Nora Quoirin vanished into the dense Malaysian jungle while on a family holiday – before being found dead 10 days later.
While Nora, 15, remained missing her, family said they believed she was abducted – but police insisted she had likely climbed out of a window at their holiday cottage, wandered off and got lost in the tropical rainforest.
The London schoolgirl, who had special needs, starved and died from intestinal rupture, Malaysian police said as post-mortem results were revealed.
The post-mortem found that she died from intestinal bleeding “two to three days” before her body was found about 1.6 miles from where she was last seen.
Distraught parents, Meabh, 45, and Sebastien, 47, are reportedly waiting for the results of DNA and toxicology tests.
Here are some of the unanswered questions on the tragic case.
Why did Nora leave the resort?
Detectives believe Nora left through the accommodation’s ground-floor aluminium framed window, before her father raised the alarm of her disappearance at 8am the following day.
Family lawyer Charles Morel said Nora’s disability made it highly unlikely that she left the lodge at night and walked to the bottom of a ravine via “an extremely steep path through the jungle” by herself.
The teenager had a smaller than average brain and struggled to act independently, having been born with Patau’s syndrome, or holoprosencephaly. The condition left her struggling to complete everyday tasks and with limited speech, walking ability and co-ordination.
Mr Morel, based in Paris, said: “One of the effects of her condition is that she was very dependent on her parents.
“She was shy, she was quickly scared, she had travelled for 18 hours and she was exhausted.
“So there is no reason why she would leave the lodge in the night, almost naked. There is no previous episode in her life to suggest she might do something like this.”
How was Nora’s body not spotted?
Nora’s unclothed body was discovered on Tuesday some 1.6 miles away from the resort where she had been staying.
Witnesses said she was in “plain sight” and looked like she was sleeping with her head resting on her hands.
It’s believed she had died between two and four days earlier, a post-mortem examination revealed.
This has since raised questions around whether, if this is the case, she would have been found sooner given she was not moving through the jungle during the search.
The ravine where she was found was also repeatedly searched by rescue teams during the first seven days of her disappearance.
Police have been unable to adequately explain why she was missed.
Hunt for missing Nora
Was foul play involved?
Nora’s Grandfather Sylvain Quoirin said the family do not want the media to interpret the first result of the autopsy and exclude the idea of any criminal involvement.
He said: “It’s too early to say that.
“Even the place where she was found, two kilometres from the resort, it’s very strange that she could go there by herself alone, so we cannot exclude the criminal hypothesis.”
Nora’s uncle Pacome Quoirin, a graphic designer, added: “How could she have survived for five days in the jungle without food or water, if you believe the theory that she left the hotel on her own? We remain very dubious.”
Questions have also been raised around the fact Nora was find naked, despite going missing in her underwear.
Did police delay rescue tactics?
While the police and a team of volunteers did search every day in the dense jungle, thermal imaging drones were only used on the sixth day of her disappearance.
By then, disabled Nora had been, presumably, alone and wearing only her underwear in the harsh terrain for almost a week.
Before thermal imaging technology was used, police played messages from Nora’s mother over a loudspeaker on the fifth day of her disappearance.
There has also been questions from the family around the possible dismissal of Mrs Quoirin insistence that Nora would not have left alone and may have been kidnapped.