For more than a week, Nóra Quoirin’s parents have waited anxiously for news of their missing daughter — but this morning they hope to hear how their beloved 15-year-old girl died.
President Michael D Higgins and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar were among those across the world offering their condolences to Nóra’s parents Meabh, from Belfast, and father Sebastien, from France, as well as her two siblings.
At about 2pm local time in Malaysia yesterday, Nóra’s remains were found near a stream in a jungle about 2km from where she was last seen.
Deputy chief of Malaysian police Datuk Mazlan Mansor told a press conference that her body was “in tact”, but “she was not in any clothing”. Her body was discovered by a volunteer rescue worker, a day after her family offered a €10,000 reward for information that could lead to her return.
Mr Mansor referred to the “scene of the crime” in a press conference yesterday afternoon. However, Malaysian police authorities said they were still treating it as a missing person’s case.
An autopsy was due to be carried out at 10am Malaysian time today — 3am Irish time.
Datuk Mohamad Mat Yusof, police chief for the state of Negri Sembilan, said the police operation will remain in place until after they have received the results.
“We will inform the post mortem result tomorrow,” he said.
The 15-year-old Irish-French teenager, who had special needs and had difficulty walking, disappeared 10 days ago, on August 4, from a rainforest resort about 70km south of Malaysia’s capital, Kuala Lumpur. She had just arrived there the day before, on August 3, for a two-week holiday with her family.
The teenager was last seen in her family villa.
The next morning, her father went into the bedroom at the Dusun Resort, which she was sharing with her two younger siblings. However, Nóra was not there.
One day after Nóra was reported missing, Malaysian officials said there was “no indication of foul play”. However, the next day her family said they believed she had been abducted.
“Nora’s family believe she has been abducted,” the family said in a statement two days after her disappearance.
There was a window in the property that was not locked from the inside, and could therefore have been opened from the outside.
A 10-day search ensued, involving almost 350 people and authorities from Ireland, Britain, Malaysia, and France, as well as the indigenous people in the area who were familiar with the jungle’s inaccessible terrain.
Yesterday, Irish political figures paid their condolences to the family.
“Sabina and I offer our deepest condolences to Nóra’s parents, Meabh and Sebastien, to Nóra’s siblings and to her extended family,” said President Michael D Higgins.
“On behalf of the people of Ireland, I would also like to express my gratitude for the assistance given by the Malaysian authorities in the search for Nóra, for the volunteers who answered the call to join the search and for all those throughout Malaysia, Ireland, Britain, and France who offered what support they could.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar also expressed his condolences.
“Our thoughts and sincere condolences are with Nóra Quoirin’s parents, siblings and wider family at this unimaginably difficult time,” said Mr Varadkar. “They have experienced every family’s worst nightmare. I’d like to pay tribute to everyone who searched for Nora. May she rest in peace.”
Two separate GoFundMe pages have so far raised more than €120,000 to donate to Nóra’s family.
Yesterday, the Lucie Blackman Trust, a charity set up to support the families of missing or murdered British people abroad and which had been supporting the Quoirin family, said Nóra’s parents would not be giving any interviews or making any statements at this time.