Malaysian trackers shout London girl's name in jungle search
SEREMBAN, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysia's indigenous trackers called out the name of a 15-year-old London girl who mysteriously disappeared from a forest resort as the search entered a fifth day Thursday and her family made an emotional appeal for support.
Members of the Senoi Praq, a special police team comprising indigenous tribes famed for their forest tracking skills, shouted "Nora!" as they combed the dense forest surrounding the Dusun eco-resort in southern Negeri Sembilan state.
The family of Nora Anne Quoirin discovered her missing Sunday morning from the resort cottage and believes she was abducted. Police are treating her as a missing person but do not rule out a possible criminal element in her disappearance.
District police chief Nor Marzukee Besar said rescuers will also use recordings of her mother's voice and play them over loudspeakers to try and find her. "We still believe this missing person is still within our search vicinity," he told reporters. "We would like to use voice recordings of her mother and use loudspeakers to call her out, whether it's Anne or Nora or whichever name the missing person is familiar with, or even use her siblings' voices," he said.
The rescue operation involves more than 200 people working on shifts through the night as well as a helicopter search, but police have been baffled by a lack of evidence and information in the case. Quoirin's parents are an Irish-French couple who has lived in London for about 20 years, according to the Lucie Blackman Trust, a British charity that supports people involved in a crisis overseas. Quoirin arrived with her family on Saturday for a two-week stay at the Dusun, a small resort located in a durian orchard next to a forest reserve about 63 kilometers (39 miles) south of Kuala Lumpur.
In a new video released by the Lucie Blackman Trust, the girl's aunt Éadaoin Agnew said the family was devastated but still hopeful. "This is extremely traumatic for the whole family. Meabh and Sebastien are devastated and too upset to speak themselves at this time," she said, referring to the girl's parents.
"But we must remain hopeful. And we ask everyone to keep Nora in their thoughts and to continue to support the ongoing search for her. Nora is still missing, and she is very vulnerable, and we need to do everything we can to bring her home," she added.
Investigators have questioned 20 people so far and said a forensic team was analyzing fingerprints found in the cottage where the girl was reported missing. Police have clarified that it was the window in the living hall downstairs that was left open, and not the one in the bedroom upstairs where the girl was sleeping with her two siblings. Her parents were in another room upstairs.
The search has expanded to the riverbed at the foothill of the resort on assumption that she could head downhill to try and find water.
Associated Press writer Eileen Ng in Kuala Lumpur contributed to this report.