Nora Quoirin: Inquest finds British schoolgirl who died in jungle wasn't kidnapped

·4 min read
BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - SEPTEMBER 10: The order of service card can be seen as the funeral of Nora Quoirin takes place at St Brigid's Church, Derryvolgie Avenue on September 10, 2019 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The 15 year old went missing on August 3rd while on holiday with her family at the Dunsun resort in Malaysia. Her body was later discovered close to a waterfall less than two miles from the resort following a ten day search. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
The order-of-service card at the funeral of Nora Quoirin in Belfast last year. The 15-year-old went missing on 3 August while on holiday with her family at the Dunsun resort in Malaysia. (Getty Images)

Malaysian police have claimed London schoolgirl Nora Quoirin wasn't kidnapped when she vanished from a resort while on holiday with her family and instead wandered off alone.

The 15-year-old’s naked body was found in the Malaysian jungle about 2km from the Dusun resort where she was staying, 10 days after she went missing in August last year.

On Monday, a Malaysian court opened an inquest into the death and heard from Sembilan state police chief Mohamad Mat Yusop, who has always insisted that Nora, who had special needs, climbed out of a window.

Haanim Ahmed Bamadhaj, the resort's owner, said the latch of the window the teenager is believed to have climbed out of was broken, and that there was no CCTV at the site.

The inquest, at Seremban Coroner's Court, was shown two windows from the bungalow, one of which had a broken latch.

At the inquest, Mat Yusop said he inspected the family's bungalow and saw nothing suspicious, according to the Mirror.

A poster of a missing British girl Nora Anne Quoirin is seen as a motorcyclist, reflected on a acrylic, rides past in Seremban, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia, Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019. The parents of the 15-year-old London girl who mysteriously disappeared from a Malaysian resort a week ago said Saturday that she wasn't independent and had difficulty walking, in new details to support their conviction that she was abducted. (AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin)
A poster during the search operation for Nora Quoirin in Seremban, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia. (AP)

There were no signs a crime had occurred, he said, adding: "There was no indication the victim was kidnapped.

"We did not receive any telephone calls – usually in this kind of case we will get a call to say the victim has been kidnapped and is in the hands of certain people, and they would demand a ransom.

"I believe the missing person actually climbed out of the window."

A preliminary postmortem result found that Nora had died of intestinal bleeding, possibly caused by hunger or stress, two or three days before her body was discovered.

Read more: Parents of Nora Quoirin say there was a ‘criminal element’ in daughter’s death

Malaysian authorities said there was no sign of foul play, although parents Meabh and Sebastien Quoirin suspect there was a criminal element to her death and said her condition meant she was not independent and had difficulty walking.

The Quoirins, who have lived in London for 20 years and are due to give evidence via video-link, have previously said their daughter would not have wandered off alone and was abducted.

In this image made from a video, Meabh Quoirin, mother of missing schoolgirl Nora Anne Quoirin, reads a statement at a news conference in Seremban, Malaysia Monday, Aug. 12, 2019. A Malaysian shaman joined police from Ireland, France and the U.K. on Monday in the search for the 15-year-old London girl who mysteriously vanished from a nature resort eight days ago, as her parents offered a cash reward and appealed for information. (AP Photo)
Meabh Quoirin, mother of missing schoolgirl Nora Anne Quoirin, reads a statement at a news conference in Seremban, Malaysia, in August 2019. (AP)

The Quoirins called for an inquest in order to have "the fullest possible picture of what happened to Nora”.

"As a vulnerable child, with significant physical and mental challenges, we strongly refute any conclusion that Nóra was alone for the entire duration of her disappearance,” they said last year.

However, police in Malaysia said they found no evidence of abduction or kidnapping.

Mat Yusop also said the postmortem found no evidence Nora had been abducted or raped.

He said at the time: “For the time being, there is no element of abduction or kidnapping.”

“The cause of death was upper gastrointestinal bleeding due to duodenal ulcer, complicated with perforation... it could be due to a lack of food for a long period of time and due to prolonged stress,” he added.

Ms Quoirin said in an interview with Ireland’s state broadcaster RTE last year that it would have been “impossible physically mentally to imagine that she could have got any distance at all”.

In this image from a video, rescuers gather in the cordoned off area in Pantai, Malaysia Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019. Malaysian rescuers on Tuesday found the body of a Caucasian female in the forest surrounding a nature resort where a 15-year-old London girl was reported missing more than a week ago, police said. State police chief said officials were in the process of determining whether the body is Nora Anne Quoirin, who was discovered missing by her family from the Dusun eco-resort in the southern state on Aug. 4. (AP Photo)
Rescue team members gather in a cordoned-off area in Pantai, Malaysia, shortly after Nora's body was found. (AP)

“For us something very complex happened,” she said.

“We have insisted from the beginning that we believe there was a criminal element to what happened.

“And crucially we’re struggling because it was difficult to get resources in place fast enough to investigate a criminal angle.

Read more: Nora Quoirin starved after spending week alone in jungle, Malaysian police say

“While a postmortem when it comes through may give us answers, and has already given us some basic answers around what caused Nora’s death, it doesn’t explain any of how she could possibly have got to where she was found.”

Mat Yusop said he had immediately ordered a search after being told that the girl was missing.

A member of a rescue team uses a sniffer dog to conduct a search and rescue operation for a missing British girl Nora Anne Quoirin, at a forest in Seremban, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia, Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019. The parents of the 15-year-old London girl who disappeared from a Malaysian resort a week ago say she isn't independent and has difficulty walking, in new details to support their conviction that she was abducted. (AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin)
A member of the rescue team uses a sniffer dog in the massive search operation. (AP)

He said he visited the resort, about 40 miles south of the capital Kuala Lumpur, the next day and spoke to Nora's parents.

He added: "The family was distraught when I met them. I assured the father we will use all our resources to find the missing girl."

The court also heard a recording of Meabh Quoirin calling "Nora darling, Nora, Nora, mummy here".

The Quoirins say crucial time and evidence were lost because the Malaysian police insisted on treating the girl’s disappearance as a case of a missing person, not a crime.