2 tracker dogs picked up Nora’s scent, inquest told

Nora Anne Quoirin went missing on Aug 4, 2019, a day after she and her family arrived in Malaysia for a two-week holiday at a resort.

SEREMBAN: The Coroner’s Court here was told today that two dogs belonging to the Fire and Rescue Department (JBPM) managed to detect the scent of French-Irish teenager Nora Anne Quoirin, who went missing on Aug 4, 2019, at several locations near The Dusun Resort.

The 16th witness in the inquest to determine Nora Anne’s death, JBPM Tracker Dog Unit (K9) operations supervisor from the Jalan Klang Lama station in Kuala Lumpur, Senior Fire Officer 1 Fadzil Arshad, 52, said on Aug 5, the Labrador and Border Collie breeds from the United Kingdom picked up the victim’s scent about 100 metres from the window of the villa she was staying in.

He said the dogs later picked up the scent again near a fish pond, not far from the villa, and the next day, when the unit passed by an abandoned drain, the canines latched on to a mineral bottle which may have belonged to Nora Anne.

“The two dogs then crossed a concrete drain and headed straight to the stream and reacted strongly at the rocky rapids. I informed this discovery to my senior officer Mohamad Idris,” he said when testifying before Coroner Maimoonah Aid on the ninth day of the proceedings.

Fadzil said efforts to track Nora continued the next day, focusing on the rocky rapids, and the two dogs gave a similar reaction, not wanting to go anywhere else.

He said on Aug 8, he was asked to brief the police on the location the scent was discovered.

“After that, our services were no longer required and our duty ended there,” he said.

Asked by DPP Norhafiza Haron, who acted as the inquest’s handling officer, on the functions of the two dogs, Fadzil said: “They are trained to track down people who are missing or have strayed in the jungle.”

Meanwhile, the 17th witness, Leading Fire Officer P Ravi, 50, also from JBPM’s K9 Unit on Jalan Klang Lama, told the court that his team only participated in the search and rescue mission on Aug10, following a request from the operations centre.

“We brought in an English Springer Spaniel or ESS, a dog trained to locate bodies. I reported to Operations Commander Ahmad Mukhlis Moktar and was briefed on the search area at 9am on Aug 10,” he said.

“We began the search from an Indian temple heading towards a water plant, the location where someone was said to have gone missing while swimming.

“From the point we began until we stopped, there was no positive reaction from the dog. We were asked to search for any traces of a body in the area,” he said, adding that his team’s service was only required for a day.

Earlier, the 15th witness, Lance Corporal Sylvester Kirinus, 31, who is with the K9 Unit from Bukit Aman, said a German Shepherd dog used on Aug 4 – the first day Nora Anne was reported missing – failed to reveal any clues.

The second and third search attempts made with the dog on Aug 9 and 10 also came back negative, he said.

The inquest is set to continue on Oct 2, with two witnesses from JBPM’s K9 Unit scheduled to testify.

Proceedings were previously held from Aug 24 until Aug 27 and continued from Sept 1 to 4 before resuming again today.

A total of 64 witnesses have been called to testify.

Nora, 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.