State police deputy chief SAC Che Zakaria Othman said several agencies, including experienced trekkers and non-governmental groups, were also involved in the search and rescue operation for the special needs girl who disappeared from a resort on Aug 4.
“We did not miss out on anything ... as far as I am concerned, we did our best,” he said when met at the police contingent training school here yesterday.
SAC Che Zakaria was responding to a report in a British tabloid quoting local police sources as saying that inexperienced searchers might have missed critical opportunities to save the teenager.
The Daily Mail in a report on Sunday had quoted senior police officers involved in the search as saying that Nora Anne, who was believed to have been alive in the jungle for up to a week, could have been found before her death.
The report among others said the searchers included individuals who were inexperienced and “got tired quickly in the hot and humid conditions and didn’t always walk at arm’s length from each other”.
It went on to say that the individuals could not be blamed as such a search was the first for many of them and because water and food supplies were limited.
SAC Che Zakaria said he believed that none of his officers could have made that statement.
Besides the police, others involved in the operation were personnel from the Fire and Rescue Services Department, Civil Defence, Rela, the Police Air Wing, the Forestry Department as well as Orang Asli from the Senoi Praaq unit, the local Orang Asli community, non-governmental groups and villagers.
Nora Anne, 15, had checked into the property with her parents, Sebastian Marie Philipe and Meabh Jaseprine Quoirin, and siblings Innes Julia and Maurice Arthure on Aug 3.
However, she was not found in the room she shared with her siblings the following morning.
Police found her remains on Aug 13 and ruled out foul play in her death following an autopsy.
Pathologists believed that Nora Anne had been dead for between two and three days before her body was found and attributed her death to upper gastrointestinal bleeding due to prolonged starvation and stress.
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