London – Fears over the safety of Nora Quoirin grew on Sunday night after it emerged she was barefoot at the time of her disappearance in the Malaysian jungle.
Scotland Yard, the National Crime Agency and Interpol are now involved in the search to find the London schoolgirl.
And Ireland’s police force – Garda Siochana – has sent a liaison officer to Kuala Lumpur to assist, it emerged on Sunday night.
The 15-year-old vanished more than a week ago after arriving at a remote eco-resort with her family for a two-week holiday. Authorities in Malaysia had not found any clues yesterday as the dense terrain search entered its eighth day.
Nora was born with a disorder that means she struggles with everyday tasks. Police are worried how long she can survive in the warm and humid environment, with dangerous animals.
Her family are considering offering a reward for information and the local police have set up a hotline.
Nora had gone to sleep upstairs with her siblings after the family arrived at the 12-acre Dusun resort on August 3.
She was discovered missing by her father Sebastien at around 8am and a downstairs door was wide open.
Sources confirmed she had no shoes with her at the time of her disappearance and she was wearing nightclothes.
The resort is at the foothills of the Titiwangsa Mountains and borders the Berembun Forest Reserve, 39 miles south of the capital Kuala Lumpur.
Nora’s family say it is ‘unthinkable’ that she left on her own, given her vulnerability.
Malaysian police yesterday said they had checked 30 local properties and spoken to the owners of neighbouring resorts, but one nearby proprietor said they had yet to be contacted.
Volunteers yesterday handed out 10,000 posters featuring a photo of Nora in Kuala Lumpur and surrounding areas. They were printed by the Lucie Blackman Trust, a missing persons charity that has been working with the family.
As searches continued in the jungle police said they would investigate a report that a truck was heard at 3am on the night that Nora vanished.
The search involved 296 people yesterday, and police will review its scale on Thursday. A source said that authorities could keep the search going for 40 days, given that it concerns a visitor to the country.
Nora’s parents, Meabh and Sebastien Quoirin, appeared on camera on Saturday to thank searchers and beg them not to give up. An exhausted Mrs Quoirin, 45, held back tears as her husband rubbed her arm. She said: ‘We know you’re searching night and day for Nora. We see you working so hard and also praying with us and being with us.
‘To be with us here, it means the world to us. We are so grateful for everything you are doing, everyone who is helping.’
The Irish-French couple, who have lived in London for 20 years, are staying in the resort with their two other children and family members who have flown in to help.
Nora was born with a small brain caused by Patau’s syndrome, limiting her speech, movement and coordination.
Mohamad Mat Yusop, chief of Negeri Sembilan state police where the resort is, yesterday said: ‘We have never had a missing case like this before.’
Nora’s father, a data analysis salesman, met the deputy inspector general of Malaysia’s police force yesterday, who offered his support.