Family expects full investigation of Nora Anne, including from criminal angle

Results of the autopsy on the body will be submitted to the AGC to determine the need for an inquest

by ALIFAH ZAINUDDIN/ pic by BERNAMA

LOCAL authorities are expected to conduct a full investigation on the tragic death of Irish teenager Nora Anne Quoirin, whose body was found in a stream about 2.5km from the Dusun Pantai Hill Resort in Negri Sembilan on Tuesday, over a week after she went missing.

The body of the 15-year-old girl was discovered by a team of Seremban hikers, who had joined the police, residents and the Orang Asli community in a massive search and rescue (SAR) operation. The find ended the 10-day search, which involved more than 350 volunteers.

Here is a recap of the developments that took place a day after Nora Anne was found.

Autopsy Took Longer Than Expected

At press time, the post-mortem examination on Nora Anne’s body which started at around 10am yesterday was still ongoing.

At 8pm last night, Negri Sembilan deputy police chief Senior Assistant Commissioner Che Zakaria Othman said pathologists were still conducting the examination and that there was nothing else for him to report.

“We will have another press conference tomorrow (today),” he said, although the time and place were yet to be determined.

He spoke to members of the media, who had been waiting at the hospital from as early as 6am.

Earlier, Che Zakaria said the autopsy was expected to be completed at 8pm.

The post-mortem examination was conducted by a team of senior pathologists from Hospital Kuala Lumpur, who had arrived at Hospital Tuanku Jaafar in Seremban at about 9am.

Nora Anne’s remains arrived at the hospital’s Department of Forensic Medicine at 7.07pm on Tuesday after it was airlifted from the location of where she was found. The helicopter landed at SMK King George V and was later taken to the hospital in a Civil Defence Force van.

AG to Decide on Inquest

Lawyer Sankara N Nair, who was appointed to represent the family, had earlier said the results of the autopsy on the body will be submitted to the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) to determine the need for an inquest.

“Normally, sudden death of such nature would invite an inquest, but then again it depends on the evidence that is presented in the post-mortem report and other investigation by the police,” Sankara told reporters who were at the vicinity of the hospital.

He said Nora Anne’s family is still in a state of trauma and has not decided on their next move.

“It is a highly traumatic situation. We have not discussed the next plan yet. I think they are still pondering on the next course of action. They are still grieving, and I think it is not on their minds yet,” he said.

Speaking to Reuters later, Sankara said the family expects the police to do a thorough investigation into the incident, including from a criminal angle. He also urged local police to accept an offer by French authorities to help investigate Nora Anne’s death.

Nora Anne’s Loss ‘Unbearable’

Her family, in a statement, said their hearts were broken by news of her death and the cruelty of her being taken away was unbearable.

The statement was released by the Lucie Blackman Trust, a charity organisation which manages media-related affairs for British nationals in crisis overseas.

Parents, Meabh Jaseprine Quoirin and Sebastien Quoirin, however, thanked all who have tried their best to find their daughter. The two had earlier identified Nora Anne’s body at the hospital in Seremban.

“Nora Anne has brought people together, especially from France, Ireland, Britain and Malaysia, united in their love and support for her and her family. She has truly touched the whole world,” they said.

Pouring Show of Support

Many people took to social media to express their condolences and shock following the discovery of Nora Anne’s body on Tuesday.

This included the Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah who tweeted: “My condolences to Nora’s family. May God give you the strength in your hour of need.”

Deputy Prime Minister (PM) Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail also took to Twitter to convey her sympathy and condolences to the Quoirin family.

“I’m very sad about the death of Nora Anne and I convey my deepest condolences to her family. I pray for their strength to go through this difficult period. We believe the police will do their utmost to unravel this tragic death,” she tweeted.

Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin posted his condolences on his Facebook account.

“I am saddened by the recent loss of Nora Anne who went missing since Aug 4, which ended with the discovery of her body yesterday. I would like to express my sincere condolences to the family. I would also like to thank the SAR team and all those involved in the operation, as well as the volunteers who participated,” Muhyiddin said. Negri Sembilan Women’s Affairs, Family and Welfare Committee chairman Nicole Tan Lee Koon said she met with Nora Anne’s parents at a resort in Pantai, Seremban, at 4pm yesterday and conveyed the condolences of the state government and informed them of the government’s readiness to assist the family.

“They expressed their thanks to the Negri Sembilan government, especially Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Aminuddin Harun, who had assisted them a great deal.

“They also expressed their gratitude to everyone, especially the security forces, who had been involved directly and indirectly in the SAR operation from Aug 4 up to yesterday,” she said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the Social Welfare Department was also ready to provide counselling support to the grieving family.

Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Hannah Yeoh, however, said the department would understand if the family needed time to deal with the heartbreaking news.

“We are prepared to help in terms of counselling. Our counsellor in Seremban has been on standby ever since her family reached the (Tuanku Jaafar) hospital yesterday (Tuesday),” she told a media conference at the ministry’s lobby yesterday.

While conveying the ministry’s sympathy and condolences to the girl’s family, Yeoh also advised the public not to speculate on the case and wait for further announcement from the police.

Abroad, Irish President Michael D Higgins expressed his condolences to Nora Anne’s family and extended his gratitude to the authorities and all parties involved in the search mission.

“On behalf of the people of Ireland, I would like to express my gratitude for the assistance given by the Malaysian authorities in the search for Nora Anne, for the volunteers who answered the call to join the search and for all those throughout Malaysia, Ireland, Britain and France who offered what support they could.

“Our thoughts and prayers are now with Nora’s family, at this most difficult time,” Higgins said.

Meanwhile, Irish PM Leo Varadkar said the situation was “every family’s worst nightmare”.

He tweeted: “Our thoughts and sincere condolences are with Nora Anne’s parents, siblings and wider family at this unimaginably difficult time. They have experienced every family’s worst nightmare. I’d like to pay tribute to everyone who searched for Nora Anne. May she rest in peace.”