The family of a French-Irish teenager who died after disappearing from a Malaysian jungle resort initially suspected she had been kidnapped and taken to a nearby house, an inquest heard Tuesday.
The body of 15-year-old Nora Quoirin, who had learning difficulties, was discovered unclothed after a massive hunt through the rainforest last year.
Police insist there was no foul play but her parents — who believe there was criminal involvement, as they say she would not have wandered off alone — pushed for an inquest and authorities agreed.
Senior police official Mohamad Nor Marzukee Besar, who played a key role in organising the search for the schoolgirl, said Tuesday that her London-based family believed she was in one of three houses near the Dusun Resort.
“Family members said the child had been abducted and identified the three houses where she might be held,” he told the court in Seremban city, on the second day of the inquest.
“We searched the houses but did not find anything.”
The teen’s family had also told police at the time that she could not walk more than 20 feet (six metres) on her own, Marzukee said.
As well as the houses, a team searched a hut deep in the jungle after the resort owner said the girl could have been taken there, but only found a man sleeping at the site, he said.
Quoirin disappeared from the resort on August 4 last year, triggering a 10-day hunt involving helicopters, sniffer dogs and hundreds of searchers.
An autopsy found that she probably starved and died of internal bleeding after spending about a week in the dense rainforest.
On the first day of the inquest on Monday, a police official said he did not believe the teen was kidnapped after inspecting the house where she stayed with her family, and thought she had climbed out of a window.
The teenager’s Irish mother and French father are not able to attend the inquest due to the coronavirus pandemic, but are following it via a video-conferencing platform.
© Agence France-Presse