Missing Nora Quoirin: Body found in Malaysia search

A body has been found in the search for a vulnerable 15-year-old girl who went missing while on holiday in Malaysia.

Nora Quoirin, who has special needs, disappeared from her room at the Dusun resort on 4 August.

Malaysian police confirmed rescuers had found a body on Tuesday near where Nora was reported missing.

Missing persons charity the Lucie Blackman Trust said the body had not been identified but was “likely” to be the teenager, from London.

About 350 people had been searching for Nora in dense jungle near the resort.

BBC correspondent Howard Johnson said the body of a white female had been found just over a mile (2km) away from the Dusun.

Mazlan Mansor, Malaysia’s deputy police chief, told a press conference it “resembles Nora” and her family were travelling to hospital to identify the body.

It was too early to reveal anything more about the investigation but a post-mortem examination will be carried out soon, he added.

Authorities have been treating Nora’s disappearance as a missing persons case, but her family have said they believe she may have been abducted.

Nora was born with holoprosencephaly, a disorder which affects brain development, and her family said she was “not independent and does not go anywhere alone”.

On Monday, her parents Meabh and Sebastien, a French-Irish couple who have lived in London for 20 years, put up a 50,000 Malaysian ringgit (£10,000) reward for help to find her.

While announcing the reward, they described their daughter as being “so precious to us”, adding their “hearts are breaking”.

More than £110,000 has been donated on two crowdfunding sites set up by relatives to cover costs incurred by the family during the 10-day search.

Over £98,000 has been raised on a page set up by Nora’s aunt, while a second created by her uncle which allows people to pay in euros has reached more than €17,500 (£16,000).

Investigators previously said they had not ruled out a “criminal element” in the teenager’s disappearance.

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Nora, her parents and her younger brother and sister arrived at the resort in a nature reserve near Seremban, about 39 miles south of Kuala Lumpur, on 3 August for a two-week stay.

Her father raised the alarm at 08:00 local time the next day after she was discovered missing from her bedroom.

Search teams were assisted by local Orang Asli people, who have knowledge of the jungle terrain, while two shamans also joined the operation.

The National Crime Agency (NCA), the Met Police, Irish and French police have also been providing support to Malaysian authorities.

In a statement the Lucie Blackman Trust said: “We can confirm a body has been found in the search for Nora Quoirin.

“At this time we cannot confirm it is Nora. However it sadly seems likely.

“Investigations are under way to confirm identity and cause of death.”

Ireland’s deputy prime minister and foreign minister Simon Coveney said the discovery of a body was a “harrowing time” for Nora’s family.

“All of our thoughts and prayers are with the family,” he tweeted.

St Bede’s School in south London, which Nora attended, said it would open at 13:00 BST to allow the community “to join in prayer for Nora and her family… in this heartbreaking and horrific moment”.

Nora Quoirin disappearance: Timeline

3 August: The Quoirins arrive at the Dusun forest eco-resort

4 August: Nora disappears from her room

5 August: The Lucie Blackman Trust says Malaysian police are treating Nora’s disappearance as a potential abduction, but officers deny any foul play is involved

6 August: Nora’s family say they believe she has been abducted

11 August: Malaysian police set up a hotline dedicated to receiving information about teenager

12 August: A reward of £10,000 – donated by an anonymous Belfast business – is made available for information leading to Nora’s safe return

13 August: A body is found in the search for Nora

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