Malaysian police examine fingerprints found in missing Nora's holiday home - 20 people questioned
Malaysian police questioned at least 20 people in the search for Nora Quorin, the daughter of a Belfast woman who disappeared from a holiday resort this week.
Forensics officers are also examining fingerprints found in the cottage were the teenager was staying.
More than 200 searchers, dogs and two drones have scoured the surrounding thickly-forested area, police said on Wednesday.
Police searching for the 15-year-old missing in Malaysia have said they have not ruled out foul play in their investigation.
Nora, who has special needs, was reported missing from a cottage in a nature reserve in the southern Negeria Sembilan state on Sunday morning, when her father found she had disappeared from her bedroom.
Since her disappearance, a search team consisting of police, fire and rescue and civil defence officers, among others, has expanded to 206 personnel.
Nora Quoirin's mother Meabh is originally from Belfast and her father Sebastian is French. They were staying at the nature reserve for a two-week holiday, along with Nora's siblings.
Her parents believe she was abducted, however Malaysian police said there is no evidence of this.
At a press conference on Wednesday, however, Negeri Sembilan's deputy police chief, Che Zakaria Othman, said they have not ruled out foul play in the teen's disappearance.
“When there's a case of a missing person, investigations are not confined to a certain angle. We are looking at all angles, involving various elements, including foul play,” he said.
It was initially reported that a window in Nora's bedroom was found to be open when she disappeared, however Mr Zakaria said it was actually the window in a downstairs hallway.
He declined to say if the window could be opened from the outside, stating that the investigation was ongoing, but did reveal that forensics officers are examining fingerprints found in the cottage - but again he declined to give any details.
Mr Zakaria said police had so far recorded statements from 20 people, including family members of the 15-year-old.
“We have recorded statements from the teen's family members, resort staff as well as local residents. It is a big scale investigation," he said.
“We are also being assisted by teams from Bukit Aman’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and forensics unit."
Mr Zakaria also said he understood why Nora's family believe she has been abducted, given the strain they are under.
“They have lost a daughter and of course they are sad and worried about her safety. However, we will not stop our efforts to find Nora,” he said.
“Although we classified this case as a missing person but we are not ruling out any possibility... the scale of investigation and the search and rescue is very big for a small place here.
“We still have hope and believe that she is still in the area. There is no information to show that she has left the area.”
When asked about the security at the resort, Mr Zakaria said it did not employ a security guard and only had one CCTV camera, installed in the reception area.
In addition police and fire and rescue personnel, local indigenous people - known as Orang Asli - are aiding in the search.
Sniffer dogs and drones have also been deployed to scour the area.
Nora's grandfather, Sylvain Quoirin, said the teenager would not have ran off.
"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."
Belfast Telegraph Digital