By Rozanna Latiff
SEREMBAN, Malaysia (Reuters) – Malaysian authorities said on Thursday an Irish girl who was missing for 10 days before her body was found near a jungle stream had died from internal bleeding, probably due to prolonged hunger and stress.
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 said an autopsy on Wednesday showed Quoirin had suffered intestinal damage and there was no evidence that she had been sexually assaulted.
“For the time being, there was no element of abduction or kidnapping,” said Mohamad Mat Yusop, the police chief of Negeri Sembilan state 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 the autopsy established that Quoirin had died two or three days before her body was found.
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 said.
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 her disappearance, saying she had special needs and had never before left the family voluntarily, according to a statement issued by a British victims’ group, the Lucie Blackman Trust, on their behalf.
An initial investigation yielded no evidence of criminal behaviour but police would look at all possibilities, Malaysia’s deputy police chief Mazlan Mansor said on Tuesday.
(Reporting by Rozanna Latiff; Writing by Joseph Sipalan; Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Paul Tait)