belfast Telegraph

Missing Nora Quoirin would 'absolutely not' have ran off, says grandfather

Nora disappeared from a nature resort in Malaysia (Lucie Blackman Trust/Family handout/PA)
Nora disappeared from a nature resort in Malaysia (Lucie Blackman Trust/Family handout/PA)

The grandfather of missing 15-year-old Nora Quoirin has said she is "absolutely not" in the habit of running off, after police insisted there is no evidence she was abducted.

Nora Quoirin was reported missing from a nature reserve in the southern Negeri Sembilan state on Sunday morning, when her father went into her bedroom to find she was not there. Her window had been opened.

Her mother Meabh and French father Sebastien said they believe she was abducted, however Malaysian police said there in no evidence of this.

The family arrived in the province on Saturday for a two-week holiday.

Nora's grandfather Sylvain Quoirin said she would not have ran off and the family are hopeful she will be found.

"Nora disappeared in extremely mysterious conditions since she was sleeping in the room with her sister and brother," he told AFP.

"In the morning, the window was open and she had disappeared, whereas after an 18-hour flight and a seven-hour time difference you would sleep soundly and not go for a stroll at night.

"Everyone went to bed tired, and in the morning Nora wasn't there... This is a young girl with a mild handicap who is rather timid, reserved. She is someone very fearful.

"I dare to believe that we are going to find her because enormous means have been put in place."

Meanwhile, an additional 28 personnel have been brought in to help in the search.

Nora, who has special needs, may have been wearing only her undergarments when she disappeared, according to local sources.

In an update to reporters on Wednesday, police superintendent Mohamad Nor Marzukee Besar said total number people involved in the search effort is now 206.

He said six sniffer dogs and a drone carrying out aerial searches have also been deployed.

Handout photo supplied by the Lucie Blackman Trust on behalf of the family of Nora Quoirin. Credit: LBT/Family handout/PA Wire
Handout photo supplied by the Lucie Blackman Trust on behalf of the family of Nora Quoirin. Credit: LBT/Family handout/PA Wire

Others involved in the search, which is taking place in a dense jungle area around the Dusun resort, include personnel from the police, the fire and rescue service, civil defence and the forestry department.

Police have said they have so far found no signs of foul play, however Nora's parents said they have "no reason to believe she wandered off and is lost".

Speaking from Belfast yesterday, Nora's aunt Aisling Agnew said the family "consider this a criminal matter".

She said: "Nora's parents and relatives in Ireland and France are distraught at her disappearance. Nora is a child with special needs and has learning and developmental disabilities which make her especially vulnerable, and we fear for her safety.

"Nora would not know how to get help and would never leave her family voluntarily. We now consider this a criminal matter. We are appealing to everyone to assist the local police in any way they can and to pass on any information that would help locate our beloved Nora without delay."

Police are treating Nora's disappearance as a missing persons case and believe she is lost in the jungle near the resort, as sniffer dogs were able to pick up her scent within 100m of her bedroom window before the trail ended.

Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, police chief Datuk Mohamad Mat Yusop said Nora's mother had reported that she was only in her underwear when they put her to bed, however it is unclear if she was dressed when she disappeared as no one saw her leave.

"We have no clues, no evidence to say this case is abduction," he added.

"We will do our very best. We will not give up hope. We believe that she didn't go far and that she had lost her way."

A fundraising appeal to raise money for other members of Nora's family to travel to Malaysia to help in the search has, of Wednesday morning, reached more than £38,000 of its £50,000 target.

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