SEREMBAN: Nora Anne Quoirin, the Irish-French girl whose body was found near a jungle stream in Malaysia, died from gastrointestinal bleeding due to prolonged stress and having gone without food for a long time, Malaysian police said on Thursday (Aug 15).
Negri Sembilan state police chief Mohamad Mat Yusop told a press conference that there was no evidence the 15-year-old had been raped.
“The autopsy revealed that the teenager died of gastrointestinal bleeding probably due to prolonged stress and having gone without food for a long time,” he told a press conference at the compound of the Negeri Sembilan Police headquarters.
Mohamad also said there was no evidence “for the time being” to indicate that Nora, who had learning difficulties, was a victim of kidnapping or foul play.
But the lawyer of her family, who believe she may have been abducted, said it was too early to rule out a criminal element in the case.
Nora's remains were found on Tuesday, 10 days after she went missing from the Dusun resort in Seremban, about 70km south of Kuala Lumpur.
Her naked body was found in a ravine, about 2.5km from the rainforest resort, where she had disappeared a day after her family arrived for a holiday there on Aug 3.
An autopsy was conducted at Tuanku Jaafar Hospital in Seremban on Wednesday.
Mohamad said pathologists confirmed that the body was that of Nora and that she had likely been dead for two to three days.
“The perforation in her intestines is likely caused by prolonged hunger and stress,” he said.
Small scratches were found on her legs, but Mohamad said they were not the cause of her death.
“There were no signs that Nora Anne was raped. The hymen was intact. There were some scratches and minor wounds on her legs but they were not life-threatening," Mohamad said.
Samples taken from the body have been sent for further analysis, he added.
Replying to a question, Mohamad said it will be left to the family to decide when to claim the body. “There is no time frame on the claiming of the body. They (the family) can claim it at any time,” he said.
The Malaysian police had classified her disappearance as a missing persons case.
But the family's French lawyer, Charles Morel, told AFP that "at this stage for the family, it is premature to rule out a criminal element.
"We need to wait to find out all the results from the autopsy to know more."
French authorities said on Wednesday they had opened a criminal investigation into the case for kidnapping on Aug 9. Nora's mother is from Belfast and her father is French.
Nora's family feared a criminal connection to her disappearance, saying she had special needs and had never before left the family voluntarily, according to a statement issued by a British victims' group, the Lucie Blackman Trust, on their behalf.
An initial investigation yielded no evidence of criminal behaviour but police would look at all possibilities, Malaysia’s deputy police chief Mazlan Mansor said on Tuesday.