Family confirms body found in Malaysia rainforest is missing Irish teenager

Family confirms body found in Malaysia rainforest is missing Irish teenager

nora anne fam aug 13
Family members arrive at a hospital where rescuers brought a body during a search operation for the missing 15-year-old Irish teenager Nora Quoirin on Aug 13, 2019. (Photo: MOHD RASFAN / AFP)

NILAI, Negri Sembilan: The family of Nora Anne Quoirin confirmed on Tuesday (Aug 13) that the body rescuers found after a 10-day search is that of the missing Irish teenager.

"The family has confirmed it is the body of Nora," Negri Sembilan's police chief Mohamad Mat Yusop told AFP.

An autopsy will be done on Wednesday morning, Mr Mohamad said.

Nora Quoirin
The 15-year-old was reported missing on Aug 4, 2019. (Photo: Bernama)

Fifteen-year-old Nora, who had learning difficulties, was reported missing on Aug 4 after her family arrived at the Dusun rainforest resort in Seremban, about 70km south of Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur. The family had checked in a day earlier for a two-week holiday in the country.

Nora's body was found on Tuesday afternoon, after a search involving more than 350 people.

Her family arrived at a hospital morgue in Seremban on Tuesday evening, where they identified the body.

nora anne family after sar
Family members arrive at a hospital where rescuers brought a body during a search operation for the missing 15-year-old Irish teenager Nora Quoirin on Aug 13, 2019. (Photo: MOHD RASFAN / AFP)

BODY WAS UNCLOTHED

At a news conference, Deputy Inspector-General of Police Mazlan Mansor said the body was found beside a small stream about 2.5km from the Dusun eco-resort in southern Negeri Sembilan state where Nora had disappeared from.

He said the body, which "was not in any clothing", was found by volunteers registered with the rescue team.

The body had been airlifted to the hospital morgue to be identified by the family, and for an autopsy, Mr Mazlan said.

He did not comment when asked if there were any injuries on the body.

rescue workers carry nora
Rescue workers carry a body, found during a search operation for the missing 15-year-old Irish teenager Nora Quoirin, as it arrives at a hospital in Seremban on Aug 13, 2019. (Photo: AFP / Mohd RASFAN)

"WE HAD COVERED THE AREA": POLICE

Asked by reporters if the area where the body was found had been covered by the search and rescue team, Mr Mazlan said: "We had covered the area ...  2km, 4km and 6km (radius from the resort) and then turned back ... We covered the area on and off.”

Asked about the possibility of the case being classified as murder, Mr Mazlan said it was still being investigated as a “missing persons” case.

nora anne family after sar op
Family members and officials arrive at a hospital where rescuers brought a body during a search operation for the missing 15-year-old  Irish teenager Nora Quoirin on Aug 13, 2019. (Photo: Mohd RASFAN / AFP)

The Dusun is a 5ha resort in the foothills of a mountain range and is next to a forest reserve.

Her family has previously said that they believe she was abducted, but the police had classified it as a missing person case.

An open window was found in the cottage where the family was staying at the resort.

Police have questioned a number of people, examined fingerprints found on a window, and looked into reports that villagers heard a truck early on the morning that the girl disappeared.

READ: Malaysia uses recording of mother's voice in hunt for missing Irish teen

A massive search operation was launched which included sniffer dogs, elite commando forces and thermal detectors, but no evidence had turned up until the discovery of the body on Tuesday.

A reward of RM50,000 (US$11,900) was earlier offered by the family to help find her.

Nora had been vulnerable since birth, never went out alone and had limited verbal communication skills, her family said last week, adding that she had visited many countries in Asia and Europe but never before wandered off.

She has a condition known as holoprosencephaly, which means she has a smaller-than-normal brain, has limited verbal communication and cannot write more than a few words.

She attended a school for young people with learning and communication difficulties.

The incident drew worldwide attention and support for the family, from former world chess champion Garry Kasparov among others.

READ: Missing Irish teen's mother thanks Malaysia search team

Nora's father Sebastien is French and works for an American automation software firm in London, his LinkedIn profile shows.

Her mother Meabh, from Belfast, is the co-owner of a consumer data intelligence firm in London, according to her page on the social network.

Ireland’s Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said on Twitter that the Irish and French embassies in Malaysia were working together to help out the Quoirin family.

Source: CNA/AFP/aw(aj)/gs(hm)

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