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Coroner rules death of Nora Quoirin was likely due to 'misadventure'

The coroner ruled it would be a breach of duty to speculate on third-party involvement without evidence.

Image: Lucie Blackman Trust/Family photo

Updated Jan 4th 2021, 9:08 AM

A MALAYSIAN CORONER has ruled that the death of Nora Quoirin was most likely due to misadventure.

Maimoonah Aid ruled out homicide, natural death and suicide and said the 15-year-old likely got lost after leaving her family’s cottage on her own.

The Irish-French teenager’s body was found near a Malaysian jungle resort two weeks after she vanished on 4 August, 2019, a day after her family arrived in the country for a holiday.

After an extensive search, her body was found on 13 August beside a stream on a palm oil estate about 2km from the resort.

Police believed she climbed out of the cottage window on her own, with no evidence of any foul play.

But Nora’s parents claimed that their daughter was likely kidnapped because she had mental and physical disabilities and would not have wandered off on her own.

The coroner described that possibility as a theory and said it would be a breach of her duty to speculate on third-party involvement without any evidence.

Nora was only wearing underwear when she went missing, but her body was found naked.

The coroner noted the family’s contention this lent credence to the possibility of sexual assault but said an extensive autopsy could find no such proof, nor evidence of struggle marks or smothering.

She also said there were no suspicious circumstances prior to the teenager’s disappearance, no ransom request and no signs of intrusion into the family cottage.

“I ruled that there was no-one involved in the death of Nora Anne. It is more probable than not that she died by misadventure, i.e. that she had gone out of the (cottage) on her own and subsequently got lost in the abundant palm oil plantation,” the coroner said.

Nora’s parents were listening to the online verdict from their home in London, but gave no immediate statement.

A total of 49 witnesses testified over 24 days at the inquest, which began last August, using video-conferencing due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a statement this morning, the Quoirin family said they were “utterly disappointed” with the verdict and claimed that testimony showed that Nora was abducted.

“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 Nora,” the statement read.

“We believe we have fought not just for Nora 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.

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