Indigenous trackers are working to find British teenager Nora Quoirin, 15, who disappeared from an eco-resort in Malaysia on Sunday, as her family said they remained hopeful. Members of the Senoi Praq, a special police team comprising indigenous tribes famed for their forest tracking skills, shouted “Nora!” on Thursday as they combed the dense forest surrounding the Dusun eco-resort in southern Negeri Sembilan state.
The district police chief, Nor Marzukee Besar, said rescuers will also use recordings of Nora’s mother’s voice and play them over loudspeakers to try and find her. Police leading the investigation have refused to rule out a “criminal element” in her disappearance.
Her family released a statement on Wednesday afternoon which expressed their “deepest gratitude” to the Royal Malaysia Police and others helping the search. The force is analysing fingerprints found in a resort cottage where Nora was reported missing, despite previously saying there were no initial signs of foul play.
The family believe Nora, who has learning and developmental disabilities, was abducted. Their statement said: “We would like to thank our embassies, the local community, and the staff here at the hotel and anyone else who has offered help to find Nora. We also welcome the assistance of the French, British and Irish police.
“We are completely overwhelmed by the support we have received from all over the world.”
Her parents, Meabh and Sebastien, an Irish-French couple, were “too upset to speak themselves at this time”, said the statement released on their behalf by the Lucie Blackman Trust, which helps crisis-struck British nationals overseas.
On Wednesday, Nora’s aunt Eadaoin Agnew read the family’s written statement out on video, saying : “This is extremely traumatic for the whole family. Meabh and Sebastien are understandably devastated and too upset to speak themselves at this time.”
The statement continued: “But we must remain hopeful and we ask everyone to keep Nora in their thoughts and to continue to support the ongoing search for her. “Nora is still missing and she is very vulnerable, and we need to do everything we can to bring her home.”
The family, including Nora’s younger brother and sister, arrived at the resort about 40 miles south of Kuala Lumpur on Saturday. Deputy police chief Che Zakaria Othman said a forensic team was analysing fingerprints found in the family’s cottage.
The prints were at an open window in a downstairs hall, not in the bedroom upstairs where the girl was sleeping with her siblings, he said. Police added they were “not ruling out any possibility” and they believe Nora is still in the area. The rescue operation involves more than 200 people working around the clock.