A STRANGER approached Nora Quoirin in Kuala Lumpur airport the day before she vanished from a resort in Malaysia, an inquest heard.
The British teen, 15, who had mental and physical disabilities, was found dead wearing no clothes in the rainforest ten days after disappearing last year.
An inquest into her death in Malaysia heard how her father Sebastien briefly left the teenager and her two younger siblings alone at the airport while he greeted their mum Meabh at the arrival gate.
Meabh had flown in from Singapore after a business trip while the rest of the family travelled from their home in London, arriving on August 3.
After walking back from gate, the parents noticed their children had been approached by a man, reports Belfast Live.
However, the kids ignored him as they had been taught “not to speak to strangers.”
Assistant Superintendent Chong Mee Chyi told the court how a family friend received anonymous WhatsApp messages shortly after Nora went missing claiming the Quoirins had been followed from the airport and that the missing child was still alive.
Police seized airport CCTV to see if there was any “criminal element” involved in the incident.
Ms Chong said: “We investigated and the children told us the man whom they did not know said ‘hello’ and wanted to know where they were from.
“He left after the children ignored him, as they were constantly trained not to entertain strangers.”
She said the CCTV was located “to establish if the family were trailed from the airport to the Dusun Resort after their arrival.”
NORA INQUEST – WHAT WE KNOW SO FAR
However, Malaysian police still believe Nora climbed out of her room window and that her death at the resort near Seremban, about 40 miles south of Kuala Lumpur, was the result of a tragic accident.
Her parents reportedly do not agree and pushed for the inquest over fears the child was kidnapped.
Earlier this week, the inquest heard how Nora had also been seen on CCTV walking normally despite claims she couldn’t move 20 feet on her own because of her physical disability.
The search-and-rescue area for the 15-year-old was only expanded after surveillance footage taken at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) showed her walking unaided, the Coroner’s Court was told.
Superintendenent Besar said: “Based on footage of the family’s arrival at KLIA, if I am not mistaken, they could be seen heading towards a particular location together to wait for someone to arrive (to pick them up).
“In the footage, the missing person could be seen walking normally with her luggage like anyone of her age”.
The court yesterday heard how the room which Nora was staying in at the resort had a window handle which was broken.
A police officer told the court that the child’s family – who live in London – reported the fault before she vanished, reports the BBC.
The family insist the window was closed before they went to sleep on the night the 15-year-old went missing.
Ms Chong said the family told resort staff that the window would not close securely when they checked in.
She said Nora’s mother Meabh told her she believed her daughter was “abducted” when they first met.
The cop told the inquest the child did not have a history of wandering off by herself, according to her parents.
Also at the inquest, police K9 handler Sergeant Poo Kong San testified that a sniffer dog failed three times to detect Nora’s scent on the first day of the search on August 4 last year.
He said: “Usually when the dog has obtained a scent, he will elicit an excited response.
“In this case, the dog failed to react accordingly after an hour had passed.”
The officer said the dog failed to show any response when brought to Nora’s window, reports the Malay Mail.
He told the court that the animal was also taken to a nursery north of the room where Nora was last seen before being taken into the nearby jungle.
Sergeant Kong San, who has 20 years experience with sniffer dogs, said he knew the hound had failed to pick up the scent because of its behaviour and gait.
He told the Coroner’s Court that factors which could have impacted the dog’s smelling ability were the weather, the amount of people at the resort and the terrain.
After three failed attempts, spaced over several hours, the mutt was allowed to rest because it had pre-existing health conditions affecting its hips and hind legs.
The four-year-old dog only took part in the search on August 4, the police officer said.
When asked by a lawyer whether its health problems could have affected its ability to smell, Sergeant Kong San agreed that they could.
Ms Chong also told the inquest how Nora’s parents begged cops to follow up leads from psychics.
She said: “The family informed me that they had received several instant messages from spiritual mediums said to be based overseas who were willing to provide their assistance,” reports The Malay Mail.
The cop said she noted down the info and asked the force to look into the messages.
The mediums said Nora had either been followed by someone from the airport and was still alive, was being held close to the Dusun Resort and her life was in danger or was in a van located at the south-western part of the jungle.