Wednesday 21 August 2019

Malaysian police playing recordings of missing Irish teen Nora Quoirin's family on loudspeaker in search for her

Nora Quoirin with her mother Meabh
Nora Quoirin with her mother Meabh
Missing Nora Quoirin has special needs and ‘would never leave her family voluntarily’, her aunt said. Photo: LBT/Family handout/PA Wire
Eadaoin Agnew, an aunt of the missing teenager, reads a statement on behalf of the family on BBC television
Graft: A member of General Operations Force works at a temporary operation shelter near the Dusun resort. AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin
Members of the canine unit search for Nora. Photo: MOHD RASFAN/AFP/Getty Images
Major search: A police officer uses a sniffer dog to look for 15-year-old Irish girl Nora Anne Quoirin who went missing from a resort in Seremban, Malaysia. Photo: REUTERS/Lim Huey Teng

Andrew Madden

Malaysian police searching for missing Irish teenager Nora Quoirin are playing loudspeaker recordings of her family in the hopes of finding her.

The 15-year-old, whose mother is from Belfast and father is French, was reported missing on Sunday morning from a cottage in a nature reserve in the southern Negeria Semblian state.

She had arrived the Dasun resort on Saturday with her parents and siblings for a two-week holiday.

Nora has special needs and has been described as "very vulnerable".

As the search for the missing teenager enters its fifth day, police will be using recordings of her family, including her mother Meabh, calling out her name as they search the dense jungle around the resort.

Police are treating Nora's disappearance as a missing person's case and believe she wandered off from the cottage overnight on Saturday, but are considering the possibility "criminal elements" may be involved.

Her distraught family, however, said this would be completely out of character and believe she may have been abducted.

On Wednesday, police revealed they have questioned 20 people in relation to the teenager's disappearance and have analysed fingerprints found in the cottage.

Missing Nora Quoirin has special needs and ‘would never leave her family voluntarily’, her aunt said. Photo: LBT/Family handout/PA Wire
Missing Nora Quoirin has special needs and ‘would never leave her family voluntarily’, her aunt said. Photo: LBT/Family handout/PA Wire

Investigations are still ongoing to determine who the fingerprints belong to.

Since she was reported missing on Sunday morning, the search team scouring the area for the teenager has grown to around 250 people, including police, fire and rescue officers, civil defence personnel and divers.

Drones, sniffer dogs and helicopters are also involved in the search operation.

While Nora's parents have been too distraught to speak publicly, her aunts Eadaoin and Aisling Agnew, and her uncle Michael Agnew, who have flown to Malaysia to help look for the teenager, last night spoke of their anguish over her disappearance.

Major search: A police officer uses a sniffer dog to look for 15-year-old Irish girl Nora Anne Quoirin who went missing from a resort in Seremban, Malaysia. Photo: REUTERS/Lim Huey Teng
Major search: A police officer uses a sniffer dog to look for 15-year-old Irish girl Nora Anne Quoirin who went missing from a resort in Seremban, Malaysia. Photo: REUTERS/Lim Huey Teng

“Our family is unable to deal with this at the moment,” said Eadaoin.

“But we must remain hopeful and we ask everyone to keep Nora in their thoughts and to continue to support the ongoing search for her.

“Nora is still missing and she is very vulnerable and we need to do everything we can to bring her home.

Nora's family also issued a statement thanking all those who have offered their assistance and support.

“Nora’s family wish to express their deepest gratitude for the Royal Malaysian Police force, the search and rescue teams, and emergency services, for all they have done for us in this difficult time,” it said.

“We would like to thank our embassies, the local community and the staff here at the hotel. And anyone else who has offered help to find Nora. We also welcome the assistance of the French, British and Irish police.

“We are completely overwhelmed by the support we have received from all over the world. This is extremely traumatic for the whole family.

“Meabh and Sebastien are devastated and too upset to speak themselves at this time."

Meanwhile, top child protection officer Jim Gamble has urged the National Crime Agency to assist in the case, due to its expertise and resources.

“I’ve been calling publicly from day one — and I’m continuing to call — for the National Crime Agency to be involved,” he said.

“The NCA can bring additional resources, credible experience and, critically, operate in support of the Malaysian police. The Malaysian police are working hard through the missing persons scenario. The other scenarios can best be addressed if they are supported by the NCA."

Belfast Telegraph

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