Around 90 rescue workers involved in the search for missing Irish teenager Nora Quoirin will today focus their efforts on the surrounding jungle and mountain area near the Dusan resort, where she was last seen.
Emergency crews are now into their tenth day searching for the 15-year-old.
The mother of the missing girl has made a heartfelt appeal to find the teenager as over €10,000 in reward was offered for information leading to her safe return.
Meabh Quoirin said the family’s “hearts are breaking” as more than 300 search-and-rescue personnel hunted for the 15-year-old, who disappeared from the Malaysian jungle resort of Dusun on Sunday August 4.
HEART BREAKING MOMENT - Rescuer using recorded sound of Nora Quoirin’s mother calling ‘Nora Darling, Nora Nora Nora it’s mommy, mommy is here now, my Nora bean’ to search for her after she went missing for 7 days in eastern of Malaysia. #FindingNora #Nora pic.twitter.com/FgxodSRgQB— Jiraporn Kuhakan (@KuhakanJiraporn) August 10, 2019
Nora’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 the teenager’s aunt and uncle collected more than £100,000 from well-wishers.
Voluntary hikers and even reportedly a shaman are among those to have joined the search for Nora, who was born with the brain defect holoprosencephaly and has special needs.
Appearing before cameras on Monday, a visibly emotional Ms 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. We are appealing to anyone who has information about Nora to help us find her.”
'Our hearts are breaking' – Nóra Quoirin's mother appeals for her daughter’s safe return and announces a £10,000 (€10,790) reward for information pic.twitter.com/dvdmyVpfo0— RTÉ News (@rtenews) August 12, 2019
Police leading the investigation have refused to rule out a “criminal element” in the teenager’s disappearance.
The reward of 50,000 Malaysian ringgit – approximately £10,000 – was donated by an anonymous Belfast business, Ms Quoirin added.
On Monday morning, a total of 348 personnel were deployed in the search operation, the largest team so far, according to Malaysia’s Malay Mail newspaper.
The Associated Press reported a Malaysian shaman has joined in the search, adding that police released a video showing a shaman wearing a white skullcap performing rituals in the forest.
Ms Quoirin added: “The police have been working extremely hard to bring Nora home.
“In order to help their investigation, we have decided to offer a reward: 50,000R has been donated by an anonymous Belfast-based business for any information that directly helps us to find Nora.
“If you have any information at all, please call the police hotline here on 01112285058 or email email@example.com from outside Malaysia.”
Thanking locals for their help in search efforts, Ms Quoirin said: “You have given up your time especially at a special festival time,” referring to Hari Raya Haji, the Islamic “festival of sacrifice” celebrations.
In a video broadcast on local media, she added: “We want to say thank you to each and every one of you. We know you’re searching night and day for Nora.
“We see you working so hard and also praying with us and being with us.”
The National Crime Agency (NCA) and the Metropolitan Police are supporting the Malaysian police with the case.
A spokeswoman for the NCA said: “The National Crime Agency, the Met Police and the Irish police are working together to help and support the Malaysian authorities relating to Nora Quoirin’s disappearance.”