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Death of British girl Nora Quoirin in Malaysian jungle most likely misadventure, coroner rules
4 January 2021, 07:12 | Updated: 4 January 2021, 09:15
The tragic death of Nora Quoirin, 15, was most likely due to misadventure and not because of third party involvement, a coroner in Malaysia has ruled.
French-Irish teenager Nora Anne's body was found near a Malaysian jungle resort on 13 August 2019 after she vanished while on holiday.
The 15-year-old from Balham, south-west London, disappeared at the Dusun eco-resort in southern Negeri Sembilan state on August 4, 2019, one day after her family arrived for a holiday.
Rescue teams searched for the girl for 10 days before finding her body by a stream 1.6 miles - roughly 2.6km - from where she was last seen.
Malaysia coroner Maimoonah Aid ruled out homicide, natural death and suicide, saying the teenager likely got lost after leaving her family's cottage on her own.
"I ruled that there was no-one involved in the death of Nora Anne," the coroner said during a virtual hearing watched by Nora's parents.
"It is more probable than not that she died by misadventure, i.e. that she had gone out of the (cottage) on her own and subsequently got lost in the abundant palm oil plantation."
Despite Nora's parents claiming the girl was likely kidnapped - saying she would not have wandered off on her own as she had mental and physical disabilities - Ms Aid said it would be a breach of her duty to speculate on third-party involvement without evidence.
The coroner added that the parents' 'theory' lent credence to the possibility of sexual assault but she explained that an extensive autopsy found no such proof, nor evidence of a struggle or any smothering.
Ms Aid also said there were no suspicious circumstances prior to the teenager's disappearance, such as a ransom request, and no signs of intrusion into the family cottage.
Nora's family said they were "utterly disappointed" upon hearing the coroner's verdict.
"Once again we see that justice struggles to support the most vulnerable in society - only engaging with special needs at a surface level - and not at the level that truly reflects children like Nora," a statement read.
Her family added: "We believe we have fought not just for Nora but in honour of all the special needs children in this world who deserve our most committed support and the most careful application of justice.
"This is Nora's unique legacy and we will never let it go."
Police believed she climbed out of the cottage window on her own, with no evidence of any foul play.
Nora was only wearing underwear when she went missing, whereas her body was found naked.
Her parents were listening to the online verdict from their home in London.
A total of 49 witnesses testified over 24 days at the inquest, which began last August, using video-conferencing due to the coronavirus pandemic.