Malaysian divers join search for missing Irish teen, police 'not ruling out any possibility'

Malaysian divers join search for missing Irish teen, police 'not ruling out any possibility'

British teen Nora Quoirin goes missing in Malaysia during holiday
The 15-year-old was reported missing on Aug 4, 2019. (Photo: Bernama)

NILAI, Negri Sembilan: Malaysian police said on Wednesday (Aug 7) that they are "not ruling out any possibility", including criminal element, after an Irish teen with learning difficulties vanished from a resort last Sunday. 

The latest statement came a day after police said there were no initial signs of foul play, and that they were not treating it as a case of abduction. 

Forensic experts were able to take fingerprints from the window panel of the girl's bedroom where she was last seen, but did not say who they belonged to.

"Our forensics teams has gone to every floor, our forensics team has gone through the entire building and the room our forensic team has investigated it," said Negeri Sembilan deputy police chief Che Zakaria Othman.

"We are not ruling out any possibilities but so far we don't have any information," he added.

"We still believe she is in the area because there is no information that says she has left."

READ: Family believes Irish teen was abducted from Malaysian resort, as search mission enters 4th day

Nora Quoirin, 15, was reported missing on Sunday, a day after her family had arrived at the Dusun resort, about an hour from the capital Kuala Lumpur. Family members said they found the window of her room open in the morning, without any trace of her.

The girl, who lives in London, is the daughter of a Franco-Irish couple.

missing irish teen (1)
Malaysian divers take part in a search and rescue operation for the missing 15-year-old Franco-Irish, Nora Quoirin, in Seremban on Aug 7, 2019. (Photo: AFP/Mohd Rasfan)

DIVERS SCOUR RIVER NEAR RESORT

As the hunt entered a fourth day on Wednesday, a small team of divers searched a river running through the forest near the resort, AFP journalists at the scene said.

A helicopter, two drones, sniffer dogs and 214 people from various government agencies have already been deployed in the hunt for the girl.

Mr Che Zakaria said around 20 witnesses, including family members, have been interviewed.

missing irish teen
Members of Malaysian K-9 unit pray before taking part in a search and rescue operation for the missing 15-year-old Franco-Irish, Nora Quoirin, in Seremban on Aug 7, 2019. (Photo: AFP/Mohd Rasfan)

The teenager's grandfather, Sylvain Quoirin, told AFP on Tuesday that she had gone in "extremely mysterious" circumstances and was not in the habit of running off.

"In the morning, the window was open and she had disappeared," Mr Quoirin said by phone from Venisy, in north-central France where he is the mayor.

"After an 18-hour flight and a seven-hour time difference you would sleep soundly and not go for a stroll at night," he said.

missing irish teen
Members of Malaysian K-9 unit take part in a search and rescue operation for the missing 15-year-old Franco-Irish, Nora Quoirin, in Seremban on Aug 7, 2019. (Photo: AFP/Mohd Rasfan)

The family had planned to stay for two weeks, he added, and Nora was "absolutely not" in the habit of running off.

The Dusun is a five-hectare resort in the foothills of a mountain range and next to a forest reserve.

One of Nora's aunts, Aisling Agnew from Belfast, has set up an online fundraising campaign that aims to help cover expenses of other family members who are travelling to Malaysia to join the search effort.

missing teen
A Malaysian diver takes part in a search and rescue operation for the missing 15-year-old Franco-Irish, Nora Quoirin, in Seremban on Aug 7, 2019. (Photo: AFP/Mohd Rasfan)

READ: Malaysia steps up search for missing Franco-Irish teen

FIRE DEPARTMENT OPTIMISTIC NORA STILL ALIVE

Meanwhile, the Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department is optimistic that Nora is still alive.

Its Seremban station chief Mohamad Idris said this was because the resort area was close to water sources such as rivers and streams.

"Though she has been missing for four days now,  there is still a chance of survival as there are water sources close by even if there is no food," he said.

Source: Agencies/aj(gs)

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