Nora Quoirin, 15, disappeared while on vacation at a Malaysian jungle resort. She starved and died of intestinal rupture, say Malaysian police, who have ruled out foul play in her death.
It is likely that she survived for six or seven days and suffered a slow and agonising death as trackers desperately tried to find her in the dense jungle.
It appears Nora, who had special needs, was found dead could have been found alive if search teams had got to her in time.
There was no evidence the 15-year-old London schoolgirl was kidnapped or raped, police said as post mortem results were revealed.
When Nora was still missing her family said they believed she was abducted, but police insisted she had likely climbed out of a window at their holiday cottage, wandered off and got lost in the tropical rainforest.
The Franco-Irish teen’s naked body was found on Tuesday, ending a 10-day search after she disappeared during a family holiday at a resort south of Kuala Lumpur.
The results of a post-mortem, conducted at a hospital in the nearby town of Seremban, were announced on Thursday, finding Nora died from intestinal bleeding “two to three days” before her body was found.
Police today revealed that following a 12-hour autopsy, four pathologists found the 15-year-old had suffered a perforated ulcer, which they believe was likely caused by stress and having gone without food for days.
Despite some scratching and bruising to her arms and legs, Negri Sembilan police chief Datuk Mohamad Mat Yusop also ruled out foul play, telling a press conference there were no signs of physical or sexual violence.
There was also no evidence “for the time being” to indicate she was a victim of kidnapping, he said, adding authorities from the UK, Ireland and France were working closely with Malaysian investigators.
Toxicological tests are still pending.
Nora, who was born with the brain defect holoprosencephaly and was described by her family as “vulnerable”, disappeared on August 4, a day after her family checked into the Dusun resort.
The Quoirins said Nora’s condition meant she was not independent and had difficulty walking.
Describing her as a “very special person”, they said she would not have gone anywhere alone.
Her body was discovered on Tuesday beside a small stream about 1.6 miles from the cottage where she was staying with her parents, Meabh and Sebastien, and her younger brother Maurice, eight, and sister Innes, 12, for a two-week holiday.
Police said the body was found in an area that had previously been searched by rescuers.
Hundreds of people were involved in the search operation and it was volunteer helpers who found the teenager’s body.
Search and rescue teams had used helicopters and drones with thermal imaging cameras, sniffer dogs, local shamans who summoned spirits during rituals and indigenous villagers during the effort involving more than 350 personnel.
Mrs Quoirin, originally from Belfast, had previously thanked search teams in an emotional address, and her voice was played over loudspeakers as trackers went through the jungle looking for Nora, hoping she would hear it and emerge.
Nora’s parents had offered a £10,000 reward for information leading to her return.
Online fundraisers had collected more than £100,000 to support the family from Balham, south-west London. The family is devastated of course and thanks everyone for their efforts in the search, they haven’t commented on the autopsy findings.
Nora Quoirin timeline
Saturday, August 3: The Quoirins check into the Dusun resort, about an hour south of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Sunday, August 4: Nora is reported missing after her father discovers she is not in her bedroom in their holiday cottage at around 8am.
The window was also open in the room that Nora had been sharing with her two siblings.
Monday, August 5: A British charity says Malaysian police are treating Nora’s disappearance as a potential abduction, but officers say there is no sign of any foul play.
The Lucie Blackman Trust, a charity supporting missing people abroad, say police believe the teenager could have been taken.
Tuesday, August 6: Nora’s family release a statement saying they believe she was abducted.
Wednesday, August 7: Police say they are analysing unidentified fingerprints found in the family’s hotel suite.
The prints were at an open window in a downstairs hall, not in the bedroom upstairs where Nora was sleeping with her siblings, deputy police chief Che Zakaria Othman says.
Friday, August 9: Police investigate whether footprints found in the forest where Nora went missing belong to the teenager.
Saturday, August 10: Nora’s family thank the search teams involved since the teenager’s disappearance.
Sunday, August 11: Nora has been missing for a week, with hundreds of rescuers still involved in the search operation.
Monday, August 12: A visibly emotional Mrs Quoirin makes a further appeal for her daughter to return home.
Tuesday, August 13: Nora’s naked body is found beside a small stream, about 1.6 miles from the jungle resort.