Search for London teen missing in Malaysia enters 2nd week

SEREMBAN, Malaysia (AP) — The search for a 15-year-old London girl who mysteriously vanished from a Malaysian forest resort entered a second week on Sunday, with no letup despite a major Muslim festival amid rising concerns for her safety.

The family of Nora Anne Quoirin discovered her missing Aug. 4 from the Dusun eco-resort in southern Negeri Sembilan state, in a case that has baffled police and turned up no evidence so far.

Negeri Sembilan police chief Mohamad Mat Yusop said Sunday that no missing person had ever been reported in the area in the past decade, except for hikers who lost their way in the jungle.

He said police are investigating all angles, including reports that villagers heard the sound of a truck early on the morning the girl was reported missing.

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Some 300 people continued the search despite heavy rain Sunday morning, sacrificing time with their family amid a Muslim religious festival, he said. Police have set up a new hotline in the hope that some new information will come through, he added.

Police believe the teen climbed out through an open window in the living room of the family’s cottage and was still in the vicinity of the resort. They are treating her as a missing person but do not rule out a possible criminal element in her disappearance.

Quoirin’s family, which has lived in London for 20 years, arrived Aug. 3 for a two-week stay at the Dusun, a small resort located in a durian orchard next to a forest reserve 63 kilometers (39 miles) south of Kuala Lumpur.

Her Irish-Franco parents, who believe she was abducted, said Saturday that their daughter was born with holoprosencephaly, a malformation that causes her to have a smaller brain and led to learning and physical disabilities. They said she isn’t independent, has difficulty walking and has never wandered off on her own or become lost despite having been to other Asian and European countries before.

The search operation has so far included aerial searches, thermal detectors, sniffer dogs, indigenous trackers and elite commando forces. Rescuers on Friday also began playing voice recordings of the mother to try and draw the girl out as they combed the hilly forest terrain.

Investigators have questioned 20 people and said a forensic team was analyzing fingerprints found in the cottage where the girl went missing. Posters of the girl have also been circulated in the district.

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