The family of a British girl missing in Malaysia have said they remain hopeful, as police leading the investigation refused to rule out a “criminal element” in her disappearance.
Nora Quoirin, 15, from London, vanished from the Dusun forest eco-resort, in southern Negeri Sembilan state, on Sunday.
Her family released a statement on Wednesday afternoon which expressed their “deepest gratitude” to the Royal Malaysia Police and others helping the search.
The force is analysing fingerprints found in a resort cottage where Nora was reported missing, despite previously saying there were no initial signs of foul play.
The family believe Nora, who has learning and developmental disabilities, was abducted.
Their statement said: “We would like to thank our embassies, the local community, and the staff here at the hotel and anyone else who has offered help to find Nora. We also welcome the assistance of the French, British and Irish police.
“We are completely overwhelmed by the support we have received from all over the world.”
Her parents, Meabh and Sebastien, an Irish-French couple, were “too upset to speak themselves at this time”, said the statement released on their behalf by the Lucie Blackman Trust, which helps crisis-struck British nationals overseas. “This is extremely traumatic for the whole family,” it said.
In a video statement on Wednesday, Nora’s aunt Eadaoin Agnew, speaking on behalf of the family, said the situation had been “extremely traumatic” and they were “unable to deal with this at this moment”.
The family, including Nora’s younger brother and sister, arrived at the resort about 40 miles south of Kuala Lumpur on Saturday.
Their written statement said: “We must remain hopeful. And we ask everyone to keep Nora in their thoughts, and to continue to support the ongoing search for her.
“Nora is still missing, and she is very vulnerable, and we need to do everything we can to bring her home.”
Deputy police chief Che Zakaria Othman said a forensic team was analysing fingerprints found in the family’s cottage.
The prints were at an open window in a downstairs hall, not in the bedroom upstairs where the girl was sleeping with her siblings, he said.
Police added they were “not ruling out any possibility” and they believe Nora is still in the area.
The rescue operation involves more than 200 people working around the clock.