French-Irish teen’s death in Malaysia was due to misadventure, rules court inquest

Franco-Irish teenager Nora Quoirin went missing from a Malaysian rainforest resort in August 2019.
Franco-Irish teenager Nora Quoirin went missing from a Malaysian rainforest resort in August 2019.PHOTO: QUOIRIN FAMILY

SEREMBAN, NEGERI SEMBILAN – The 2019 death of French-Irish teenager Nora Anne Quoirin in a dense Malaysian jungle was due to misadventure, an inquest ruled on Monday (Jan 4). 

Coroner Maimoonah Aid ruled that in the balance of probability, there was “no one involved” in the death of the 15-year-old, who suffered from learning difficulties. 

“For me to speculate and presume of her action and involvement of a third party without any proved facts would be a breach of my duty,” Madam Maimoonah said in closing the inquest. 

The coroner’s verdict came after 24 days of hearing involving 48 witnesses at the Coroner’s Court in Seremban, in the state of Negeri Sembilan, where the teen’s naked body was found on Aug 13, 2019. 

Nora Anne was initially reported missing by her parents on Aug 4, 2019. The family had been staying at Dusun, a resort near a dense rainforest in Negeri Sembilan, some 60km from Kuala Lumpur. 

The family of five - Nora Anne, her two siblings and their parents - had arrived at the resort from London on Aug 3 to start their vacation.

Nora Anne was last seen on the night of their arrival. 

Her disappearance sparked a 10-day rescue and search operation that involved hundreds of officials from various Malaysian agencies as well as local volunteers, before her body was found on Aug 13 near an abandoned palm oil plantation. 

Nora Anne’s family had said that they suspected foul play in her disappearance and her subsequent death, while the Malaysian police had ruled out foul play in the course of their investigations.  Madam Maimoonah said that the family’s claims of Nora Anne being abducted remain as theories. 

Post-mortem reports had previously indicated that Nora Anne died due to internal bleeding caused by starvation. No signs of sexual assault were found on her body. 

Madam Maimoonah said that while post mortem could not conclusively rule out the possibility of sexual assault having happened early on in her disappearance, no such evidence were found when her body was discovered, some 10 days later. 

Over the course of the inquest, pathologists revealed that Nora Anne likely died two or three days prior to her body being discovered, leaving a week’s gap in which her whereabouts was unknown after disappearing from the resort.

Madam Maimoonah also said that based on her findings, it was possible for Nora Anne to have wandered out of the accommodation where her family was staying and into the adjacent forest before being lost. 

Nora Anne’s parents, Mr Sebastian Quoirin and Mrs Meabh Quoirin, had previously filed a civil suit against the operator of the Dusun resort for negligence, before withdrawing the claim prior to the inquest. 

The resort’s lawyer, Mr Gurdial Singh Nijar, on Monday said that the coroner court’s finding also confirms that the resort operator was not at fault for Nora Anne’s disappearance and subsequent death.