Nora Quoirin's parents left completely heartbroken
Outpouring of grief after missing Nora’s body found in jungle
The family of teenager Nora Quoirin are "completely broken" after her body was discovered near a waterfall in the Malaysian jungle yesterday.
The 15-year-old, who had special needs, disappeared from the jungle resort of Dusun in southern Negeri Sembilan state, where she had been on holiday with her family, on Sunday, August 4.
A senior pathologist from Kuala Lumpur is due to travel to the Tuanku Jaafar Hospital in Seremban today to conduct a post-mortem examination to determine the cause of death.
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Malaysian police said once the results of the post-mortem were known, further investigations would be conducted.
Nora's remains were flown to the hospital after being discovered by a group of hikers who had volunteered to help search for her.
Earlier, national deputy police chief Mazlan Mansor said the body of a white female had been found beside a small stream about 1.6 miles from the resort.
He added that the body "was not in any clothings", and while it remained a missing persons case, police were looking into all possibilities, including the "angle of criminal investigation".
The teenager's parents Meabh and Sebastien Quoirin, a French-Irish couple who have lived in London for 20 years, said Nora, who was born with the brain defect holoprosencephaly, was not independent and had difficulty walking, so she would not have gone anywhere alone.
On Monday, Nora's mother, who is from Belfast, made a heartfelt appeal to find her as a £10,000 reward - donated by an anonymous Belfast business - was offered for information leading to her safe return.
Yesterday, Nora's parents were seen hugging in an attempt to comfort each other as they arrived at the hospital mortuary.
They were followed by Nora's aunts Eadaoin and Aisling Agnew and her uncle Michael along with other family members.
The Lucie Blackman Trust, which provides support to families with a loved one in crisis abroad, has been liaising closely with the family since Nora's disappearance.
Matthew Searle, the charity's chief executive, said last night the focus was on supporting the Quoirin family as they come to terms with Nora's death.
"This is absolutely devastating for the family, who obviously have lived on hope in the last few days that a better outcome was on the way, but sadly this is the worst news," he said.
"They are completely broken and it will take a long time for them to come to terms with the way their life is now, but we will be there to support them in any way we can. With every second that passes, they are going to have more questions they want answered about what happened to Nora.
"We hope to be able to answer some of those as time goes on, but there will be some questions where the answers might never be known."
DUP leader Arlene Foster was among those offering condolences to Nora's family following the discovery of her remains.
She tweeted: "We all hoped and prayed this would not be the case. As a mother, I can never begin to imagine the grief that Nora's family are now suffering.
"My deepest sympathy to them during such a devastating time."
Sinn Fein vice president Michelle O'Neill said the news that Nora's body had been found was "heart-breaking confirmation of her family's worst fears".
"It is a devastating tragedy for Nora's family and friends and our thoughts are with her loved ones and all those who helped in the search operation over the past nine days," Mrs O'Neill added.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar tweeted: "Our thoughts and sincere condolences are with Nora Quoirin's parents, siblings and wider family at this unimaginably difficult time.
"They have experienced every family's worst nightmare. I'd like to pay tribute to everyone who searched for Nora. May she rest in peace."
President of Ireland Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina also offered their "deepest condolences" to Nora's parents, siblings and extended family.
He said: "On behalf of the people of Ireland, I would also like to express my gratitude for the assistance given by the Malaysian authorities in the search for Nora, for the volunteers who answered the call to join the search and for all those throughout Malaysia, Ireland, Britain and France who offered what support they could."
France's foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and secretary of state for Europe Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne said: "The French authorities are at the disposition of the Malaysian authorities so that light can be shed on the circumstances of her death."