Parents of missing teenager thank Malaysian search operation teams

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By Padraig Collins, PA

The parents of a London teenager missing for almost a week in Malaysia have thanked teams taking part in a widespread search operation.

Meabh and Sebastien Quoirin, whose 15-year-old daughter Nora has been missing since last Sunday, said "terima kasih", or "thank you" in Malay, to those searching for her.

In a short speech, Ms Quoirin held back tears, as her husband stood beside her, rubbing her arm.

In a video broadcast on local media, she said: "We want to say thank you to each and every one of you. We know you're searching night and day for Nora.

"We see you working so hard and also praying with us and being with us.

"You have given up your time especially at a special festival time," she said, referring to Hari Raya Haji, the Islamic "festival of sacrifice" celebrations.

Ms Quoirin praised the dedication and expertise shown by those looking for Nora.

"To be with us here, it means the world to us. We are so grateful for everything that you are doing for us, everyone who is helping here and not from here.

"We are extremely impressed by the effort, your expertise, your dedication and we hope you find Nora.

"And thank you so much and terima kasih," she said.

The Quoirins, an Irish-French family who have lived in London for 20 years, arrived in the Dusun forest eco-resort in southern Negeri Sembilan state a week ago.

Nora, who has an Irish passport, was last seen on Sunday.

The family fears their daughter, who was born with the brain defect holoprosencephaly and needs help with many aspects of everyday life, may have been abducted.

The Quoirins said Nora's condition means she is not independent and has difficulty walking.

"All her life she has spent a lot of time in hospital. When she was born, she needed operations to help her (breathe). She has specialists that monitor her growth, her physical abilities and her strength, and especially her mental capacity," they said in a statement released by the Lucie Blackman Trust.

"She is not like other teenagers. She is not independent and does not go anywhere alone," they said.

"Nora likes to walk with her family, but her balance is limited and she struggles with co-ordination.

She has been to Asia, and many European countries before, and has never wandered off or got lost."

Nora can wash and dress herself but she cannot manage buttons and struggles to wash her hair, they said.

They described her as a "fun, funny and extremely loving" girl who is also sensitive, shy and anxious outside the family.

Irish band Westlife, who performed in the country this week, asked their fans to help look for the missing teenager, the Malaysian Star publication reported.

Posters of Nora flashed on giant screens before and during the concert before band member Nicky Byrne pleaded with the 7, 000-strong crowd to keep find her.

"Help share (the poster) on social media. If you know anything about Nora's disappearance, come forward," he said.

"We are from the same country so this feels very close to us. We wish her family, who must be devastated, much love.

"If you have any information, please go to the authorities," Mr Byrne said.

The family has said they remain hopeful after police leading the investigation refused to rule out a "criminal element".

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Lucie Blackman Trust intelligence on ops@lbtrust.org or +44 800 098 8485

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