Judge Dismisses Foul Play in Teen's High-Profile Death

Court finds no evidence Nora Quoirin, 15, was abducted from resort in Malaysia
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 4, 2021 8:33 AM CST
Judge Chalks Up Teen's Fishy Death to 'Misadventure'
In this image from video released by Malaysian Judiciary, Meabh Quoirin and Sebastian Quoirin, center frame, mother and father of Nora Anne Quoirin, attend the court's video session on Monday.   (Malaysian Judiciary via AP)

Her disappearance from a Malaysian resort—and the subsequent discovery of her body in the jungle—made international headlines. Now a court in Malaysia has decided not to open a criminal inquiry into the death of 15-year-old Nora Quoirin from London, ruling that she most likely "died by misadventure," reports Vice. The family of the Irish-French teen isn't buying it. Coverage:

  • Judge: “Upon hearing all evidence, I rule that there was no one involved in the death of Nora Anne Quoirin,” declared Judge Maimoonah Aid on Monday in a video court session. “For me to speculate and presume the involvement of a third party without any proof would be a breach of my duty. Therefore the inquiry is hereby closed.” The 24-day inquest included testimony from nearly 50 witnesses, notes the Irish Times.

  • The case: Nora disappeared in the night from her family's resort in Seremban in 2019, per the Guardian. She had a disorder called holoprosencephaly that affects brain development, and her parents insist there is no way she had the mental or physical wherewithal to vanish on her own. A massive search ensued, and her unclothed body was found nine days later in the jungle, roughly a mile from the resort.
  • Family's view: Parents Meabh and Sebastien Quoirin say they are "utterly disappointed" in the decision, per the BBC. They laid out a number of reasons why they think their daughter was abducted. For one thing, her body showed a "lack of physical damage" one would expect to see if she had been surviving in the jungle for more than a week. Plus, no dogs were able to pick up her scent during the search, which they don't think makes sense if she were walking on her own. They generally accused police of a shoddy initial investigation.
  • 'Unique legacy:' Nora's neurological disorder affected her balance and mobility, and her parents say it's unlikely she could have opened a large chalet window by herself and walked away. “We believe we have fought not just for Nora but in honor of all the special needs children in this world who deserve our most committed support and the most careful application of justice," the family says in a statement. “This is Nora’s unique legacy and we will never let it go.”
  • Opposing view: While the family insists somebody snatched Nora from their chalet, the judge embraced a different theory—that she left of her own accord and got lost in the jungle, per CNN. "It was more probable than not that she had died of misadventure," said the judge. An autopsy suggested that Nora died of starvation and stress.
(Read more Malaysia stories.)

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