By Rozanna Latiff
SEREMBAN, Malaysia (Reuters) – Malaysian police on Thursday ruled out abduction as a motive in the disappearance of an Irish girl found dead near a jungle stream after a 10-day search, saying they had found no signs pointing to foul play.
The naked body of Nora Anne Quoirin, 15, who suffered from learning difficulties, was found on Tuesday after she went missing from a rainforest resort in Seremban, about 70 km (44 miles) south of the Malaysian capital.
Police found no evidence pointing to foul play, they said.
“For the time being, there was no element of abduction or kidnapping,” said Mohamad Mat Yusop, the police chief of the Malaysian state of Negeri Sembilan, where Quoirin went missing.
French authorities said on Wednesday they had opened a criminal investigation into Quoirin’s case for kidnapping on Aug. 9. Quoirin’s mother is from Belfast and her father is French.
Mohamad said an autopsy on Wednesday established that Quoirin had died from internal bleeding, probably caused by prolonged hunger and stress. She had suffered intestinal damage, and died two or three days before her body was found, he added.
The forensic pathologist who conducted the autopsy found some small scratches on Quoirin’s legs but ruled that they would not have contributed to her death, Mohamad said.
“Samples have been taken from Nora’s body and sent to the chemistry department for further testing,” he added.
Quoirin’s body was found in a deep ravine about 2.5 km (1.6 miles) from the Dusun resort, where she had disappeared a day after her family arrived for a holiday on Aug. 3.
Her family feared a criminal connection to the disappearance, saying she had special needs and had never before left them voluntarily, a British victims’ group, the Lucie Blackman Trust, said in a statement issued on their behalf.
An initial investigation revealed no evidence of criminal behavior but police would look at all possibilities, Malaysia’s deputy police chief Mazlan Mansor has said.
(Reporting by Rozanna Latiff; Writing by Joseph Sipalan; Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Paul Tait)