Belfast Telegraph

Home News World

‘Extremely distressed’ resort staff hunted for Belfast woman’s missing daughter until 3am

Lauren Harte

By Lauren Harte

Distressed staff and managers at a Malaysian resort helped search dense jungle until the early hours of the morning as they joined police and sniffer dogs in a bid to find a Belfast woman’s missing daughter.

The distraught family of missing 15-year-old schoolgirl Nora Quoirin have also made social media appeals for help in locating her.

The vulnerable teenager, who has learning difficulties, went missing at the Dusan resort in a nature reserve near Seremban, 39 miles south of the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur.

Nora, whose mother Meabh is originally from Belfast and whose father is French, is understood to have been travelling on an Irish passport along with her two siblings.

Handout photo supplied by the Lucie Blackman Trust on behalf of the family of Nora Quoirin. Nora, 15, has gone missing while on a holiday with her family in Malaysia. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday August 5, 2019. See PA story MISSING Malaysia. Photo credit should read: LBT/Family handout/PA Wire
Handout photo supplied by the Lucie Blackman Trust on behalf of the family of Nora Quoirin. Nora, 15, has gone missing while on a holiday with her family in Malaysia. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday August 5, 2019. See PA story MISSING Malaysia. Photo credit should read: LBT/Family handout/PA Wire

Her father, Sebastien, raised the alarm when he discovered her missing from her room on Sunday at around 6.30am local time and found the window was open, prompting fears she was taken overnight.

The family of five have lived in London for around 20 years. They had reportedly only just arrived in the country for what was “going to be a trip of a lifetime”.

Malaysian police said yesterday there are no signs of foul play in her disappearance.

The proprietor of the Dusan, Haanim Bamadhaj, said that the resort has never faced a case of this kind since it was established 30 years ago.

“The safety of our guests is definitely our top priority,” she told Malaysia’s New Straits Times. “We are (deeply) affected by this incident and will extend our help and assistance to the family members and the authorities to help find our missing guest.”

She added that management and staff are working with the police to locate the missing girl and giving all support possible to her family.

Nora Quoirin with her mum Meabh
Nora Quoirin with her mum Meabh

“Yesterday, our staff conducted a search operation at our property before joining in the police searches, which (encompasses) the surrounding area, until 3am this morning.

“We (too) are extremely distressed and worried.

“We pray for her safety and appeal to the community in the surrounding Pantai Hills area with information on the missing girl to contact the Pantai police station immediately.”

When asked whether the search team had found any trace of Quoirin, Ms Bamadhaj declined to divulge details.

“I don’t want to compromise the safety of the girl,” she said.

“Let the authorities do their job first. In the meantime, we will assist the police to ensure that the girl can be found.”

Che Zakaria Bin Othman, deputy police chief of Negeri Sembilan, said: “So far there’s no indication of foul play, however investigations are still ongoing.”

However, missing persons charity the Lucie Blackman Trust (LBT) had previously said Nora’s disappearance was being treated as an abduction.

Her aunt Aisling Agnew, a flautist from Belfast, said yesterday that Nora’s parents and relatives in both Ireland and France are distraught.

Members of general operations force in Malaysia join the search
Members of general operations force in Malaysia join the search

“Nora is a child with special needs and has learning and developmental disabilities which make her especially vulnerable and we fear for her safety,” she said.

“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.”

Yesterday a major jungle search involving more than 100 people and police along with sniffer dogs was continuing around the 12-acre resort.

The Irish Department of Foreign Affairs is providing consular assistance to the family.

Social media posts by friends and family appealing for help in locating Nora have been shared thousands of times.

A Twitter page @FindNora has been set up, urging people to use the hashtag #FindingNora to share information far and wide leading to her safe return, alongside an email address findnoraq@gmail.com

The Lucie Blackman Trust  has provided a hotline and email address for information where people can remain anonymous by calling +44 8000 988 485 or emailing ops@lbtrust.org.

Belfast Telegraph

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph