Nora Anne inquest: Witness recounts finding girl's body

SEREMBAN (Bernama): A witness told the Coroner's Court here that he could not initially determine if the body he saw was that of Nora Anne Quoirin as he was quite a distance away from it.

Public witness Chong Yue Fatt, 57, who was the first person to find the body on the 10th day of the search and rescue (SAR) operation, said that when he saw the body, he shouted out to alert his team members that he had found a body.

"As soon as we found the body, we all tried to contact the authorities but were unable to as there was no coverage, so I told an man in our team to leave the area and tell his father to call the fire brigade to the location.

"While waiting for the authorities to arrive, we reminded each other not to go near the body so as not to compromise or destroy the evidence. We waited quite long, around one to two hours," said the 28th witness in Chinese.

The inquest proceedings before Coroner Maimoonah Aid to determine the cause of death of the Irish-French girl entered its 12th day on Wednesday (Oct 21).

According to Chong, the teenager's body was found about 50m from a hut which the search team had previously passed by, on a rock, as if she was asleep

Replying to a question by Deputy Public Prosecutor Nuralis Mat, acting as the inquest coordinating officer, as to what else was around the hut, Chong said: "I saw food containers, like Maggie and drink bottles."

Asked by the coroner as to who decided on the search area, Chong said it was done after a proposal by a friend named Chan, who told him that he (Chan) had called a monk from Thailand in an effort to track the special needs teenager.

"The monk told Chan to search for the girl in areas near a river," he said.

Meanwhile, the 29th witness, Muhammad Firdaus Kamarudin, 35, said he saw a woman with long brown hair, of medium build and fair skin in the river in the area on Aug 4.

"I was on my way to work at the Gunung Berembun water plant by motorcycle at about 7pm and that was when I saw, at a glance, a woman without her clothes on taking a bath with her back facing me," he said.

The Air Selangor Negeri Sembilan Sdn Bhd operator said that although it was getting dark, he could still see the woman clearly, adding that it was normal for those staying at the resort to be in the river in the area.

Muhammad Firdaus said he told this to the Civil Defence Force (APM) two days later when he heard the news about the disappearance of the girl.

Earlier, the 26th and 27th witnesses – Seremban Fire and Rescue Station chief Mohamad Idris, 52, and Negri Sembilan Fire and Rescue Department's fire investigation division officer Faizal Ahmad, 40 – were called to testify.

Nora Anne, 15, went missing on Aug 4 last year, a day after she and her family arrived in Malaysia for a two-week holiday at a resort in Pantai here, about 60km south of Kuala Lumpur. Her body was found on Aug 13 near a stream about 2.5km from the resort following a massive search conducted by the authorities.

A preliminary post-mortem report revealed there were no criminal elements in Nora Anne's death and that the teenager had died of gastrointestinal bleeding, due to prolonged stress and hunger.

The inquest continues on Thursday (Oct 23). – Bernama

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