NORA Quoirin was “still alive and moving” during the search for her in the Malaysian jungle, an inquest heard today.
The British youngster had also been seen on CCTV walking normally before her tragic death despite claims she couldn’t move 20 feet on her own.
An inquest into her death heard from Superintendent Mohamad Nor Marzukee Besar about how many times police searched the exact location where her body was found.
Mr Besar said: “Three times. The fourth day, the fifth day, and the sixth day [of the search].”
“We can assume that when the search team was in the area, the missing person was still alive and moving.
“So it is possible that when we were there, the missing person was not there.”
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 today.
Her body was found in the rainforest ten days after she was reported missing on the family’s trip of a lifetime.
Nora, who had learning difficulties, was first reported missing by her devastated mum and dad Meabh and Sebastian Quoirin back in August 2019.
She vanished from her bedroom at the Dusun Resort, surrounded by thick Malaysian jungle and was found ten days later, naked in the jungle.
In the footage, the missing person could be seen walking normally with her luggage like anyone of her age
The police chief of the Nilai region Superintendent Besar, today testified as the third witness at the inquest into Nora’s death, which began on Monday.
At the inquest, he claimed that the Criminal Investigations Department had obtained footage showing Nora walking unaided at the airport on August 3 last year.
It came despite her parents telling investigating officer Inspector Wan Faridah Mustanin that she could walk no more than 20 feet without assistance from another person, due to problems with her balance.
Superintendenent Besar told the inquest: “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”.
Mr Besar added that he and a group of senior police officers had been shown the CCTV footage while on a visit to Pantai police station for a briefing.
After viewing the footage, investigating officials took the decision to significantly expand the search area from between four and six square km to a 20 square km radius on the eighth day of Nora’s disappearance.
Superintendent Besar said that, prior to viewing the footage, he had accepted investigator Wan Faridah’s finding that Nora could not walk 20 feet unaided, the MalayMail reported.
He added that he did not contact the family to clarify her walking ability during the search-and-rescue operation.
But Superintendent Besar also told the inquest that investigating authorities had been made aware of Nora’s physical disabilities from the first day of her disappearance.
It marks the third day of inquest proceedings, which authorities say will aim to determine when 15-year-old Nora died, the cause of her death, how she came to her death, and if anyone was criminally involved.
On Monday, the inquest was told that Nora was not kidnapped – despite her parents always suspecting a criminal element to the strange and tragic case.
Negeri Sembilan police chief Mohamad Mat Yusop, the first witness, said the investigation showed no criminal element.
He said there was no indication Nora was abducted and no ransom demand.
Speaking at the inquest in Seremban he said: “There was no indication the victim was kidnapped.
“We did not receive any telephone calls – usually in this kind of case we will get a call to say the victim has been kidnapped and is in the hands of certain people, and they would demand a ransom”.
Police believe Nora climbed out of a window on her own, and the autopsy showed she succumbed to intestinal bleeding due to starvation and stress, he said.
The inquest began on Monday August 24, and is expected to go on daily until August 28 before a short break.
It will then continue from September 1 to 4, with a total of 64 witnesses set to testify.