SEREMBAN, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysian rescuers on Tuesday found the naked body of a Caucasian female believed to be that of a 15-year-old London girl who was reported missing more than a week ago, police said.
National deputy police chief Mazlan Mansor said the body was found beside a small stream about 2.5 kilometers (1.6 miles) from the Dusun eco-resort in southern Negeri Sembilan state where Nora Anne Quoirin went missing on Aug. 4.
"We have sent our forensic team to the scene and confirmed there is a body there ... it resembles Nora but that is yet to be confirmed by the family," Mazlan said at a news conference. "We have reasonable belief that it must be her."
He said the body, which "was not in any clothing," was found by volunteers registered with the rescue team Tuesday afternoon in an area that had previously been searched by rescuers. The body has been airlifted to the hospital morgue to be identified by the family and for an autopsy, Mazlan said.
The Lucie Blackman trust, a charity that helps the families of Britons who are in crisis overseas, said in a statement: "At this time we cannot confirm it is Nora. However it sadly seems likely."
Quoirin's family arrived Aug. 3 for a two-week stay at the Dusun, a small resort located in a durian orchard next to a forest reserve 63 kilometers (39 miles) south of Kuala Lumpur.
Police believe the teen, who has learning and physical disabilities, climbed out through an open window in the living room of the resort cottage. They listed her as a missing person but said investigations also covered possible criminal aspects of the case. The girl's family says she isn't independent and wouldn't wander off alone, and was likely to have been abducted.
Nearly 350 people have been involved in a massive search operation that includes sniffer dogs, elite commando forces and thermal detectors, but no evidence had turned up until the discovery of the body on Tuesday. Police from Ireland, France and the U.K. are also on site to assist in the investigation. The girl's mother is from Ireland and her father is French, but the family has lived in London for 20 years.
On Monday, the mother, Meabh Quoirin, announced a 50,000 ringgit ($11,900) reward, donated by a Belfast-based business, for information that directly helps police find her daughter.