Schoolgirl's death remains mystery as kidnapping investigation launched

The post-mortem examination on the body of a British teen found in Malaysian jungle after she disappeared from a resort has yet to provide any answers.

Nora Quoirin’s parents spoke of their "unbearable" loss on Wednesday as authorities from France – the nation where the girl’s father, Sebastian, hails from – ramp up a criminal investigation into her death.

The Paris prosecutor confirmed to Reuters they were now investigating whether Nora was kidnapped.

Her family remain convinced she was abducted, however local police classified her disappearance as a missing persons case.

The unclothed 15-year-old, who had learning difficulties, was discovered on Tuesday in a ravine in dense rainforest after a 10-day hunt involving hundreds of people, helicopters and sniffer dogs.

Nora Quoirin went missing on a family holiday on August 4. Source: Twitter / AAP

She went missing from the Dusun Resort, 60km south of Kuala Lumpur, on August 4, a day after checking in for a holiday with her London-based family.

Her body was airlifted by helicopter out of the ravine, about 2.5km from the resort.

It was then transported to hospital and identified by her relatives.

Medics began their post-mortem examination on the body on Wednesday morning (local time) as a media scrum gathered at the hospital in Seremban town, which was guarded by armed officers.

The autopsy was still ongoing late Wednesday, with authorities confirming it will continue on Thursday.

Nora Quoirin's body is brought out of a helicopter in Seremban. Source: Reuters

Family reveals heartbreak over teen’s death

Her relatives said the schoolgirl was "at the heart of our family", in a statement released by The Lucie Blackman Trust, a charity that supports relatives of British people missing overseas.

"She is the truest, most precious girl and we love her infinitely. The cruelty of her being taken away is unbearable. Our hearts are broken,” the family said.

"We will always love our Nora."

After meeting the girl's parents, family lawyer Sankara N. Nair said they hoped "the authorities will investigate the death of their loving daughter thoroughly and explore all angles that caused her death".

Nora's parents speak to media on Wednesday following the discovery of their daughter's body. Source: France 24

The body was found unclothed but authorities have not said if there were any signs of injury.

Police are not ruling out criminal elements in the case, have questioned witnesses and are investigating witness accounts of a truck heard early on the morning the girl disappeared.

A group of volunteers who were part of the search and rescue team found the body after being tipped off by a member of the public.

It was discovered in the official search zone, in an area that the team had previously covered.

On Monday, the family had offered a 50,000 ringgit (AU$17,500) reward, donated by a Belfast business, for information that could lead to her return.

A police line is seen at an entrance to the Dusun Resort, where the 15-year-old disappeared. Source: Reuters

And at the weekend, her mother Meabh fought back tears as she made an emotional speech thanking the search team, with the girl's father by her side.

Prosecutors in Paris opened an investigation on August 9, before the teen's body was found, to facilitate communications with their Malaysian counterparts.

Two French investigators are in Malaysia taking part in the probe.

The 12-acre resort where the teenager disappeared is next to a patch of thick jungle and in the foothills of a mountain range.

Her family had said it was extremely unlikely the reserved youngster would have wandered off on her own.

She had a condition known as holoprosencephaly, where the brain fails to develop normally. She had limited verbal communication and could only write a few words.

Nora attended a school for young people with learning and communication difficulties.

With AFP

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