Family of teen missing in Malaysia reveal devastation and make emotional appeal for support

Family of teen missing in Malaysia reveal devastation and make emotional appeal for support

Update: The family of missing schoolgirl Nóra Quoirin says they "must remain hopeful" and will do everything they can to bring her home.

The 15-year-old disappeared on Sunday after arriving at a resort near Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia with her family.

Malaysian police searching for Nóra are analysing fingerprints found at the cottage where she was staying.

Deputy Police Chief Che Zakaria Bin Othman said the Malaysian authorities were using “all the manpower” available to find the schoolgirl.

He said police have conducted a full forensic examination of the cottage the family was staying at in the resort and are now analysing fingerprints found inside.

He declined to give further details but confirmed the family is still staying in the same cottage.

In a statement today, Nora's family said they are "completely overwhelmed" by the support they've received from all over the world.

They add that the experience has been "extremely traumatic", and that Nora's parents Meabh and Sebastien are too upset to speak themselves at the moment.

In the statement released through the Lucie Blackman Trust charity, the family said: "Nora’s family wish to express their deepest gratitude for the Royal Malaysian Police force, the search and rescue teams, and emergency services, for all they have done for us in this difficult time.

"We must remain hopeful. And we ask everyone to keep Nora in their thoughts, and to continue to support the ongoing search for her."

"Nora is still missing, and she is very vulnerable, and we need to do everything we can to bring her home."

- Additional reporting by digital desk and Press Association

Malaysian police 'question 20' over Irish girl's disappearance which may involve ‘criminal element’

Malaysian police have questioned at least 20 people in the search for Nóra Quoirin, who disappeared from a holiday resort this week.

More than 200 searchers, dogs and several drones are involved in scouring the forest that surrounds the Dusun eco-resort in southern Negeri Sembilan state.

Her family discovered her missing from her bedroom on Sunday morning and say they believe she was abducted.

Nóra's mother is from Belfast and her father is French and it is understood she travelled on an Irish passport. In a statement, her family said that Nóra has developmental issues and would not have wandered off on her own.

Police have interviewed Nóra's family and resort staff.

They are analysing fingerprints found in the holiday resort cottage where the 15-year-old was reported missing. Despite earlier having said they were ruling out foul play, they are now saying that they cannot discount a possible criminal element.

Negeri Sembilan deputy police chief Che Zakaria Othman said a forensic team was analysing fingerprints found in the cottage from which Nóra disappeared. He declined to say to whom the prints belonged.

He said it was the window in a downstairs hall that was left open, and not the one in the bedroom upstairs where the girl was sleeping with her two siblings.

He declined to say if the window could be opened from the outside, saying the investigation was ongoing.

"Although we classified this case as a missing person, we are not ruling out any possibility... the scale of investigation and the search and rescue is very big for a small place here," he told a news conference.

He said the investigation includes a possible criminal element.

Mr Zakaria said a special team from federal police headquarters as well as from forensics and criminal investigation departments were assisting.

The rescue operation involves more than 200 people working on shifts through the night but police still have no clues to the girl's whereabouts and are appealing for information, he said.

Two drones have been deployed to aid in an aerial search over a six square kilometre area around the resort. Canine units are also assisting people in the search.

Nóra arrived with her family on Saturday for a two-week stay at the Dusun, a small resort in an orchard next to a forest reserve about 40 miles south of Kuala Lumpur.

Her grandfather, Sylvain Quoirin, said Nora "disappeared in extremely mysterious conditions since she was sleeping in the room with her sister and brother".

He added: "In the morning, the window was open and she had disappeared, whereas after an 18-hour flight and a seven-hour time difference you would sleep soundly and not go for a stroll at night," Mr Quoirin told AFP by phone from Venisy, in north-central France where he is the mayor.

Family of teen missing in Malaysia reveal devastation and make emotional appeal for support

"Everyone went to bed tired, and in the morning Nóra wasn't there."

Jim Gamble, former chief executive of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, has been contacted for advice by a member of Nóra's family.

Mr Gamble, a former police officer in Northern Ireland, said that he has spoken to Nóra's aunt and uncle.

He implored police not to rule out any possibility but stressed that it is important to support the search effort.

A GoFundMe page set up by Nóra's aunt to aid the search had reached £47,500 as of thisevening.

The family has set up an email address for information leading to her safe return: findnoraq@gmail.com

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