A body found in Malaysia is likely to be that of 15-year-old Nora Quoirin, who has been missing for more than a week, the Lucie Blackman Trust said.
The trust said: “The Lucie Blackman Trust can confirm a body has been found in the search for Nora Quoirin. At this time we cannot confirm it is Nora. However it sadly seems likely. Investigations are under way to confirm identity and cause of death.
“The charity will update as soon as possible. Please respect the family and do not approach them at this difficult time. All at the Lucie Blackman Trust are thinking of the family and continue to support them as they come to terms with this news.”
Malaysian police confirmed on Tuesday that rescuers had found the body of a “Caucasian female” in the forest surrounding the nature resort where Nora was reported missing.
The state police chief, Mohamad Mat, said the search and rescue team received a call from a member of the public at about 1pm, and a team was sent to the area near a waterfall, according to the Malaysian newspaper the Star.
The newspaper said human remains had been found near Gunung Berembun in the Pantai Hills, 1.2 miles from the resort.
Nora’s mother, Meabh Quoirin, made an emotional appeal for help in finding her on Monday, and a £10,000 reward was offered by an anonymous Belfast-based business for information leading to her safe return.
Her parents, Meabh and Sebastien Quoirin, a French-Irish couple who have lived in London for 20 years, thanked those looking for her as fundraising pages set up by the teenager’s aunt and uncle raised more than £100,000.
Indigenous trackers and even reportedly a shaman were among those to have joined the search for Nora, who was born with the neurological disorder holoprosencephaly and needs help with many aspects of everyday life.
Appearing before cameras on Monday, her mother said: “Nora is our first child. She has been vulnerable since the day she was born. She is so precious to us and our hearts are breaking.”
Police leading the investigation have not ruled out a “criminal element” in the teenager’s disappearance.