Home News Family believe teen was abducted in spite of coroner’s ruling.

Family believe teen was abducted in spite of coroner’s ruling.

The family of a London Irish-French teen who disappeared and was later found dead say they still believe she was abducted despite a coroner ruling her death to be most likely due to misadventure.

The family also say it is another example of justice failing those with learning difficulties or vulnerabilities.

Fifteen-year-old Nóra Quoirin’s body was found near a Malaysian jungle resort after she vanished while on holiday.
The ruling deepens the anguish for the Quoirin family who have maintained that their daughter would not have simply wandered off alone.

Nóra suffered from holoprosencephaly, a disorder that affects brain development.

Coroner Maimoonah Aid ruled out homicide, natural death and suicide and said the 15-year-old likely got lost after leaving her family’s cottage on her own.

Nóra disappeared from the Dusun eco-resort in southern Negeri Sembilan state on 4 August 2019, just a day after her family arrived on holiday.

Her body was found on 13 August 1.6 miles from the resort.

With no evidence of any foul play or forced entry, Malaysian police have always believed Nóra climbed out of a window on her own.

But Nóra’s parents have always maintained it was more likely she was kidnapped as she would not have wandered off on her own due to her learning difficulties.

The coroner said: “After hearing all the relevant evidence, I rule that there was no one involved in the death of Nora Anne. It is more probable than not that she died by misadventure, i.e she had gone out of the Sora House on her own and subsequently got lost in the abandoned palm oil plantation.”

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The family said in a statement: “We witnessed 80 slides presented to the court today, none of which engaged with who Nóra really was – neither her personality nor her intellectual abilities.

“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 Nóra.

“We believe we have fought not just for Nóra 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 Nóra’s unique legacy and we will never let it go.

“The verdict focused exclusively on physical evidence and physical mobility – which we believe, presents a very incomplete/select theory on how Nóra came about her death.

“Throughout the testimonies presented in this case, layers of (professional) evidence have confirmed what we always believed – that Nóra was abducted.

“It is indeed our view that to know Nóra would be to know that she was simply incapable of hiding in undergrowth, climbing out a window, and/or making her way out of a fenced resort in the darkness unclothed (all of which were presented today as probable theory).

“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 Nóra.

“Today is a significant day in the fight for justice for our beloved Nóra. Our legal team has worked tirelessly, against all odds, to bring the truth to light in a case previously declared as NFA (no further action).

“We have fought for this inquest because, while the medical cause of Nóra’s death was never in question, it was crucial to establish, insofar as is possible, how Nóra came about her death. We wanted to truly understand the full extent of Malaysian police SAR and criminal missions, but also to ensure Nóra’s story was fully expressed.”

Nóra’s mother, Belfast-born Meabh Quoirin, said she heard a voice inside the chalet the night that Nóra disappeared before then falling back asleep.

In the morning Nóra was missing and a window in the chalet that the Meabh and her husband say they closed beore going to sleep had been left open.

The family immediately feared she had been abducted and raised the alarm but have criticised local police for not taking the matter seriously from the outset.

Initial searches turned up nothing.

Eventually, the British Embassy pushed local police to investigate the case further.

Nóra was only wearing underwear when she went missing, but her body was found naked.

While the coroner said this gave credence to the possibility of there being a sexual assault, an extensive autopsy found no proof of one, nor evidence of struggle marks or smothering.

An initial post-mortem report said Nóra had died due to gastrointestinal bleeding from hunger and stress over a prolonged period.

However, Nóra’s mother maintained the report did not explain how her daughter had ended up where she was eventually found and the family pressed for an inquest after the Malaysian Attorney General’s Chambers declared “there was no case to answer”.

Meabh has always insisted that had Nóra wandered outside she would have frozen on the spot and waited, adding that the teenager had difficulty walking unassisted due to weak core strength and she would tire easily.

The family now have the right to apply for a revision of the coroner’s verdict at a high court.

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