Malaysian police have yet to identify a definitive cause of death for a 15-year-old British teen who was found naked beside a small stream, more than a week after vanishing from her bedroom while on a family vacation, reports say.
Nora Anne Quoirin’s body was discovered Tuesday in a hilly area beside a stream just over a mile from the Dusun eco-resort in southern Negeri Sembilan state. She went missing from there on Aug. 4.
Deputy police Chief Che Zakaria Othman told reporters Wednesday that after conducting an autopsy for more than eight hours, medical staff was unable to reach a conclusive cause of death and that they would need longer before making a ruling in Nora’s case.
The remains were reportedly found by a hiker who claimed that the body appeared to have been dumped by the stream after the initial search parties failed to make the discovery, according to The Sun.
Malaysia’s deputy police chief Mazlan Mansor describe the area she was found in as “quite hilly” and said that Nora was discovered “not in any clothing,” the BBC reported.
The young girl, who suffered from learning and physical disabilities, was first reported missing by her family on August 4, just one day after arriving for a two-week stay at the Dusun, a small resort located in a durian orchard next to a forest reserve about 39 miles south of Kuala Lumpur.
The family was at odds early on with the investigation after sticking to their initial claims that they believed Nora was abducted. Police had said that they did not detect any foul play but eventually stated they could not rule out a possible criminal element after unidentifiable fingerprints were found in the family’s resort cottage.
Police intend to release more information about Nora’s disappearance on Thursday.
Local media reported that a forensic team went back to the area where the body was found to search for evidence. Police have not said how long the body had been there or why rescuers apparently missed it earlier in the search operation.
Nora’s family released a statement Wednesday thanking the more than 350 people who worked to help find their daughter.
“Nora is at the heart of our family. 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 in a brief statement issued by the Lucie Blackman Trust, a charity that helps families of Britons in crisis overseas.
Police from Ireland, France, and the U.K. are in Malaysia 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.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.