Police in Malaysia have found a body which “resembles Nora” in the search for the missing London teenager.
Nora Quoirin, 15, was reported missing on 4 August while on a family holiday at a jungle resort near Seremban, around an hour south of the capital Kuala Lumpur.
Police have confirmed that rescuers have found a body about 1.2miles (2km) from where she was reported missing.
A spokesman for the Lucie Blackman Trust which is handling media enquiries for Nora’s family said it is “likely” the body is that of the missing teenager.
Police said they had found the body of a Caucasian female in the forest surrounding the resort, and that officials are in the process of determining whether it is Nora.
Police said they sent officials to a waterfall after receiving a call from a member of the public.
The body was carried to hospital by helicopter as it was in a hard to reach area.
Nora’s parents are travelling to the hospital to identify the body.
In a statement, the LBT said: “The Lucie Blackman Trust can confirm a body has been found in the search for Nora Quoirin.
“At this time we cannot confirm it is Nora. However it sadly seems likely.
“Investigations are under way to confirm identity and cause of death.
“The charity will update as soon as possible.”
Simon Coveney, Ireland’s deputy prime minister and foreign affairs minister, said: “Irish + French embassies in Malaysia working together to provide every assistance to the Quoirin family. Irish embassy is in touch with Malaysian authorities on today’s discovery of a body. At this harrowing time all of our thoughts + prayers are with the family.”
Hundreds of people joined the search operation to try to find Nora, who was born with the brain defect holoprosencephaly and has special needs.
Nora’s mother made a heartfelt plea on Monday to find her, and a £10,000 reward was offered for information leading to her safe return.
Her parents, Meabh and Sebastien Quoirin, who are Northern Irish and French, thanked those looking for her, many of which are volunteers, as a fundraiser for the family reached £100,000.
On Monday, Ms Quoirin said: “Nora is our first child.
“She has been vulnerable since the day she was born.
“She is so precious to us and our hearts are breaking. We are appealing to anyone who has information about Nora to help us find her.”
Nora’s father found she was not in her bedroom on the morning of 4 August, when he went in and discovered the window was open. A family friend said it was “out of character” for her to “go wandering off”.
At the early stages of the investigation, police in Malaysia said there was no evidence of foul play, but her family repeatedly insisted she had been abducted.
As the days continued, police investigated footprints in the forest as well as fingerprints on the open window of a downstairs hallway in the resort where Nora and her family were staying.
At the end of last week, her parents gave more details of her special needs, clarifying that she can read like a young child, but cannot write more than a few words, and cannot do maths, making money impossible to manage.
She also cannot make or receive phone calls independently.
Police have refused to rule out a criminal element.
Nora was travelling on an Irish passport while on holiday, but her parents have lived in London for 20 years.
She is a parishioner of St Bede’s Catholic Church, in Clapham Park, south London, and the church has held vigils for her since she went missing.
The primary school of the same name will be opened this afternoon. In a post, the school said: “The school will be open today from 1pm for all who want to join in prayer for Nora and her family. This is the time we need to show the strength of our community and seek God’s guidance and support in this hearbreaking and horrific moment.”