Malaysia police widen search for missing Irish teen

Fears Missing Nora Quoirin has special needs and ‘would never leave her family voluntarily’ her aunt said

Fears Missing Nora Quoirin has special needs and ‘would never leave her family voluntarily’ her aunt said

The family of a vulnerable 15-year-old London girl who vanished in Malaysia on a "holiday of a lifetime" believe she has been abducted.

Citing information that it said came from Nora's family, it stated on its Facebook page that: "Contrary to several reports that police are NOT treating Nora's disappearance as an abduction, the family have been told directly by police that they are treating it as both an abduction and missing persons case".

Sniffer dogs are also being used in the search for Nora, who is the daughter of an Irish-French couple who have lived in London for around 20 years.

Her family arrived Saturday for a two-week trip at the Dusun, a small private resort located in a durian orchard on a little hill next to a forest reserve about 63 kilometres (39 miles) south of Kuala Lumpur.

Negeri Sembilan police chief Mohamad Mat Yusof said the police units mobilised included the tracker dog unit and the Senoi Praaq Unit, involving a total of 178 members.

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However, Othman's claims go against those of the family who, speaking via the Lucie Blackman Trust, a charity set up to support families in cases of this kind, said they believed "criminal activity" was involved.

Reuters could not immediately contact the family to seek comment.

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

Search and rescue officials told The Telegraph that they had so far found no trace of Nora, but they believed she would be close by because of the steep slopes of the hard terrain.

"We now consider this a criminal matter. Her parents and our families in Ireland and France are distraught by her disappearance".

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He said they would now focus on the foothill of the resort near a river, based on the assumption that she would be in a weak state and could head downhill to find water and food.

Nora, whose mother Meabh is originally from Belfast and whose father is French, is understood to have been travelling on an Irish passport.

District police chief Mohamad Nor Marzukee Besar says rescuers scoured areas surrounding the resort until 3am this morning but found no clue to indicate what happened to the girl.

Search teams are being assisted by local Orang Asli people, who have knowledge of the dense jungle terrain, with more personnel expected to join the 160 people taking part in the operation.

Haanim Bamadhaj, a resort spokesperson, mentioned on Tuesday the Dusun administration was baffled by Nora's disappearance.

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"The girl's passport and other belongings are with the family", he said.

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