Malaysian police on Tuesday said they were certain they had found the body of an Irish teenager who went missing from a jungle resort in the Southeast Asian country 10 days ago, but were waiting for her family to make the final identification.
Fifteen-year-old Nora Anne Quoirin, who had suffered learning difficulties, was reported missing on Aug. 4 after her family arrived at the Dusun rainforest resort in Seremban, about 70 km (44 miles) south of the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur.
"We are very certain," said Mazlan Mansor, Malaysia’s deputy police chief, when asked if police were sure the body was that of the missing girl. "But we wait (until) tonight when the family visits the hospital."
The unclothed body, found near a stream about 2.5 km (1.6 miles) from the resort, was winched up and then flown by helicopter to a nearby hospital, he added.
Authorities had begun a criminal investigation into the disappearance, he said, although an initial investigation revealed no evidence of criminal behaviour.
Nora, the eldest of three siblings, had been vulnerable since birth, never went out alone and had limited verbal communication skills, her family said last week.
She had visited many countries in Asia and Europe but never before wandered off, they added.
The incident drew worldwide attention and support for the family, from former world chess champion Garry Kasparov among others. An anonymous Belfast-based business donated a reward of 50,000 ringgit ($11,953) for information leading to a rescue.
Nora's father Sebastien is French and works for an American automation software firm in London, his LinkedIn profile shows.
Her mother Meabh, from Belfast, is the co-owner of a consumer data intelligence firm in London, according to her page on the social network.