A Malaysian court on Monday ruled out foul play in the death of a French-Irish teenager in 2019, dismissing claims by her family that she had been abducted while on holiday at an eco-lodge outside the capital Kuala Lumpur.
“Upon hearing all evidence, I rule that there was no one involved in the death of Nora Anne Quoirin,” Judge Maimoonah Aid said in a two-hour session held via Zoom, which was also broadcast on YouTube.
The judge added that it was “more probable” that the 15-year-old, who had a learning disability, had “died by misadventure,” leaving the resort on her own and subsequently getting lost in an abandoned palm oil plantation.
Maimoonah also said there was “no evidence of any suspicious circumstances which can lead to homicide.”
“It was obviously clear that Nora was not an average child. But for me to speculate and presume the involvement of a third party without any proof, would be a breach of my duty, therefore the inquiry is hereby closed.”
Monday’s verdict wrapped up a year-long series of investigations and court trials around the teenager, whose disappearance in August 2019 made international headlines and sparked a 10-day rainforest hunt involving police, helicopters and hundreds of local villagers.
The latest hearings were moved online, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, which has worsened in Malaysia. Investigators and forensic experts, as well as her London-based family, provided their testimony via Zoom calls.
Her body was eventually discovered close to the jungle retreat. An autopsy later found that she had likely died of starvation and internal bleeding.
Malaysian police long insisted there was no foul play. Her parents, who pushed for the inquest, maintained their daughter was abducted and strongly criticized the authorities for their response to the disappearance.
Responding to the verdict, the Quoirin family reportedly said that they would challenge it.