A BODY found in the Malaysian jungle has been confirmed to be that of missing teenager Nora Quoirin.
The 15-year-old’s body was identified today hours after it was discovered following a large-scale search operation.
The London teenager, who has special needs, disappeared from the jungle resort of Dusun on Sunday August 4, where she had been on holiday with her family.
The Lucie Blackman Trust said it was ‘with great sadness that the body found today was that of the missing teenager’ and that police had confirmed the identification.
Earlier, national deputy police chief Mazlan Mansor told reporters at a press conference the body had been found beside a small stream about 1.6 miles from the resort, by volunteers who were helping the search team.
He added that the body ‘was not in any clothings’ and said while it remained a missing persons case police were looking into all possibilities including the ‘angle of criminal investigation’.
Nora’s mother made a heartfelt appeal on Monday to find her as a £10,000 reward, donated by an anonymous Belfast business, was offered for information leading to her safe return.
The teenager’s parents, Meabh and Sebastien Quoirin, a French-Irish couple who have lived in London for 20 years, thanked those looking for her as fundraising pages set up by Nora’s aunt and uncle collected more than £100,000 from well-wishers.
Following news that a body had been discovered Simon Coveney, Ireland’s deputy prime minister and foreign minister described it as a ‘harrowing’ time.
He tweeted: ‘Irish + French embassies in Malaysia working together to provide every assistance to the Quoirin family. Irish embassy is in touch with Malaysian authorities on today’s discovery of a body. At this harrowing time all of our thoughts + prayers are with the family.’
Volunteer hikers and even reportedly a shaman were among those taking part in the search for Nora, who was born with the brain defect holoprosencephaly.
The Quoirins had said Nora’s condition meant she was not independent and had difficulty walking.
The National Crime Agency (NCA), the Metropolitan Police and Irish police were supporting the Malaysian police with the case.