London teen missing in Malaysia isn’t independent: parents


The parents of a 15-year-old London girl who mysteriously disappeared from a Malaysian resort a week ago said Saturday that she wasn’t independent and had difficulty walking, in new details to support their conviction that she was abducted.

A massive search operation has been underway for Nora Anne Quoirin, who was discovered missing by her family last Sunday morning from the Dusun eco-resort in southern Negeri Sembilan state.

Police believe the teen climbed out through a window in the living room that was left open and was still in the vicinity of the resort. They are treating her as a missing person but do not rule out a possible criminal element in her disappearance.

But her parents, Irish Meabh Quoirin and her French husband Sebastien, said that Nora Anne was born with holoprosencephaly, a malformation that causes her to have a smaller brain and led to learning and physical disabilities.

“All her life she has spent a lot of time in hospital. When she was born, she needed operations to help her (breathe). She has specialists that monitor her growth, her physical abilities and her strength, and especially her mental capacity,” they said in a statement released by the Lucie Blackman Trust, a British charity that supports people involved in crises overseas.

“She is not like other teenagers. She is not independent and does not go anywhere alone,” they said. “Nora likes to walk with her family, but her balance is limited and she struggles with coordination. She has been to Asia, and many European countries before, and has never wandered off or got lost.”

Other challenges she faced included having limited verbal communication, not being able to write more than a few words, inability to grasp anything conceptual such as mathematics or managing money and unable to make or receive phone calls independently, they said. Nora can wash and dress herself but she cannot manage buttons and struggles to wash her hair, they said.

The parents described Nora as a “fun, funny and extremely loving” girl but who is also sensitive, shy and anxious outside the family.

“With her family, she is very affectionate .Family is her whole world and she loves to play games, like Cat Bingo, with us. She likes to tell us silly jokes and wear clever, colorful T-shirts,” they said. “Every night, her special time is for cuddles and a nighttime story with her Mum. And she was extremely excited about the family holiday in Malaysia.”

Quoirin’s family, who has lived in London for 20 years, arrived last Saturday for a two-week stay at the Dusun, a small resort located in a durian orchard next to a forest reserve 63 kilometers (39 miles) south of Kuala Lumpur.

The family thanked the Malaysian police and all those involved in the search.

More than 260 people have taken part in the operation that also includes aerial searches, thermal detectors, sniffer dogs, indigenous trackers and elite commando forces. Rescuers Friday begun playing voice recordings of her mother to try and draw the girl out as they combed the hilly forest terrain.

Investigators have questioned 20 people and said a forensic team was analyzing fingerprints found in the cottage where the girl went missing. Posters of the girl have also been circulated in the district.

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Associated Press writer Eileen Ng in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, contributed to this report.



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