An Irish teen with special needs went missing while at a Malaysian resort with her family: Here’s what we know so far

15-year-old Nora Quoirin went missing while staying with her family at The Dunsun, a private nature resort located about one and a half hours away from Kuala Lumpur.
Twitter / FindNora, Facebook / The Dusun

The disappearance of an Irish teen with special needs while holidaying in Malaysia has baffled the community as well as local and international media.

According to a BBC report, 15-year-old Nora Quoirin and her family arrived at The Dusun – a private nature resort located about one and a half hours away from Kuala Lumpur – on Saturday (August 3).

The family of five, including Quoirin’s parents and siblings, were on a planned two-week holiday, BBC said.

But at around 8am on Sunday, Quoirin’s father discovered that she was missing from her bedroom, and the window in her room was left open, BBC reported.

Police and Orang Asli people led search teams

After receiving a report at around 11am on Sunday, a platoon from the General Operations Force base in Cheras was called in to conduct a search for Quoirin, The Star reported.

According to BBC, the Malaysian police searched the area around the resort with dogs, while teams led by local Orang Asli people, who have knowledge of the terrain, searched the jungle in a neighbouring national park.

The Star reported that CCTV cameras at the resort were limited only to the counter area. 

Family believes she was abducted

Speaking on behalf of the family, the chief executive of overseas crisis support group Lucie Blackman Trust, Matthew Searle, reportedly told The Sun Online on Sunday that Quoirin’s family believes that she was abducted.

The Sun Online quoted Searle as saying: “She would not have been able to open the window on her own and it was found propped open. They also know Nora would not [have] walked off anywhere on her own.”

A family friend, Catherine Cook, also told BBC that it was “out of character” for Quoirin to go wandering off.

Quoirin, who is Irish but lives in London, has learning and developmental disabilities, Nora’s aunt, Aisling Agnew, was quoted by The Sun as saying.

She also claimed that the girl was “especially vulnerable” and “would never leave her family voluntarily”.

Meanwhile, Quoirin’s family launched a Twitter account on Monday to appeal for sightings or information on their daughter’s whereabouts. The family also started a GoFundMe page to gather donations for Quoirin’s relatives to travel to Malaysia to participate in the search.

Since the GoFundMe page was created, it has exceeded its £6,000 (US$7,298, RM30,507) goal with £10,822 raised so far.

Police dismiss kidnap claims

According to Bernama, however, Malaysian police on Monday dismissed claims that Quoirin had been kidnapped.

Bernama quoted the Negeri Sembilan police chief, Datuk Mohamad Mat Yusop, as saying at a press conference that the case is still classified as a missing person case as no criminal element had been detected to date.

He added that the police believe that Quoirin is “still somewhere in the area”, and urged the public not to exaggerate when spreading information about the case.

Bernama also reported Mohamad Mat as saying that said the search and rescue operation was still ongoing, and that the search area would be expanded to a nearby beach on Tuesday, with more personnel added to the search party.

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