Family of Franco-Irish teen welcome Malaysia inquest

The family of a Franco-Irish teenager who went missing while on holiday in the Malaysian rainforest said Saturday they hoped an upcoming inquest into her death would finally provide answers.

The unclothed body of 15-year-old Nora Quoirin was discovered in August last year afer she disappeared from a resort where she had been staying with her London-based family.

After Malaysian authorities announced an inquest would start on August 24, her family said in a statement: “We are pleased that our mission for justice for Nora is moving forward.     

“We have fought very hard to keep Nora’s case alive, after it was initially closed by the police in early 2020, and it has been our wish all along to have an inquest. 

“This will be crucial in determining the fullest possible picture of what happened to Nora and how her case was dealt with.”

Nora’s parents say they believe there was a “criminal element” to her death as the teen had learning difficulties and would not have wandered off alone, but Malaysian police insisted there was no sign of foul play.

The family statement thanked the coroner’s court and the Malaysian authorities “for their support in this very difficult process”, adding that they would attend the inquest as witnesses via videoconference. 

Nora disappeared a day after arriving at the Dusun Resort not far from Malaysia’s capital Kuala Lumpur, triggering a 10-day search involving hundreds of people, helicopters and sniffer dogs.

An autopsy found Nora likely starved and died of internal bleeding after about a week in the jungle, and authorities classified the case as “requiring no further action”.

But her family pushed for an inquest, and a coroner has set dates from August 24 to September 4 for one to take place, their lawyer in Malaysia, Sankara Nair, confirmed to AFP.

Sixty-four witnesses will be called, and the coroner, prosecutors and lawyers will visit the area where her body was found before it gets under way, he said.