Malaysia ends inquest into foreign teen’s death near resort

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KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — A virtual inquest into the death of a French-Irish teen, whose body was found near a Malaysian jungle resort where she vanished while on holiday, ended Thursday with a verdict due within a month.

Malaysian Coroner Maimoonah Aid has tentatively fixed Dec. 31 or Jan. 4 to make a ruling. Since August, a total of 49 witnesses have testified over 24 days via video-conferencing due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Nora Anne Quoirin disappeared from her family’s cottage at the Dusun eco-resort in southern Negeri Sembilan state on Aug. 4, 2019, a day after they arrived for a vacation. After a massive search, her naked body was found on Aug. 13 beside a stream on a palm oil estate about 2.5 kilometers (1.6 miles) from the resort.

Nora was only wearing her underwear when she went missing but her body was found naked. It was unclear what happened to her underwear, but police told the inquest the autopsy showed no sign she was sexually assaulted. Police also ruled out any criminal activity and said there was no indication Nora had been abducted.

Police believe she climbed out of a window on her own. But Nora’s parents said she was likely kidnapped because she had mental and physical disabilities and wouldn’t have wandered off on her own.

A British pathologist who performed a second autopsy on Nora’s body in the United Kingdom testified that he agreed with the Malaysian findings that she died of intestinal bleeding due to starvation and stress. However, he said he couldn’t fully rule out sexual assault due to severe body decomposition.

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 the window had a broken latch and was found ajar the morning Nora disappeared.

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