Family of schoolgirl missing in Malaysia believe she was abducted
The family of a 15-year-old London girl who disappeared from a nature resort in Malaysia have said they believe she has been abducted.
Nora Quoirin's family say they discovered her missing from her bedroom at the Dusun resort in southern Negeri Sembilan state on Sunday morning, with the window left open, and considered it a criminal matter.
The police said there were no initial signs of foul play but Nora's family said they had "no reason to believe she wandered off and is lost".
In a statement released on Tuesday, they added: "Nora's family believe she has been abducted.
"We are especially worried because Nora has learning and developmental disabilities, and is not like other 15-year-olds.
"She looks younger, she is not capable of taking care of herself, and she won't understand what is going on.
"She never goes anywhere by herself. We have no reason to believe she wandered off and is lost."
Police have expanded the search for Nora, with more than 160 personnel now looking for the teenager, who has special needs, local media reported.
Those searching dense jungle and hilly terrain on foot and by helicopter include police, the fire and rescue services department, civil defence and the forestry department, Malaysia's The Star reports.
Sniffer dogs are also being used in the search for Nora, who is the daughter of an Irish-French couple who have lived in London for about 20 years.
State deputy police chief Che Zakaria Othman said local indigenous people – known as Orang Asli – are also helping with the search.
"We've got a platoon from the general operations force as well as a police canine team to look for Nora Anne," he told The Star, adding that more personnel are expected to join the search.
He added that the CCTV system at the resort is limited to the counter area.
"The girl's passport and other belongings are with the family," he said.
Missing persons charity the Lucie Blackman Trust (LBT) had previously said Nora's disappearance was being treated as an abduction.
The girl's family said they were treating the disappearance as a "criminal matter".
Speaking to LBT from Belfast, Nora's aunt, Aisling Agnew, said: "Nora's parents and relatives in Ireland and France are distraught by her disappearance.
"Nora is a child with special needs and has learning and developmental disabilities which make her especially vulnerable, and we fear for her safety.
"Nora would not know how to get help and would never leave her family voluntarily.
"We now consider this a criminal matter.
"We are appealing to everyone to assist the local police in any way they can and to pass on any information that would help locate our beloved Nora without delay."
Nora's father raised the alarm when he discovered her missing from her bedroom at 8am local time on Sunday. Her window had been opened.
Nora, whose mother Meabh is originally from Belfast and whose father is French, is understood to have been travelling on an Irish passport.
A spokesman for Ireland's Department of Foreign Affairs said: "We are aware of the case and providing consular assistance."
An online fundraising page set up by Nora's aunt has raised more than £10,000.
The fundraiser on gofundme.com says Nora's families in Ireland and France are "distraught", adding: "More family members are travelling to Malaysia to participate in the search-and-rescue effort and would appreciate donations to cover any unforeseen expenses or charges incurred in the process."