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Monday 16 September 2019

Police use sniffer dogs in nature resort for missing Irish teenager in Malaysia


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

Lauren Harte

The distraught family of missing 15-year-old Nora Quoirin have appealed for help in finding her.

The vulnerable teenager, who has learning difficulties, went missing at the Dusun resort in a nature reserve near Seremban, 62km 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.

Her father, Sebastien, raised the alarm when he found she was missing from her room about 6.30am on Sunday.

The window was open, prompting fears she had been taken overnight.

The family have lived in London for around 20 years and had just arrived in Malaysia for what was to be "a trip of a lifetime".

Local police said yesterday there were no signs of foul play in her disappearance.

Deputy police chief Che Zakaria Bin Othman said: "So far there's no indication of foul play, however investigations are still ongoing."

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

However, missing persons charity the Lucie Blackman Trust said the family had been told by police the case was being treated as both an abduction and a missing person's case.

Nora's aunt Aisling Agnew, a flautist from Belfast, said yesterday the teenager's parents were distraught.

"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 owner of the Dusun, Haanim Bamadhaj, said staff were "extremely distressed and worried".

He said: "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."

Irish Independent

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