An inquest is to be opened into the death of a teenager whose body was found in dense rainforest in Malaysia after she disappeared from a resort.
The unclothed body of 15-year-old Nóra Quoirin, from Clapham, was discovered in August last year after a large-scale search near where she had been on holiday with her family.
Nora, pictured above, was born with holoprosencephaly, a neurological disorder that affects brain development, and her family, who worship at St Bede’s Church in Clapham Park, described her as vulnerable.
The family said: “The news that the coroner’s court in Seremban has set dates for an inquest commencing August 24 is extremely welcome. We are pleased that our mission for justice for Nóra is moving forward.
“We have fought very hard to keep Nóra’s case alive, after it was initially closed by the police in early 2020, and it has been our wish all along to have an inquest.
“This will be crucial in determining the fullest possible picture of what happened to Nóra and how her case was dealt with.
“We wish to thank the coroner’s court, and indeed the Malaysian authorities, for their support in this very difficult process.
“We will also be fully cooperating with the coroner’s court and will be present as witnesses via videoconference, due to Covid-19.
“We would also like to take this opportunity to thank our respective governments and their diplomatic services for the role that they have played in bringing us to the point of this inquest and for their ongoing support to our family.”
Her parents have said they believed there was a criminal element to her death.
The teenager had learning difficulties and would not have wandered off alone, they said. Malaysian police insisted there was no sign of foul play.
Nora disappeared a day after arriving at the Dusun resort near Malaysia’s capital, Kuala Lumpur, triggering a 10-day search involving hundreds of people, helicopters and sniffer dogs.
An autopsy found Nora probably starved and died of internal bleeding after about a week in the jungle.
Authorities classified the case as “requiring no further action,” but her family pushed for an inquest.
A coroner has set the inquest to run from August 24 until September 4, the family’s lawyer, Sankara Nair, said.
Up to 64 witnesses will be called, and the coroner, prosecutors and lawyers will visit the area where her body was found before it gets under way, he said.
Mr Nair said the inquest would be streamed via Zoom “for the parents of Nora and other witnesses living abroad to follow the proceedings”.
The charity for British nationals in crisis overseas, LBT, has been supporting the family since Nóra’s disappearance, and continues to do so.
“The charity’s chief executive, Matthew Searle MBE, said: “This is a big step forward for the family in establishing the facts over what happened to their daughter.
“We applaud this action and look forward to a comprehensive process that may lead to answers for the family.”