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Malaysia uses helicopter, dogs in search for missing UK girl

SEREMBAN, Malaysia (AP) — Police used a helicopter and sniffer dogs Tuesday in an expanded search for a 15-year-old London girl who disappeared from her bedroom at a nature resort in Malaysia over the weekend.

Nora Quoirin's family says they discovered her missing from her bedroom at the Dusun eco-resort in southern Negeri Sembilan state Sunday morning with the window left open, and considered it a criminal matter. Police have said there were no initial signs of foul play.

District police chief Mohamad Nor Marzukee Besar said rescuers scoured areas surrounding the resort until 3 a.m. Tuesday but found no clues. He said the operation involving over 150 people resumed later Tuesday morning, with a helicopter, sniffer dogs and villagers aiding in an expanded comb through the dense jungle.

"We also searched at night but so far, there are no new leads. The operation is ongoing," he told The Associated Press by phone, adding that further updates will be given at a news conference later. The parents of Nora Quoirin, who has learning and developmental disabilities, are an Irish-French couple who've lived in London for about 20 years, according to the Lucie Blackman Trust, a British charity support people during a crisis overseas.

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 kilometers (39 miles) south of Kuala Lumpur.

Haanim Bamadhaj, a resort spokesperson, said Tuesday the Dusun management is baffled by Quoirin's disappearance. Resort staff and even some guests had joined in the search, she said. "Our resort has been operating for 10 years and we have never even been robbed. We are doing our very best and praying hard," she told the AP.

Following Quoirin's disappearance, she said some guests had cancelled their bookings and that the resort had provided full refunds. Access to the resort has been blocked due to the search operation. The girl's parents have declined to speak to the media.

Villagers who joined in the search expressed concern over Quoirin's fate. "This particular jungle, for outsiders they don't know how to navigate, they get lost. Natives like me, we are used to this jungle," said Bali anak Akau.

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