Belfast Telegraph

Quoirin family still 'cannot understand' Nora's disappearance after post-mortem results released

  • Charles Morell said Nora's family "cannot understand" how she left cottage alone
  • Grandfather calls for "dark areas" to be cleared up

A Quoirin family lawyer has advised 'caution' around the results of the post-mortem into the death of 15-year-old Nora.

In results that were announced on Thursday morning, police found there was no evidence of foul play in the death of the Irish teenager.

The results found that she died from intestinal bleeding, most likely due to starvation and stress and that there were no signs of sexual assault.

Her body was discovered two days ago - 10 days after she went missing - close to a waterfall about 1.6 miles from the jungle resort of Dusun, where she had been on holiday with her French and Irish parents, sister Innes (12) and brother Maurice (9).

Speaking to the RTE radio programme Today with Miriam O'Callaghan, the French lawyer Charles Morell said the Quoirin family is satisfied with the work of the police.

However, he believes people should "cautious" by the first interpretation of the postmortem results.

He said no avenue of what happened to Nora has been "excluded", including a criminal investigation.

He added that it is too early to determine what happened to Nora and that the family want to get more information from toxicology reports.

Mr Morell said the Quoirin family still "cannot understand" how Nora could leave the cottage they were staying in by herself.

Speaking to the Irish Times on Wednesday, the French grandfather of Nora Quoirin has said he believes "someone put" the teenager’s body in the place where she was found in Malaysia.  

Sylvain Quoirin said he believes the circumstances surrounding Nora’s death are a criminal matter. 

"She wasn’t there yet [during previous searches]. Someone put her there, to get rid of her," Mr Quoirin said.

"Can you imagine her walking 2.5km, naked and barefoot, over rocks, in the middle of the night?" Mr Quoirin asked. "For me, that’s absurd."

Mr Quoirin, who is the mayor of a small town in Burgundy, said there are "dark areas that need to be cleared up for the family to be able to grieve in peace".

Negeri Sembilan state police chief Mohamad Mat Yusop said on Thursday that the post-mortem examination had found no evidence that the teenager had been abducted or raped.

He said: “For the time being, there is no element of abduction or kidnapping.”

He added: “The cause of death was upper gastrointestinal bleeding due to duodenal ulcer, complicated with perforation … it could be due to a lack of food for a long period of time and due to prolonged stress.”

He added that there were some bruises on her legs but that these would not have caused her death.

Further analysis is due to be carried out on samples taken from her body, he said, adding that Nora’s family are now free to take her back home.

Nora Quoirin’s parents Meabh and Sebastien shake hands with Malaysian police

The 15-year-old girl went missing on the first day of a family holiday in Malaysia.

The teenager - who was born with the brain defect holoprosencephaly and was described by her family as "vulnerable" - vanished without a trace from the villa in a nature reserve in Negri Sembilan shortly after she arrived on August 3.

Her body was discovered two days ago - 10 days after she went missing - close to a waterfall about 1.6 miles from the jungle resort of Dusun, where she had been on holiday with her parents, sister Innes (12) and brother Maurice (9).

A post-mortem examination into her death that began at 11am local time yesterday was halted at around 8pm.

Reacting to Nora's death, her father Sebastien (47) and mother Meabh (45) said that their hearts were "broken".

Nora Quoirin

They made an emotional statement describing how the teenager with special needs had "truly touched the world" and they offered thanks to everyone involved in the search.

"Nora is at the heart of our family. She is the truest, most precious girl and we love her infinitely," they said.

"The cruelty of her being taken away is unbearable. Our hearts are broken."

They added: "Nora has brought people together, especially from France, Ireland, Britain and Malaysia, united in their love and support for her and her family."

Hundreds of people were involved in the search operation which came to a tragic end when volunteers discovered her body. She was found lying down with her head resting on her hands.

Sean Yeap

Sean Yeap, a member of the search team, told the Daily Mail that she looked "as if she were sleeping".

He said that her body was not hidden or covered by anything, and added that two female members of the team broke down in tears when they found her.

Deputy police chief Mazlan Mansor said the body was found in an area that had previously been searched by rescuers. He also told a Press conference that the body "was not in any clothings" and that the probe was considering all possibilities, including the "angle of criminal investigation".

During the 10-day search fundraising pages set up by Nora's aunt and uncle raised more than £100,000.

Yesterday afternoon a book of condolence was opened at Belfast City Hall as a mark of respect to the Quoirin family. The young girl's body was formally identified by her parents at a hospital in the town of Seremban on Tuesday night.

Sankara N Nair, lawyer for the family, said they "expect the police to do a thorough investigation into the incident, including criminal angles".

Media gather at the hospital where Nora Quoirin's body was taken for identification

He added that Nora's relatives are "highly traumatised following the loss of their child. They are in a state of shock".

Her condition meant she had limited verbal communication and could only write a few words.

She attended a school for young people with learning and communication difficulties in London.

Before Nora's body was found mum Meabh and dad Sebastien attended Mass at the Catholic church in the city of Seremban, 10 miles from their holiday home.

Father George Harrison, who held the service at the Church of Visitation, said he prayed with the couple and gave them a blessing.

The deputy chief of Malaysia's police force Mazlan Mansor refused to confirm whether Nora had suffered any injuries or if anybody else may have been involved in her death.

He described Nora as "completely naked" but "intact" when she was found, adding it was too soon to determine how long her body had been at the scene.

Nora's parents, who have lived in London for 20 years, had previously expressed fears that she had been abducted and had put up a £10,000 reward for information.

They met at University of Ulster Magee Campus in 1993/1994 while Meabh was a second year student of international business communication and Sebastien was a French teaching assistant at the university.

The Dusun resort, located around 39 miles south of Kuala Lumpur, is nestled in the foothills of the Titiwangsa Mountains and borders the Berembun Forest Reserve.

The jungle is home to an array of potentially harmful animals, including snakes, insects, tigers and wild boar.

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