Nóra Quoirin: Postmortem ongoing, no cause of death revealed

Public urged not to speculate on circumstances surrounding teenager’s death

Sankara N Nair, the lawyer representing the family of Irish teenager Nóra Quoirin, speaks to the media outside a hospital morgue in Seremban, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia. Video: Reuters

 

The postmortem on the body of Franco-Irish teenager Nóra Quoirin is ongoing and no cause of death has been revealed.

At a press conference on Wednesday, the deputy police chief for Negeri Sembilan, Che Zakaria Othman, said no report could be given about the postmortem and said police would brief the press on Thursday.

Mr Che Zakaria also said there were no new developments in the investigation at the site where Nóra’s body was found.

Sankara N Nair, lawyer representing the family of 15-year-old Irish teenager Nóra Quoirin, speaks to the media outside a hospital morgue in Seremban, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia. Photograph: Lai Seng Sin/AP Photo
Sankara N Nair, lawyer representing the family of 15-year-old Irish teenager Nóra Quoirin, speaks to the media outside a hospital morgue in Seremban, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia. Photograph: Lai Seng Sin/AP Photo

The 15-year-old, who had special needs, disappeared from the Dusun resort, 63km outside the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur, on Sunday August 4th. She was on holiday with her mother, who is from Belfast, her French father and her two siblings.

Her unclothed body was found on Tuesday, the 10th day of the search, next to a stream, in an area that had already been covered by the search and rescue teams.

Nóra’s body was found about 2km from the resort by one of a group of 24 local hikers who were assisting in the search.

On Wednesday, Nóra’s family released a statement via the Lucie Blackman Trust, a British victims’ group which has been assisting them.

They said they would like to thank all the people who searched for her and had tried their best to find her.

They thanked the local people in Malaysia and “those far and wide” for their prayers and support.

Broken hearts

Nóra, her family said, had brought people together, especially from France, Ireland, Britain and Malaysia.

Family members arrive to see the body of Nora Quoirin at Tuanku Jaafar Hospital in Seremban, Malaysia. Photograph: Lim Huey Teng/Reuters
Family members arrive to see the body of Nora Quoirin at Tuanku Jaafar Hospital in Seremban, Malaysia. Photograph: Lim Huey Teng/Reuters

They said she had truly touched the whole world. “To all our friends and family at home, we can’t thank you enough for all your love,” the family said.

“Nóra is at the heart of our family. She is the truest, most precious girl and we love her infinitely. The cruelty of her being taken away is unbearable. Our hearts are broken. We will always love our Nóra.”

Matthew Searle, chief executive of the Lucie Blackman Trust, appealed to people not to speculate about what happened to Nóra: “There will be a time for comment but that time is not now. Let the family grieve in peace,” he said.

The Quoirin family’s lawyer, Sankara N Nair, earlier said Malaysian police should accept an offer by French authorities to help investigate Nóra’s death.

“The family expects the police to do a thorough investigation into the incident, including criminal angles,” said Mr Nair, clarifying an earlier comment that the family “won’t press for anything” did not mean they opposed a full inquiry.

He urged Malaysian police to accept an offer by French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian to help investigate the circumstances. “It’s a very good proposal,” he said. “I hope police will accept the assistance.”

The Paris prosecutor’s office has opened an inquiry for abduction and false imprisonment. The inquiry formally began on August 9th – four days before Nóra’s body was discovered, a spokeswoman confirmed on Wednesday.

Two officials from the prosecutor’s office travelled to Malaysia in recent days as part of the investigation, according to reports from Le Figaro, Franco Info radio and other outlets.

Reward

Nóra’s family had offered a reward of 50,000 Malaysian ringgit (about €10,600) for information leading to her return. The money had been donated by an anonymous Belfast-based business.

It is still not known whether she left the guest house alone and voluntarily. Her body was found in a very inaccessible, hilly area. Her family has said from the start that they believe she was abducted.

Police have not ruled anything out, but have said there is no evidence as yet of foul play.

Police found unidentified fingerprints on a window that was open in the downstairs living room of the guest house the Quoirin family are occupying, but there has been no announcement about the results of forensic examination of those prints.

Lord mayor of Belfast, councillor John Finucane was due to open a book of condolence at City Hall on Wednesday afternoon in memory of Nóra.

The Dusun resort released a statement on Wednesday.

Negeri Sembilan deputy police chief Che Zakaria Othman speaks to media during a press conference at Tunku Jaafar Hospital in Seremban, Malaysia. Photograph: Ahmad Yusni/EPA
Negeri Sembilan deputy police chief Che Zakaria Othman speaks to media during a press conference at Tunku Jaafar Hospital in Seremban, Malaysia. Photograph: Ahmad Yusni/EPA

“The Dusun family and staff would like to convey our deepest condolences to the family of Nóra Quoirin on her demise. We are devastated by the turn of events and we would like to extend our support and assistance in whatever way possible to the Quoirins during these very difficult times,” said the resort.

“We deeply regret that this has happened to the Quoirins during their stay here. We will continue to provide our fullest co-operation to the authorities in their investigation.” – Additional reporting: Reuters/PA