KUALA LUMPUR - A post-mortem on the body of Irish teenager Nora Quoirin, which started late Wednesday morning (Aug 14), was still underway at night, Malaysian police said.
There is no immediate evidence of foul play in her death and family lawyer Sankara Nair said that they expect the police to conduct a thorough investigation into the incident, including exploring any criminal angles.
The naked body of Nora, 15, was found on Tuesday, 10 days after she went missing from a rainforest resort in Seremban, about 50km south of Kuala Lumpur.
Her body was discovered by a stream in a ravine 2km away from the Dusun eco-resort where she and her family had been holidaying.
The area where she was found was difficult to access, and her body had to be winched by helicopter before being airlifted to the Tuanku Jaafar Hospital in Seremban.
"I advised them not to discount anything," even if there was currently no evidence suggesting any criminal elements, Mr Nair told The Straits Times.
Malaysian police should also accept an offer by French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian to assist in investigations, he said. "They offered to do joint investigations and I hope the police will accept it because it is good to have additional assistance."
Nora's father Sebastien Marie Philipe is French and her mother Meabh Quoirin is Irish. The teenager holds an Irish passport.
Mr Nair said a report on the post-mortem would be forwarded to the Attorney-General's Chambers. "It is up to the AG to decide whether there is a need for an inquest. Normally a sudden death would invite an inquest," he said, adding that police findings were also important.
Negeri Sembilan deputy police chief Che Zakaria Othman told a news conference that the post-mortem began at 11am on Wednesday and was ongoing at 8pm.
Nora had learning difficulties and was born with holoprosencephaly, a rare congenital brain malformation.
Police said they had previously combed the area where she was found, raising questions as to why she was not spotted before.
A statement issued by the family thanked all those involved in the massive search for Nora.
"Nora is at the heart of our family. She is the truest, most precious girl and we love her infinitely. The cruelty of her being taken away is unbearable. Our hearts are broken."
The teenager's body was positively identified by her parents on Tuesday night.
Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Hannah Yeoh and several counsellors were on standby at the hospital for support.
"We are prepared to offer counselling to the victim's family but we also understand their need for space to cope with the shocking news," said Ms Yeoh.
The Quoirin family, who lives in London, had checked into the eco-resort in a dense rainforest on Aug 3 for a two-week holiday. The next morning, the family discovered that Nora was not in the bedroom which she shared with her younger siblings, and a window was ajar.
Her family had said that Nora was not independent and would not go anywhere alone.
The girl's family had on Monday offered a reward of RM50,000 (S$16,500) for information leading to her return.
Nearly 350 personnel were involved in the search and rescue efforts, including Orang Asli trackers and elite commandos.