A Malaysian coroner began an inquest on Monday into the death of a French-Irish teen, a year after her naked body was found near a nature resort where she mysteriously vanished while on holiday.
Nora Anne Quoirin’s disappearance from her family’s cottage at the Dusun eco-resort in southern Negeri Sembilan state on August 4th last year, a day after her family arrived for their holiday, sparked a massive search operation.
Her naked body was discovered August 13th beside a stream in a palm oil estate about 2.5 kilometres (1.6 miles) from the resort.
Coroner Maimoonah Aid said the inquest is aimed at determining when Nora died, the cause of her death, how she came to her death, and if anyone was criminally involved.
Police have said there was no sign the teen was abducted or raped, with an autopsy showing the 15-year-old succumbed to intestinal bleeding due to starvation and stress.
But her Irish mother and French father, Meabh and Sebastien Quoirin, believed Nora was abducted as she has mental and physical disabilities and could not have wandered off on her own.
The coroner earlier this month visited the resort and the place where the body was found.
The inquest, which is set to run until September 4th, will involve 64 witnesses.
The Quoirin family lawyer, S Sakthyvell, said Nora’s parents could not attend the inquest due to the coronavirus pandemic but that they will testify via the videoconferencing app Zoom.
A British doctor who conducted a second autopsy on Nora’s body will also testify remotely, he said.
The Quoirin family has sued the resort owner for alleged negligence. They said in their lawsuit that there was no security at the resort and that a cottage window was found ajar with a broken latch on the morning Nora disappeared.
Nora had poor motor skills and needed help to walk and her mental age was about five or six years old, her parents’ said in the claim.
Nora’s parents had welcomed Malaysia’s decision to hold the inquest after police classified the case as “no further action”.
They have said the inquest will be “crucial in determining the fullest possible picture of what happened to Nora and how her case was dealt with.” –AP