The autopsy of Nora Quoirin, the 15-year-old who went missing in the Malaysian jungle, has concluded that she likely died of starvation and stress after spending seven days in the jungle.
Speaking outside the police headquarters in Seremban, police chief Mohammad Mat Yusop said Nora had died “two to three days ago” from “internal bleeding from a ruptured ulcer in her intestine, possibly caused by prolonged starvation or stress”.
She also had bruising on her legs but there was “no sign of violence, abduction or kidnapping” and “no evidence of foul play for the time being”, though tests were still ongoing.
The body of the London teenager was found 1.2 miles from the resort where she was staying, down a steep ravine in the jungle, on Tuesday after a 10-day search. Nora had gone missing overnight on 3 August from the hotel where she was staying with her family on holiday, sparking a large search operation involving over 350 people, including officers from the UK, France and Ireland.
Nora was barefoot and just in underwear when she went missing, and a window was found open downstairs in her hotel room. Her remains were eventually discovered unclothed in a stream by a team of local hikers who had joined the search. The body had to be winched out by a helicopter and brought to Tuanku Ja’afar hospital for a post mortem.
It had been a drawn-out wait for the results of the autopsy, which was carried out by a pathologist from Kuala Lumpur, two experts from the department of chemistry and a local doctor.
Nora was born with holoprosencephaly, a neurological disorder, which limited her speech and coordination and made her “very vulnerable”, according to her parents.
During the search, Nora’s Irish and French mother and father, Meabh and Sebastien Quoirin, said she must have been abducted as she “never goes anywhere by herself”, but police continued to treat the case as a missing person, while ruling out a “criminal element” in the teenager’s disappearance.
In a statement on Wednesday, the family described their agony at Nora’s death in a statement, describing her as “at the heart of our family”.
“She is the truest, most precious girl and we love her infinitely,” said the family. “The cruelty of her being taken away is unbearable. Our hearts are broken. We will always love our Nora.”
They thanked all those who had been involved in the search to find her, adding: “Nora has brought people together, especially from France, Ireland, Britain and Malaysia, united in their love and support for her and her family. She has truly touched the whole world. To all our friends and family at home, we can’t thank you enough for all your love.”
More to follow…