The parents of a teenager found dead in a Malaysian jungle while on a family holiday say they believe there was a ‘criminal element’ involved in the death of their daughter.
Speaking publicly for the first time since the death, Frenchman Sebastien, 47, and Irish woman Meab Quoirin, 45, said they want ‘truth and justice’ for their daughter Nora, who was found dead after a 10-day search around the Malaysian jungle resort of Dusun in August.
In the exclusive interview with Ireland’s state broadcaster RTE, Ms Quoirin said that she has many questions about her 15-year-old daughter’s death.
Meabh and Sebastian Quoirin (pictured) believe there is a ‘criminal element’ involved in the death of their daughter
Speaking publicly for the first time since the death, Meabh and Sebastian say they want ‘truth and justice’ for their daughter Nora
Nora found dead after a 10-day search around the Malaysian jungle resort of Dusun in August (Nora pictured with her mother Meabh before her death)
When Nora disappeared from her hotel room on August 4, her parents feared she had been abducted, insisting she would not have wandered off by herself.
However, police in Malaysia said they found no evidence of abduction or kidnapping.
Ms Quoirin said during Tuesday’s interview that it would have been ‘impossible physically mentally to imagine that she could have got any distance at all’.
‘For us something very complex happened,’ she added.
‘We have insisted from the beginning that we believe there was a criminal element to what happened.
Nora was reported missing on August 4 after her parents awoke following their first night at a Malaysian eco-resort to find a window open and their daughter gone
‘And crucially we’re struggling because it was difficult to get resources in place fast enough to investigate a criminal angle.
‘While a post mortem when it comes through may give us answers, and has already given us some basic answers around what caused Nora’s death, it doesn’t explain any of how she could possibly have got to where she was found.
‘And we really believe that that is going to be difficult to get the whole truth on but it’s important to try.’
Mr Quoirin said the pair are planning to push for Malaysian authorities to launch an inquest into their daughter’s death. He added they are at the stage where they believe there is ‘one chance in a billion that Nora got lost by herself’.
A post-mortem examination revealed Nora died from internal bleeding probably caused by hunger and stress.
Meabh Quoirin (pictured) said during Tuesday’s interview that it would have been ‘impossible physically mentally to imagine that she could have got any distance at all’
A post-mortem examination revealed Nora died from internal bleeding probably caused by hunger and stress. Police in Malaysia said they found no evidence of abduction or kidnapping
Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department officers participate in a search and rescue operation for 15-year-old Nora Quoirin from London on August 9. Her body was found 10 days after she went missing, near a remote jungle waterfall in an area that had been previously searched
Charles Morell, lawyer for parents Sebastien and Meabh, has previously said the pair have also not ruled out pursuing a criminal probe.
Speaking to Irish broadcaster RTE, he said the Quoirins ‘cannot understand how Nora could leave by herself’ and urged ‘caution’ over post-mortem results which showed Nora died of intestinal trauma likely caused by starvation and stress.
Meanwhile, Sylvain Quoirin, Nora’s paternal grandfather, told the Irish Times that ‘dark areas need to be cleared up for the family to be able to grieve in peace.’
He said: ‘She wasn’t there [during previous searches]. Someone put her there, to get rid of her.
‘Can you imagine her walking 1.5miles, naked and barefoot, over rocks, in the middle of the night? For me, that’s absurd.’
Charles Morell, lawyer for parents Sebastien and Meabh, has previously said the pair have also not ruled out pursuing a criminal probe
Ms Quoirin pictured talking to police during search and rescue operations for her daughter on August 10. She believes there is a ‘criminal element’ to her daughter’s death
Despite the family’s questions, Malaysian police chief Mohamed Yosup insisted that she had been ‘mobile’ in the jungle in the area that rescue teams were searching.
The girl’s remains were not discovered until 10 days after she went missing, near a remote jungle waterfall in an area that had been previously searched.
Yosup added that police might never know what had happened to the teen’s clothes. It is thought she went missing in her underwear but was found naked.
Nora, who suffered from learning difficulties, was reported missing on August 4 during a family holiday to a Malaysian eco-resort after her parents woke to find a window to their apartment open and their daughter gone.
A 10-day search involving hundreds of police, volunteers, sniffer dogs and helicopters was launched to find her, before her body was discovered just 1.5miles from the resort near a remote jungle waterfall.
The 15-year-old’s body was discovered near this jungle waterfall after a 10-day search involving hundreds of police and volunteers, helicopters and sniffer dogs
Malaysian police chief Mohamad Yusop insisted that Nora was alive and evaded searchers for six days in the jungle before they moved on, then discovered her body when they returned to the previous search area after 10 days
The fact that the area had been searched previously – with no sign of her found – and the fact that she was found naked when it was thought she left the family apartment wearing underwear, raised the prospect she had been kidnapped and dumped.
But it now appears that she wandered off into the jungle and got lost before succumbing to starvation. It is not clear what happened to her clothes.
After volunteer hikers found her body, she was taken to a hospital Seremban where pathologists carried out a post-mortem.
Malaysia’s Deputy Commissioner Datuk Mohamad Mat Yusop told reporters that Nora likely died two to three days before her body was found, meaning she was alive and lost in the jungle for six or seven days.
The ruptured intestine was most likely caused by stress brought by not eating any food, medics said.
Mr Yusop said she had not eaten any food and this was a factor in her death.
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