Sniffer dogs led searchers to several spots in the dense jungle near the Malaysian holiday resort where schoolgirl Nóra Quoirin went missing last year - but later lost her scent, the inquest into her death has been told.
Nóra (15) disappeared from a cottage at the Dusun eco-resort in southern Negeri Sembilan state on August 4 last year.
The body of the teenager was discovered ten days later beside a stream over a mile away from the resort following a massive hunt.
Fadzil Arshad told an inquest that his K-9 Detection Unit team - based in Kuala Lumpur - was assigned to join the search along with two dogs, trained to detect missing persons in the forest.
Mr Arshad said one of the dogs, a Labrador Retriever, showed a strong response to Nóra's scent about 100 metres from the villa window and was encouraged to seek out a potential scent trail.
"However, as we went further, the scent began to break up, which we believed Nóra had passed through [the area] before the dogs came to some sort of pond and a rocky stream."
He added that the team were then tasked to a new hilly area towards the north of the resort but they had returned with a negative search result.
Mr Arshad informed his superior officer that he wanted to resume his search at the pond and water stream with both dogs the following morning.
When his team resumed their search, the dogs had reacted strongly near a water stream, before leading searchers past an abandoned toilet over a concrete drain to reach a section of the stream with fast-flowing water.
At the rapids, Mr Arshad said the dogs continued to react strongly and he subsequently informed his superiors of the latest discovery.
The following day, he said his team attempted to get the dogs to the opposite bank to continue the search.
However, to their surprise, the dogs backtracked to the spot at the rapids and stood still, showing no response to Nóra's scent from that point onwards. The inquest resumes October 1.