SEREMBAN – A witness told the Coroner’s Court here today that he could not initially determine if the body found 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 for Nora Anne, said that when he saw the body, he screamed out loud to alert his team members that he had found the body.
“As soon as we found the body, we all tried to contact the authorities but we couldn’t as there was no coverage, so I told an Indian 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,” the 28th witness said in Mandarin.
The inquest proceedings before Coroner Maimoonah Aid to determine the cause of death of the Irish-French girl entered its 12th day today.
According to Chong, the teenager’s body, which was found about 50 metres from a hut which the search team had previously passed by, was lying 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-need teenager.
“The monk told Chan to find the girl near areas with a river,” he said.
Meanwhile, 29th witness Muhammad Firdaus Kamarudin, 35, said he saw a woman with long brown hair, of medium build and fair skin bathing in a river in the area on Aug 4.
“I was then on my way to work at the Gunung Berembun water plant by motorcycle at about 7 pm 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 (SAINS) 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 indulge in bathing activities in the area.
Muhammad Firdaus said he informed the matter to the Civil Defence Force (APM) two days later when he heard the news about the disappearance of a girl in the area.
Earlier, the 26th and 27th witnesses — Seremban Fire and Rescue Station chief Mohamad Idris, 52, and Negeri 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 60 km south of Kuala Lumpur. Her body was found on Aug 13 near a stream about 2.5 km 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 tomorrow.