Malaysian police have been urged to consider possible foul play and accept assistance from French authorities as they investigate the death of a 15-year-old Franco-Irish girl whose body was found this week.
Autopsy results were expected later on Wednesday, the day after the naked body of Nora Anne Quoirin was found and identified after going missing from a rainforest resort 9 days earlier.
Her body was found beside a small stream about 2.5 kilometres from the Dusun eco-resort in southern Negeri Sembilan state, 63 kilometres south of the capital Kuala Lumpur.
“The family expects the police to do a thorough investigation into the incident, including criminal angles,” lawyer Sankara N. Nair told Reuters agency.
France offers to help investigation
Nair also urged police to accept an offer by French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian for French investigators to help determine the circumstances surrounding Quoirin's death.
“It's a very good proposal,” he said without elaborating. “I hope police will accept the assistance.”
Nair added it was for the police to decide what course to take.
Rescue team of 350 people
The family also thanked the rescue team of more than 350 people who helped in the 10-day search for the girl.
“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.
The girl's mother is from Belfast and her father is French, and the family has lived in London for 20 years.
They arrived at the small resort, on a durian orchard next to a nature reserve, for a two-week holiday on 3 August.
Their daughter went missing the following day.
Family doubts girl left voluntarily
Police believe the girl climbed out through a window in the living room of the resort cottage.
But the family expressed fear of abduction, saying she had special needs due to learning and physical disabilities. They have insisted she was not independent and had never left the family voluntarily.
Deputy police chief Mazlan Mansor said an initial probe yielded no evidence of criminal behavior, but that all possibilities were being considered.
Police from France, Britain and Ireland are in Malaysia to assist with the investigation.