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Family identify body found in Malaysia as missing Nora

Sky News logo Sky News 13/08/2019 Rebecca Taylor, news reporter

a person standing in a room: Nora Quoirin disappeared while on a family holiday in a Malaysian jungle resort on 4 August © Other Nora Quoirin disappeared while on a family holiday in a Malaysian jungle resort on 4 August The family of Nora Quoirin have said the body found is that of the missing London teenager.

Nora, 15, was reported missing 10 days ago while on a family holiday at a jungle resort of Dasun, near Seremban, around an hour south of the capital Kuala Lumpur.

Police said rescuers found a body of a Caucasian female about 1.2 miles (2km) from where the 15-year-old was reported missing.

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Mohamad Mat Yusof, a police chief in the state where she was found, said: "The family has been brought in to identify the body found today and they have confirmed that the body is indeed Nora Anne."

A spokesman for the Lucie Blackman Trust, which is handling media for the family, said: "[We] can confirm with great sadness that the body found today is that of missing teenager Nora Quoirin. Local police have confirmed identification."

National deputy police chief Mazlan Mansor earlier said the body was found without any clothing.

Police said they sent officials to a waterfall near Gunung Berembun in the Pantai Hills after receiving a call from a member of the public.

a man and a woman posing for the camera: Meabh Quoirin with her daughter Nora who was missing while on holiday in Malaysia © PA Meabh Quoirin with her daughter Nora who was missing while on holiday in Malaysia

Mr Mansor told reporters investigators had "reasonable belief that it must be her" and when questioned further added that, while they await formal identification, they are "very certain" it is her.

The police chief said that while it remains a missing persons case, all possibilities were being looked into, including the "angle of a criminal investigation".

The body was flown by helicopter to a hospital where it was identified by Nora's parents, Meabh and Sebastien Quoirin, who were told about the discovery.

a red and white plane sitting on top of a car: A helicopter involved in the rescue operation © Imagebridge A helicopter involved in the rescue operation

Mohamad Mat Yusop, Negeri Sembilan police chief said: "The post-mortem process will start tomorrow morning and we will apply so that a senior pathologist from Kuala Lumpur will be here to conduct the process tomorrow."

Nora was travelling on an Irish passport while on holiday, but her French-Irish parents have lived in London for 20 years.

Matthew Searle, chief executive of the Lucie Blackman Trust, a charity helps families of UK residents who are in crises overseas, confirmed to Sky News that the pair were on their way there, adding: "All the indications are that this is Nora."

a group of people standing in front of a building: Family members arrive at the hospital where Nora's body was taken © Imagebridge Family members arrive at the hospital where Nora's body was taken

He said the timeline of repatriating her body would depend on whether extensive forensics needed to be carried out.

Mr Searle told Sky News the family were grateful for all the work that had been going on in the search for Nora.

He also said the charity had made sure Nora's younger siblings had enough toys and entertainment to keep them occupied.

President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins, said: "Sabina and I offer our deepest condolences to Nora's parents, Meabh and Sebastien, to Nora's siblings and to her extended family.

a group of people on a rock: Members of a rescue team taking part in the search for Nora on Monday © Getty Members of a rescue team taking part in the search for Nora on Monday

"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 Nora, 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.

a close up of a map: A map showing the search areas for Nora © Imagebridge A map showing the search areas for Nora

"Our thoughts and prayers are now with Nora's family, at this most difficult time."

a statue of a man doing a river: Nora Quoirin has been missing for more than a week © Getty Nora Quoirin has been missing for more than a week

The French foreign office said: "We have learned with great sadness of the passing of the young Nora Quoirin in Malaysia."

France's Europe and foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and secretary of state for Europe Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne said: "The French authorities are at the disposition of the Malaysian authorities so that light can be shed on the circumstances of her death."

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Taoiseach Leo Varadkar tweeted: "Our thoughts & sincere condolences are with Nora Quoirin's parents, siblings & wider family at this unimaginably difficult time.

"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."

a man standing in front of a truck: A police forensic vehicle enters the Dusun Resort where Nora Quoirin went missing © Reuters A police forensic vehicle enters the Dusun Resort where Nora Quoirin went missing Earlier today, Simon Coveney, Ireland's deputy prime minister and foreign minister, tweeted: "Irish + French embassies in Malaysia working together to provide every assistance to the Quoirin family.

"Irish embassy is in touch with Malaysian authorities on today's discovery of a body.

"At this harrowing time all of our thoughts + prayers are with the family."

Hundreds of people joined the search operation to try to find Nora, who was born with the brain defect holoprosencephaly.

Nora's mother made a heartfelt plea on Monday to find her, and a £10,000 reward was offered for information leading to her safe return.

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Her parents thanked those looking for her, many of which were volunteers, as a fundraiser for the family reached £100,000.

On Monday, 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."

Nora's father found she was not in her bedroom on the morning of 4 August, when he went in and discovered the window was open. A family friend said it was "out of character" for her to "go wandering off".

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At the early stages of the investigation police in Malaysia said there was no evidence of foul play, but her family repeatedly insisted she had been abducted.

As the days continued, police investigated footprints in the forest as well as fingerprints on the open window of a downstairs hallway in the resort where Nora and her family were staying.

At the end of last week, her parents gave more details of her special needs, clarifying that she read like a young child, but could not write more than a few words, and was unable to do maths, making money impossible to manage.

They said she was unable to make or receive phone calls independently.

Nora attended St Bede's Catholic Church in Clapham Park in south London, which has been holding vigils for her since she went missing.

The primary school of the same name said in a post that it "will be open today from 1pm for all who want to join in prayer for Nora and her family".

"This is the time we need to show the strength of our community and seek God's guidance and support in this heartbreaking and horrific moment."

Explore the issues faced by the UK’s most vulnerable children and young people this summer and discover what you can do to help.

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