A female body has been found in the hunt for missing British teenager Nora Quoirin in the Malaysian jungle, the police chief leading the search revealed today.
The discovery was made by a member of the public on the tenth day of an intensive search of the jungle surrounding the eco-resort where she was on holiday.
It was found near a waterfall around a mile away from the villa the family were staying in when she vanished.
State Police chief Mohammed Yusop said: ‘I can confirm a body has been found in the Betembum mountains. It is not in an accessible place’.
He said the white-skinned body was intact and forensic and a pathologist were on the scene which has been sealed off.
A body has been found in the hunt for missing British teen Nora Quoirin in the Malaysian jungle, police sources say
The body is ‘likely’ to be that of 15-year-old Nora Quoirin, the Lucie Blackman Trust has said.
Fears grew for the 15-year-old, who has special needs, after it emerged she was barefoot and wearing a night dress when she disappeared in the early hours of August 4.
Forensic teams were seen leaving from Pantai police station to race to the scene after the police hotline was alerted at around 2pm local time.
Yusop said they were waiting for the findings of a pathologist before officially confirming the body was Nora.
But by saying it was a white female and the body was in a good condition, police on duty at the resort said it is assumed to be the teen.
An officer at the scene said they needed time to access the body and confirm whether it is definitely it as the teen, due to the local population burying their relatives in shallow graves.
Parents Sebastien and Meabh were driven into the resort sitting next each other in the back of an unmarked police car.
The discovery was made on the tenth day of an intensive search of the jungle surrounding the eco-resort where she was on holiday
They were followed down the single track road by a car containing a member of the Irish embassy.
Police chief Mohammed Yusop arrived in the back of a moped as intense police activity surrounded the resort.
Hours before the body was found volunteer searcher Shirley Yap told Mailonline they were going to look around a waterfall.
She said: ‘We had heard she was excited about seeing a waterfall when she arrived in the resort.
‘We are going to look around that area and follow the stream down the mountain’.
Yap was among the 22 volunteers taking part in the search on the tenth day.
More than 350 people were involved in the ten-day search, which used helicopters, drones, sniffer dogs and shamans.
Parents Meabh and Sebastien Quoirin made an emotional plea saying their ‘hearts are breaking’ at a press conference in Malaysia as the reward money was announced
It comes after her parents offered a £10,000 reward for information that could lead to her safe return.
They made an emotional plea saying their ‘hearts were breaking’ as the reward money was announced.
In a statement, her mother said: ‘Nora is our first child. She has been vulnerable since the day she was born.
‘She is so precious to us and our hearts are breaking. We are appealing to anyone who has information about Nora to help us find her.’
The £10,000 reward – 50,000 in local Malaysian Ringgit currency – was donated by an anonymous businessman based in Belfast.
British, Irish and French police also joined the search as it stretched into its second week.
The family liaised with the Lucie Blackman Trust who provide support for those with a loved one missing.
The announcement of the reward came in a video statement made by Meabh.
She said: ‘The police have been working extremely hard to bring Nora home. In order to help their investigation, we have decided to offer a reward. 50,000R has been donated by an anonymous Belfast-based businessman for any information that directly helps us to find Nora.’
Two rescue team members hold a deadly cobra found near a river during the search for Nora
A search party combed the jungle for ten days after the teen went missing in the early hours of August 4
Undated family handout photo of Meabh with her daughter Nora who was barefoot when she went missing from her bedroom of the eco-resort
In the statement, her mother said: ‘Nora is our first child. She has been vulnerable since the day she was born’
It comes as shaman, believed to be able to summon spirits, joined the search and entered a trance-like state to perform a ritual incantation in a bid to find the teen.
Shaman Khalid Mohamad said he believed the girl was lured by a genie, an invisible spirit believed by Muslims to inhabit the Earth and influence mankind by appearing in the form of humans or animals.
He said in the video that the genie was attracted to the girl because she has special needs and had chosen her as its step-child.
The video showed the shaman crying and appealing for the girl’s return.
An officer walks near a police line at an entrance to the Dusun Resort where the teen went missing
Malaysian police during a press a conference. The £10,000 reward – 50,000 in local Malaysian Ringgit currency – was donated by an anonymous businessman in Belfast
The hunt for missing teen Nora Quoirin has involved the use shaman who believed she was lured by a ‘genie’
‘Tonight I will ask for the spirit to return her from where (she was taken) and the condition they took her but they will ask for something in exchange. That will be between me and them. Most important now, the child will be released,’ he said in the video.
Dogs trained in finding dead bodies were also drafted in to help with the search. Cadaver dogs roamed the dense jungle with their handlers surrounding the remote eco-resort in Malaysia.
‘The cadaver dogs are used as well as sniffer dogs as there was no scent found of the girl in the first few days,’ said a member of the search team.
A Royal Malaysian Police forensics truck arrives on the tenth day after teen went missing on August 4
The use of the specialist dogs comes as the largest number of search and rescue personnel combed the jungle
Shaman, believed to be able to access spirits, entered a trance-like state during a ritual in a bid to find the teen
Exhausted rescue teams worked through the night crashed out on camp bed while high-powered torches they had used were left re-charging
‘As of yet the dogs have not found anything and that is a good sign.
‘In the heat out here a body would be found sooner rather than later.’
A large number of search and rescue personnel worked in energy sapping hot and humid temperatures, hacking their way through the jungle vines and vegetation.
MailOnline visited one of the command posts manned by members of the civil defence team.
Exhausted rescue teams worked through the night crashed out on camp bed while high-powered torches they had used were left re-charging.
One member of the civil defence team said she had been camping out for over a week since Nora was first reported missing.
Nora’s mother made a heartfelt plea through a loud speaker on Saturday which was played in the jungle surrounding the resort the family were staying at
Search crews looked for the 15-year-old worked through the night in the bid to find her
A shaman participates in the search for the missing teen. In Southeast Asian culture, shamans summon spirits who can help them seek missing persons or investigate bad luck
Nora (pictured left) went missing from her bedroom on August 4 while on a family holiday at a nature resort in Seremban, Malaysia. Pictured on the right is a map of the resort from where she disappeared
Nora was discovered missing by her father Sebastien at around 8am and a downstairs door was wide open
Shaman – known as bomoh in Malaysia – roamed the forest with the search party and entered a trance while performing a ritual incantation
Officials are playing a recording of the girl’s mother calling ‘Nora, Nora darling, mummy’s here’ through loudspeakers in the hope of drawing her out of the jungle, if she is still there.
With temperatures in the high 90s and high humidity the searchers were left physically exhausted making their way step by step through the thick jungle vegetation.
It comes as police refused to discuss what role they had but it is likely to be on the criminal investigation that is being run parallel to the missing persons inquiry.
Assistant Commissioner Che Zaharia confirmed at an evening press conference: ‘We have police from three nations assisting us. France, Ireland and U.K.’
A member of the Garda, the Irish police, has been in Malaysia several days acting as a family liaison officer.
Known paedophiles were interviewed and police visited the homes of 30 local people, but did not find any trace of the teen.
The National Crime Agency and Met Police offered their support to the Malaysian authorities.
‘It is purely support at the end of a phone, said a Met Police police source.
A Royal Malaysian Police officer points to a map showing the search and rescue operation area
‘Officers will not be taken off the streets of London to go and search in the jungle.’
Her parents Sebastien and Meabh said it is ‘unthinkable’ that she would wander off alone.
Nora was sleeping in the same room as her younger siblings and her parents were in a bedroom a few feet away.
She was discovered missing by her father Sebastien at around 8am and a downstairs door was wide open.
Nora and her family arrived at the sprawling resort (pictured), located 39 miles south of Kuala Lumpur, on August 3 before she went to sleep beside her siblings in an upstairs bedroom
They have told police they did not hear anything and there were no signs of a struggle.
The only clue to the teen’s disappearance was an open ground floor window, which police believe she climbed out and then wandered into the jungle.
Nora Quoirin ‘could only have left her cottage through an open window’
Nora Quoirin could only have left the resort cottage through an open window on the ground floor, Malaysian police believe.
Authorities released pictures of the cottage’s living room and the open window where unknown fingerprints were discovered.
The window is fairly narrow but police believe Nora could have squeezed through.
The open ground-floor window that Nora may have left through
‘Only the glass window exit was used. We are certain about this, a police officer told Malaysian media, citing the work of a forensic police team.
Police are now investigating whether the fingerprints could belong to an outsider as Nora’s family fears that she was abducted from the cottage.
Whether the window could have been opened from the outside remains unclear.
Another window in the bedroom upstairs, where the girl was sleeping with her two siblings, was kept shut.
One theory is that she woke up early jet lagged after her 12hour flight from London and, disorientated at being in a strange bedroom, got up and left.
Police said there was no sign of any intruder entering the property.
They did not found any footprints inside the villa or forensic evidence to suggest an unknown person was inside.
The entire area around the villa where the family were staying is covered with soggy vegetation and the single-track road leading to the resort is covered with mud.
Had someone entered through the window and climbed a flight of stairs to an upstairs bedroom where Nora was sleeping it is assumed there would have been traces of mud on the floor.
It is because of the lack of evidence of any crime that police treated the case as primarily that of a missing person.
Fears for Nora’s safety were compounded by her special needs.
She was born with holoprosencephaly, a disorder than affects brain development, which means she struggles with co-ordination.
As police were convinced they are dealing with a missing person rather than a crime they concentrated their search in a 4km area around the Dusan eco resort.
Search teams and senior police were given a morale-boosting visit by a senior Malaysian Government minister to boost morale.
Transport minister Loke Siew Fook also met privately with the Quoirin family to assure them authorities were doing everything possible to find their daughter.
The search teams included men from the General Operations Force’s 4th Battalion, Semenyih, 3rd Battalion Senoi Praaq unit; Fire and Rescue Department; Civil Defence Force; People’s Voluntary Corps (RELA); and Sarawak Forest Department as well as local residents.
Nora’ aunt set up an online fundraising page in the aftermath of her disappearance, which has so far collected more than £90,000.
Nora, 15, went missing while on a holiday with her family in Malaysia. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Lucie Blackman Trust intelligence on firstname.lastname@example.org or +44 800 098 8485