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British teen found dead in jungle was not abducted or murdered, Malaysian police say

  • Author: Hannah Knowles, Jennifer Hassan, The Washington Post
  • Updated: August 15
  • Published August 15

This undated photo shows Nora Anne Quoirin. (The Lucie Blackman Trust/Family via AP)

When Nora Anne Quoirin's family woke to find their daughter gone from her bedroom in the Malaysian resort, they knew she was particularly at risk - the 15-year-old with a brain development disorder doesn't go out alone.

Nine days after the London teen went missing, authorities found Nora's naked body just over a mile from the Dusun jungle nature resort where she disappeared Aug. 4 during a family vacation.

Speaking at a news conference on Thursday, Malaysian police said that a postmortem examination report shows Nora died of internal bleeding in her intestine, likely as a result of stress and prolonged hunger.

"The cause of death was upper gastrointestinal bleeding due to duodenal ulcer, complicated with perforation," said Negeri Sembilan state police chief Mohamad Mat Yusop.

Malaysian Police added there was no "evidence of foul play" behind Nora's death and that they had no reason to believe at this time that the teen was abducted.

"For the time being, there is no element of abduction or kidnapping," Yusop said.

Police also said that while there were bruises on Nora's leg, they were not likely connected to her death.

It is believed that the teen died two or three days before her unclothed body was found in a remote location in the jungle by a team of searchers on Tuesday.

Nora's disappearance triggered a massive search effort involving drones, sniffer dogs, multiple countries and more than 350 searchers. Nora's family are now able to fly her body back home, police said on Thursday, adding that further tests on the body would be carried out.

Following the discovery of her body, Nora's parents said their "hearts are broken" and described their daughter as the "truest, most precious girl."

Video from earlier this month shows searchers playing a crackling recording of Nora's mother's voice as they desperately search the dense jungle. It calls out, "Nora darling, mother's here."

An anonymous donation from a business in Northern Ireland - Nora's mother is from Belfast, and Nora was traveling on an Irish passport, according to the BBC - helped the Quoirins offer about $12,000 for information that could lead them to their daughter. Crowdfunding efforts raised more $120,000 as the family appealed for aid.

"Nora would not know how to get help and would never leave her family voluntarily," the teen's aunt wrote, noting the girl's learning disabilities.

Searle said the body was found in "a very inaccessible area." The 12-acre resort of seven houses where the Quoirins were staying is in foothills about an hour's drive south of the capital of Kuala Lumpur.

Nora's case had reminded many in Britain of another British girl who vanished from her bedroom while on vacation. Madeleine McCann was just days from her 4th birthday when she vanished from Praia da Luz, Portugal, in 2007. She has not been found.

Her parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, had left their three children sleeping unattended as they ate dinner with friends at a restaurant nearby. They returned to their villa to find Madeleine missing. Like the Quoirin family, the McCanns have always said that their daughter was abducted.

The McCanns were at one point named by Portuguese police as suspects but later cleared. More than a decade since their daughter's disappearance, Madeleine's parents continue their appeal to find her.

The McCanns' case has gained both national and international attention and received copious government funding. According to the BBC, the investigation has cost more than $13 million so far.

Speaking to the Sun, a British tabloid, McCann family spokesman Clarence Mitchell said that Nora's parents were "facing a similar ordeal to Kate and Gerry, and it is heart-wrenching."

Nora’s disappearance “brings back the horror of Maddie vanishing,” the family said.

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