Nóra Quoirin's family says they "must remain hopeful" as search continues

The family of missing schoolgirl Nóra Quoirin says they "must remain hopeful" and will do every...
Michael Staines
Michael Staines

16.40 7 Aug 2019

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Nóra Quoirin's family says they "must remain hopeful" as search continues

Michael Staines
Michael Staines

16.40 7 Aug 2019

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The family of missing schoolgirl Nóra Quoirin says they "must remain hopeful" and will do everything they can to bring her home.

The 15-year-old disappeared on Sunday after arriving at a resort near Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia with her family.

She is the daughter of an Irish-French couple who live in London. Her family have said they believe she has been abducted.


Malaysian police searching for Nóra are analysing fingerprints found at the cottage where she was staying.

Police investigating the disappearance have also interviewed 20 people.

Police previously said they had not uncovered any “criminal elements” and were treating it as a missing person’s case.

They now say they are keeping all options open and are not ruling out any possibilities.

Nóra Quoirin missing Malaysia Members of search and rescue teams for Nóra Quoirin work at a temporary operation shelter near to The Dusun resort in Malaysia, 06-08-2019. Image: AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin

Family statement

In a statement today, Nora's family said they are "completely overwhelmed" by the support they've received from all over the world.

They add that the experience has been "extremely traumatic", and that Nora's parents Meabh and Sebastien are too upset to speak themselves at the moment.

In the statement released through the Lucie Blackman Trust charity, the family said: "Nora’s family wish to express their deepest gratitude for the Royal Malaysian Police force, the search and rescue teams, and emergency services, for all they have done for us in this difficult time.

"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."


More than 200 people from various Government agencies and local villages have been searching for Nora in the days since her father found her bed empty.

Police say they have searched a 6km² area and are focusing on a river at the foot of the resort, in the hope that she went head downhill to try and find water.

Fire department scuba diving teams have been brought in to search deeper parts of the river.

Nóra Quoirin missing Malaysia 15-year-old Nóra Quoirin who is missing Malaysia

Deputy Police Chief Che Zakaria Bin Othman said the Malysian authorities were using “all the manpower” available to find the schoolgirl.

He said police have conducted a full forensic examination of the cottage the family was staying at in the resort and are now analysing fingerprints found inside.

He declined to give further details but confirmed the family is still staying in the same cottage.

He also declined to give details of any police interviews.

"Although we classified this case as a missing person but we have not ruled out any possibilities,” he said.

"We still have hope and believe that she is still in the area.

“There is no information to show that she has left the area."

Nora Quoirin missing Malaysia's assistant superintendent of police Mohd Nasrul Faiz Bin Suaid shows search and rescue zones during a press briefing on missing teenager Nora Anne Quoirin, 07-08-2019. Image: Annice Lyn/AP/Press Association Images

Nóra’s grandfather Sylvain Quoirin told the AFP news agency that she disappeared in “extremely mysterious conditions” as her sister and brother were also in the room.

"In the morning, the window was open and she had disappeared, whereas after an 18-hour flight and a seven-hour time difference you would sleep soundly and not go for a stroll at night," he said.

He said Nóra was “absolutely not” in the habit of running off.

“This is a young girl with a mild handicap who is rather timid, reserved,” he said. “She is someone very fearful.”

He said the French ambassador has spoken to high-level Malaysian officials and “enormous means” have been put in place in a bid to find her.

Deputy Police Chief Che Zakaria Bin Othman said the window in the downstairs living room was left open – and not the one upstairs where Nora was sleeping.

He also said her siblings were sleeping in another room upstairs.

Mr Zakaria declined to say if the window could have been opened from the inside, saying the investigation was ongoing.

Nóra’s Irish mother and French father have been living in London for the past 20 years.

Her mother, Meabh, is originally from Belfast and the teenager is understood to be travelling on an Irish passport.

A gofundme account, set up to help the family travel to Malaysia and assist in the search, has raised over €45,000.

The Department of Foreign Affairs is aware of the case and is providing consular assistance.

Video: On camera statement to the BBC in Malaysia from Éadaoin Agnew, aunt of Nora Quoirin who is missing in Malaysia. Center, Éadaoin Agnew, 41, aunt; left, Aisling Agnew, 39, aunt; right, Michael Agnew, 33, uncle. Video courtesy of BBC via Lucie Blackman Trust.
Additional reporting by Stephen McNeice

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