Wednesday 18 September 2019

'We need to bring her home' - parents of missing Nora Quoirin issue plea

Malaysian police have not ruled out a possible criminal element

Nora Quoirin with her mother Meabh
Nora Quoirin with her mother Meabh
Emergency: A Malaysian diver takes part in the search for Nora Quoirin in Seremban, Malaysia. Photo: MOHD RASFAN/AFP/Getty Images

Breda Heffernan and Syawalludin Zain

The parents of missing teenager Nora Quoirin have issued a heartfelt appeal, saying "we need to do everything we can to bring her home".

Nora (15) has been missing in Malaysia since Sunday after she vanished from her bedroom at the Dusun resort.

Her mother Meabh, who is from Belfast, and her father Sebastien, who is French, issued a fresh appeal yesterday as the search for Nora in the jungle around the resort continued.

Eadaoin Agnew, an aunt of the missing teenager, read a statement on behalf of the family.

In an an emotional appeal, she said: "Nora is still missing, and she is very vulnerable, and we need to do everything we can to bring her home.

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

"We ask everyone to keep Nora in their thoughts."

The family maintain that Nora, who has learning disabilities, has been abducted as she "never goes anywhere by herself".

Eadaoin Agnew, an aunt of the missing teenager, reads a statement on behalf of the family on BBC television
Eadaoin Agnew, an aunt of the missing teenager, reads a statement on behalf of the family on BBC television

Her parents thanked the Malaysian police, search and rescue teams and emergency services "for all they have done for us in this difficult time".

They also welcomed the assistance of the French, British and Irish police.

Malaysian police said yesterday they were analysing fingerprints found on the window ledge of the resort cottage where Nora had been staying. They also said they had not ruled out a possible criminal element.

Che Zakaria Othman, deputy police chief in Negeri Sembilan state, said a forensic team swept the cottage and were examining the fingerprints, but declined to give details.

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

He said it was the window in a downstairs hall that was left open, and not the one in the bedroom upstairs where the girl was sleeping with her two siblings.

He declined to say if the window could be opened from the outside, saying the investigation was ongoing.

"Although we classified this case as a missing person, we are not ruling out any possibility... the scale of investigation and the search and rescue is very big for a small place here," he told a news conference.

He said the investigation included a possible criminal element.

Police have questioned at least 20 people, including Nora's family and resort staff, as part of their investigation.

Mr Zakaria said a special team from federal police headquarters, as well as from forensics and criminal investigation departments, were assisting in the search for Nora.

The operation involves more than 200 people working on shifts through the night but police still have no clues to the girl's whereabouts and are appealing for information.

"We still have hope and believe that she is still in the area. There is no information to show that she has left the area," Mr Zakaria added.

Nora's family live in London and she was travelling on an Irish passport at the time of her disappearance. The family arrived on Saturday for a two-week stay at Dusun, a small resort in an orchard next to a forest reserve about 60km south of capital Kuala Lumpur.

Some of the girl's relatives were seen trekking at the hill in the search yesterday.

Authorities deployed two drones for an aerial search over an area of 2.3 square miles around the resort, which is perched on the edge of a sprawling forest reserve.

Officers have expanded the search to the riverbed at the foothill of the resort on the assumption that she could head downhill to try to find water.

Read more: 'We need to do everything we can to bring her home' - Family of missing Irish schoolgirl Nora (15)

Read more: 'She never goes anywhere by herself' - family of Irish girl missing in Malaysia believe she was abducted

Read more: Irish teenager goes missing on family holiday in Malaysia as police launch search

Irish Independent

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