Belfast Telegraph

'White woman' spotted swimming in river close to where Nora Quoirin vanished

Nora Quoirin pictured in spring months before her death in Malaysia
Nora Quoirin pictured in spring months before her death in Malaysia
Andrew Madden

By Andrew Madden

A villager saw a "white woman" bathing in a river close to the resort where 15-year-old Nora Quoirin vanished, police have said.

The sighting happened on Sunday, August 4 - the day the schoolgirl was reported missing from the Dusun resort she had been staying at with her family.

Nora's unclothed body was found by hikers next to a waterfall about 1.6 miles from the resort 10 days later.

Pathologists have concluded that Nora died from internal bleeding between two and four days earlier, most likely due to starvation and stress.

They also confirmed that there were no signs of abduction or sexual assault.

Speaking during the search operation on August 6, state deputy police chief Che Zakaria Othman told Sky News: "We have information from one of the villagers that they saw a white woman bathing in the river at about 7pm on Sunday.

"He was riding a motorcycle [when he saw this]. He did not take a photo as he was passing by but we are checking."

Following the sighting, police said they searched the riverbed but found nothing.

It has since emerged that the area where Nora was found was combed by rescued teams prior to the discovery of her body.

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

The 15-year-old's grandfather, however, said he still fears she was abducted and her family are determined to find out exactly how she died.

Sylvain Quoirin has said he believes "someone put" the teenager's body in the place where she was found.

Mr Quoirin told The Irish Times that 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.

"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".

Nora's uncle Pacome Quoirin also told the newspaper that the family remain "very dubious".

"How could she have survived for five days in the jungle without food or water, if you believe the theory that she left the hotel on her own?" he asked.

Following the result's of the post-mortem examination, Nora's body has been released to her family.

A statement issued on behalf of the Quoirin family said: "We had the opportunity to thank them for everything that the Malaysian government, police, search and rescue teams, local people and volunteers have done to help us. Tragically, as we know, this wasn’t enough to save Nora.

"The initial postmortem results have given some information that will help 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. We are still struggling to understand the events of the last 10 days."

The family thanked the Malaysian authorities for their ongoing support and confirmed that they will be bringing Nora home where she will be laid to rest, close to her families in France and Ireland.

Meanwhile, is has been reported that British and French police were able to to carry out their own independent investigation into Nora's disappearance at the Dusun resort as the search for the 15-year-old was ongoing.

A police source told the Mail Online that officers from Paris and the National Crime Agency stayed, on request, at the resort and were able to examine the cottage where the Quoirin family stayed.

They are due to submit a report on the findings of their investigation, however they have not raised any suspicions on foul play with the Malaysian authorities.

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