Tracker dog used to search for Nora Anne had health problems, inquest told

The disappearance of Irish-French teenager Nora Anne Quoirin in August last year sparked a massive search. (Bernama pic)

SEREMBAN: The Coroner’s Court here today was told that the tracker dog used to search for Irish-French teenager Nora Anne Quoirin had health problems and failed to smell any trace of the teenager.

Poo Kong San from the Detective Dog Unit (K9) of the Negeri Sembilan police contingent headquarters said the German Shepherd’s health may have affected its sense of smell.

He said that upon arrival at the resort where Nora Anne and her family were staying, he was given a clothing worn by the teenager for the dog to smell.

“After taking the dog around a 50m radius of the (Sora House) area, which took about an hour, the dog did not give any reaction,” Poo, the fifth witness in the inquest of Nora Anne, said.

Asked by deputy public prosecutor Nurhafiza Haron what happened next, he said a second search around a 100m radius of the area in the evening also failed to produce any results.

Nora Anne Quoirin

After giving the dog a break, another search at 8pm also proved fruitless, he said.

Asked by Nurhafiza the factors that influenced the level of detection among K9 dogs, Poo said they included the weather, topography and the number of people present at the scene.

“If it rains, the smell will be washed away. If it is hot and windy, the smell will be blown by the wind. Also the presence of too many people will cause the smell to be contaminated and disappear,” he said.

He told coroner Maimoonah Aid his K9 dog was four years old and suffered from back pain, and was only used for one day.

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.

Her naked body was found nine days later near a stream in a hilly area, about 2.5km from the resort.

A preliminary post-mortem report revealed that there were no criminal elements in her death and that she had died of gastrointestinal bleeding, due to prolonged stress and hunger.

Sixty-four witnesses are expected to testify in the inquest, which will go on until Sept 4.

Maimoonah adjourned the proceedings to Sept 1.