SEREMBAN: The mother of a Franco-Irish teenager who went missing from a Malaysian rainforest resort fought back tears on Saturday (Aug 10) as she thanked the hundreds-strong team hunting for the schoolgirl.
Nora Quoirin, a 15-year-old with learning difficulties, disappeared on Sunday, a day after checking into the resort with her London-based family.
They believe she was abducted, but police have classified it as a missing person case.
In a statement police said they had narrowed the search area believing the girl could not have gone far, adding the search was focused on steep areas, shrubs and rocks as well as around the family's holiday accommodation.
"We are very worried about (her) welfare and we don't know how long (she) can survive," Mohamad Mat Yusop, police chief of Negeri Sembilan state where Seremban is located, told reporters.
A team of over 260 people backed by helicopters, drones and sniffer dogs is scouring dense jungle next to the resort in southwestern Malaysia but have not found any trace of the teenager.
Speaking to the team outside the resort, the girl's mother Meabh Quoirin said: "We want to say thank you to each and every one of you, we know you are searching night and day for Nora.
"It means the world to us, and we are so grateful for everything that you are doing for us."
With her husband Sebastien by her side, she ended by saying "terima kasih" - which means thank you in the Malay language.
Officials are playing a recording of the girl's mother calling "Nora, Nora darling, mummy's here" through loudspeakers in the hope of drawing her out of the jungle, if she is still there.
She went missing from the 12-acre (five-hectare) Dusun Resort, which lies near a forest reserve not far from Kuala Lumpur, in the foothills of a mountain range.
Her family says it would be extremely unusual for the reserved youngster to have wandered off on her own.
In a statement late Friday, they said the schoolgirl was "not like other teenagers. She is not independent and does not go anywhere alone".
While officially treating it as a missing person case, police say they have not ruled out other possibilities.
Police also confirmed they were looking into people with criminal backgrounds around the area and had searched the homes of hotel staff.
An open window was found in the cottage where the family was staying at the resort. Police have questioned around 20 people and are examining fingerprints found on a window pane.