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A pathologist says he cannot rule out sexual assault after a missing London teenager was found dead in the Malaysian jungle.
The remains of Nora Anne Quoirin were so badly decomposed when they were found that experts are unable to determine whether she was the victim of a sex attack.
The 15-year-old was found 10 days after she went missing in the Dansun rainforest resort in Malaysia in August last year.
Nathanial Cary, a forensic pathologist who performed a second autopsy on her body in the UK, said he agreed with official findings that Nora died of intestinal bleeding.
This could have been caused by starvation or stress, Sky News reported.
But he told an inquest that while there were no positive signs she was sexually assaulted, he could not rule out the possibility.
"I think we can exclude very serious trauma to the genitalia … but I won't be able to exclude minimal trauma because of the decomposition obscuring things," he said.
"The difficulty here is because of the decomposition, the forensic evidence would be disadvantaged to an extent."
He said that the poor condition of the body made it hard to determine if there were semen traces or the DNA of strangers.
Nora had been staying with her parents in a cottage at the eco-resort when she vanished on August 4, 2019 – the day after the family arrived.
A huge search operation was launched and her body was eventually found 1km away from their villa in rough terrain, with no shoes but no cuts on her feet.
Nora Quoirin parents taken to see psychics by ‘desperate’ Malaysia cops
Police boss, Datuk Mohamad Mat Yusop, said Nora was found lying face up at the bottom of steep rocky slopes by a stream.
It was unclear what happened to her underwear, but police had previously said the autopsy showed no signs she was sexually assaulted.
Police told the inquest there was no “foul play” and that Nora had climbed out of a window which had a faulty lock.
But Nora's Irish mother, Meabh, and French father, Sebastien, say they believe their daughter was kidnapped because she had mental and physical disabilities and could not have wandered off on her own.
Meanwhile, pathologist Mr Cary said the decomposition of Nora’s remains had made it difficult to determine “in what circumstances the death occurred".
Responding to a question from the family’s lawyer, he agreed that he could not rule out the possibility that the body may have been moved and placed there.
Rescuers say they had previously searched the location where her body was found.
Mr Cary said the multiple cuts and scratches on the schoolgirl's body indicated she had moved through dense undergrowth.
He added: "I see no reason to dispute the (Malaysian) findings, although like me, the Malaysian pathologists were clearly disadvantaged by the decomposition."
Nora's heartbroken parents have sued the resort owner for alleged negligence, saying there was no security and that a window with a broken latch was found ajar the morning she disappeared.
- Missing Person
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