An elite special forces unit has been drafted into the search for a London teenager in a Malaysia jungle, as police admit they are still clueless about Nora Quoirin’s whereabouts six days after she went missing from a holiday resort.
More than 260 people, and multiple surveillance drones with heat-seeking capabilities, are now searching for Nora in the dense, undulating rainforest surrounding the Dusun Pantai Hill resort in Seremban, a nature reserve 39 miles south of the capital, Kuala Lumpur.
On Friday, deputy state police chief Che Zakaria Othman confirmed that VAT69, an elite unit of the Royal Malaysian Police, were now assisting with the search and rescue operation.
“Although we have not been successful so far, we are not giving up hope that we would be able to find the girl,” he told reporters, adding that the immediate surrounding area had already been thoroughly swept.
Police denied an earlier report attributed to the fire and rescue service that a set of footprints believed to be Quoirin’s had been found in the jungle.
Throughout the day, recorded messages by Nora’s mother, Meabh, have been played over loudspeakers, saying: “Nora darling, Nora I love you, Mum is here.”
Nora, who lives in London, where her Irish-French parents have resided for more than 20 years, has serious learning difficulties and has been described by her family as “very vulnerable”.
Throughout their ordeal, her family have insisted that she would not wander off alone and have urged the police to investigate the case as an abduction.
The police, however, are still classifying the disappearance as a missing persons investigation, although they have not ruled out a criminal element.
Nora’s father first discovered she was not in her room in the family’s holiday cottage early on Sunday morning. Police have been examining fingerprints found near an open window in the downstairs hall.
Mr Othman confirmed on Friday that the window could have been opened from the outside if it was not locked internally.
Police chief Datuk Mohamad Mat Yusop said it was believed Nora had climbed out of the window, reported the BBC.
Locals in the remote area have joined the search and said prayers at mosques for Nora’s well-being. Meanwhile, the teenager’s photograph has been plastered around nearby settlements and handed out at police roadblocks.
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