A London schoolgirl who was found dead on holiday in a Malaysian jungle died by misadventure, a coroner has recorded.
Nóra Quoruin, from Balham in south west London, was found dead nine days after she went missing from a holiday resort in August 2019.
The coroner ruled that no third party was involved and that she probably died as a result of misadventure.
Family ‘disappointed’ after coroner ruling
The family of 15 year old Nóra Anne Quoirin said they were “utterly disappointed” after the coroner’s ruling.
The coroner, Maimoonah Aid, ruled out homicide, natural death and suicide, and said Quoirin probably got lost after leaving her family cottage on her own.
Aid also noted that there was no ransom request, no suspicious circumstances prior to the disappearance, and no signs of intrusion into the family cottage on the resort.
She told a court in the city of Seremban: “For me to speculate and presume of her actions and involvement of a third party without any proof, that would be a breach of my duty so the inquiry is hereby closed.”
The family’s legal team have discussed with Quoirin's parents their rights moving forward, and this includes the possibility of applying for a revision of the verdict.
In a statement they said: “Once again we see that justice struggles to support the most vulnerable in society - only engaging with special needs at a surface level - and not at the level that truly reflects children like Nóra.
“We believe we have fought not just for Nóra but in honour of all the special needs children in this world who deserve our most committed support and the most careful application of justice.
“This is Nóra’s unique legacy and we will never let it go.”
What happened to Nóra Quoirin?
The Quorin family were staying in Sora Hour in Dusun eco-resort near Seremban. The resort is about 40 miles south of the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur, where they reported Nóra missing, the day after they had arrived.
She had been sleeping in a bedroom with her brother and sister, but was found missing when her family woke the next morning. She was barefoot and wearing just underwear. A large window in the family building was found open that morning.
At the height of the search for the London schoolgirl, there were more than 350 people, including military and civilian volunteers, searching through the dense Malaysian jungle.
Quorin was born with a brain development disorder called holoprosencephaly. Her body was eventually found by civilian volunteers in a palm oil plantation fewer than two miles from the holiday home, nine days after vanishing.
An autopsy found that the teenager was likely to have died of starvation and stress, after seven days in the jungle.
During the inquest into her death, which began in August, senior police official Mohamad Mat Yusop, said he saw nothing suspicious when inspecting the holiday accommodation, and that he believed Quorin had climbed out of the window.
Her parents told the inquest that, because of their daughter’s neurological condition, she would have struggled to venture as far as she did. Holoprosencephaly affected both her balance and mobility.
Meabh, Quorin’s mother, told the coroner’s court that she doubted her daughter would have been strong enough to have opened and climbed out the window. The court heard that Nóra had never wandered out of their front door at home.
Both pathologist teams who analysed the body after it was found, agreed that the girl had not been physically attacked or raped, though they could not totally rule out lesser forms of abuse.
Senior British pathologist Dr Nathaniel Cary, who has expertise in missing persons cases, said scratches on Quorin’s torso, legs and feet were consistent with her moving through the dense jungle.
The resort’s owner, Haanim Bamadhaj, told the inquest that a window in the chalet was broken and could be opened from the outside.
Both parents told the inquest that they had heard muffled whispering inside the accommodation on the night of their daughter’s disappearance. They were half asleep at the time and so did not act.
During her ruling, the coroner explained that the family were probably exhausted after the journey to the resort from Britain.
She said: “The family (were) all jet-lagged and tired. Nóra Anne had also shown her level of tiredness increase.”