Body found in Malaysia confirmed as being missing teenager Nora Quoirin

Nora Quoirin
Nora Quoirin
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A body found in Malaysia has been confirmed to be that of missing teenager Nora Quoirin.

The 15-year-old's body was identified on Tuesday, hours after it was discovered following a large-scale search operation.

The London teenager, who has special needs, disappeared from the jungle resort of Dusun on Sunday August 4, where she had been on holiday with her family.

The Lucie Blackman Trust, which is handling media for the Quoirin family, confirmed "with great sadness that the body found today is that of missing teenager Nora Quoirin. Local police have confirmed identification."

Earlier national deputy police chief Mazlan Mansor told reporters at a press conference the body had been found beside a small stream about 2.5 kilometres (1.6 miles) from the resort, by volunteers who were helping the search team.

He said the remains had been winched by helicopter to a hospital mortuary, where her family were due to identify her.

He added that the body "was not in any clothings" and said while it remained a missing persons case police were looking into all possibilities including the "angle of criminal investigation".

Nora's mother made a heartfelt appeal on Monday to find her as a £10,000 reward - donated by an anonymous Belfast business - was offered for information leading to her safe return.

The teenager's parents, Meabh and Sebastien Quoirin, a French-Irish couple who have lived in London for 20 years, thanked those looking for her as fundraising pages set up by Nora's aunt and uncle collected more than £100,000 from well-wishers.

Following news that a body had been discovered Simon Coveney, Ireland's deputy prime minister and foreign minister described it as a "harrowing" time.

He tweeted: "Irish + French embassies in Malaysia working together to provide every assistance to the Quoirin family. Irish embassy is in touch with Malaysian authorities on today's discovery of a body. At this harrowing time all of our thoughts + prayers are with the family."

Volunteer hikers and even reportedly a shaman were among those taking part in the search for Nora, who was born with the brain defect holoprosencephaly.

The Quoirins had said Nora's condition meant she was not independent and had difficulty walking.

Appearing in front of the cameras on Monday, a visibly emotional Mrs Quoirin said: "Nora is our first child.

"She has been vulnerable since the day she was born.

"She is so precious to us and our hearts are breaking."

On Monday morning, a total of 348 personnel were deployed in the search operation, according to Malaysia's Malay Mail newspaper.

Previously, search crews looking for Nora played her mother's voice in the dense Malaysian forest near where she disappeared.

Mrs Quoirin could be heard saying "Nora, darling, Nora, I love you, Mum is here," on the recording.

Police had said the teenager, who was travelling on an Irish passport, was believed to have climbed out of her resort room window.

After Nora went missing, her family described how she was particularly vulnerable.

They said: "Nora is a very special person. She is fun, funny, and extremely loving. With her family, she is very affectionate - family is her whole world.

"She is not like other teenagers. She is not independent and does not go anywhere alone."

The National Crime Agency (NCA), the Metropolitan Police and Irish police were supporting the Malaysian police with the case.

The Lucie Blackman Trust provides support to families with a loved one in crisis abroad.