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Thursday 21 November 2019

'Nora was abducted', insist parents as search continues for girl missing in Malaysia

Nora Quoirin, who is travelling on an Irish passport, vanished from her bedroom at the Dusun resort in Malaysia on Sunday
Nora Quoirin, who is travelling on an Irish passport, vanished from her bedroom at the Dusun resort in Malaysia on Sunday

The parents of a 15-year-old girl missing in Malaysia said she has been abducted as the search for her enters its fourth day.

Nora Quoirin's family discovered her missing from her bedroom at the Dusun resort in southern Negeri Sembilan state on Sunday morning, with the window left open.

Local police said there were no initial signs of foul play.

However, Nora's family said they had "no reason to believe she wandered off and is lost".

In a statement, they said: "Nora's family believe she has been abducted.

"We are especially worried because Nora has learning and developmental disabilities, and is not like other 15-year-olds.

"She looks younger, she is not capable of taking care of herself, and she won't understand what is going on.

Jungle

"She never goes anywhere by herself. We have no reason to believe she wandered off and is lost."

Nora's mother Meabh is from Belfast and her father Sebastian is French. The family live in London, with Nora travelling on an Irish passport.

Police have expanded the search for Nora, with more than 160 personnel now looking for her.

Those searching dense jungle and hilly terrain on foot and by helicopter include police, the fire and rescue services department, civil defence and the forestry department.

Sniffer dogs are also being used in the search for Nora.

State deputy police chief Che Zakaria Othman said local indigenous people - known as Orang Asli - are also helping with the search.

"We've got a platoon from the general operations force as well as a police canine team to look for Nora Anne," he told local media, adding that more personnel are expected to join the search.

He said the CCTV system at the resort is limited to the counter area.

"The girl's passport and other belongings are with the family," he added.

Missing persons charity The Lucie Blackman Trust had previously said Nora's disappearance was being treated as an abduction.

The girl's family said they were treating the disappearance as a "criminal matter".

Speaking from Belfast, Nora's aunt, Aisling Agnew, said: "Nora's parents and relatives in Ireland and France are distraught by her disappearance.

"Nora would not know how to get help and would never leave her family voluntarily, and we fear for her safety.

Appealing

"We now consider this a criminal matter. We are appealing to everyone to assist the local police in any way they can and to pass on any information that would help locate our beloved Nora without delay."

Nora's father raised the alarm when he discovered her missing from her bedroom at 8am local time on Sunday. Her window had been opened.

An online fundraising page set up by Nora's aunt has raised more than €10,000.

More family members are travelling to Malaysia to help in the search and rescue effort.

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