The disappearance in Malaysia of a 15-year-old London schoolgirl is now being treated as both an abduction and a missing person case by police, a charity has said.
Nora Quoirin, who has special needs, is the daughter of an Irish-French couple who have lived in London for around 20 years.
She went missing while on a holiday with her family at the Dusan resort in a nature reserve near Seremban, 39 miles south of the capital Kuala Lumpur.
The Lucie Blackman Trust (LBT), which is supporting the family, said police were heavily deployed in both search and investigative roles in the resort and surrounding areas, as police treated the case as both a missing person and an abduction.
Nora’s father raised the alarm when he discovered her missing from her bedroom at 8am local time on Sunday.
Her window had been opened.
Speaking from Belfast, Nora’s aunt Aisling Agnew said: “Nora’s parents and relatives in Ireland and France are distraught by her disappearance.
“Nora is a child with special needs and has learning and developmental disabilities which make her especially vulnerable and we fear for her safety.
“Nora would not know how to get help and would never leave her family voluntarily.
“We now consider this a criminal matter.
“We are appealing to everyone to assist the local police in any way they can and to pass on any information that would help locate our beloved Nora without delay.”
Nora, whose mother Meabh is originally from Belfast and whose father is French, is understood to have been travelling on an Irish passport.
LBT’s chief executive Matthew Searle said: “This is a very vulnerable young girl missing in a remote location.
“She has been missing for over 24 hours now and it is imperative that every resource available is deployed to search for her.”
Family friend Catherine Cook told PA: “It’s out of character for Nora to go wandering off.”
She added: “I’m a mother and I burst into tears just hearing this story. I cannot imagine the hell that they are living right now. I just ask for anyone who can help them to do so as soon as possible.
“To my knowledge the French government and the Irish government are helping them and it would be great if other agencies or governments worldwide could support them.”
A spokesman for Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs said: “We are aware of the case and providing consular assistance.”
The family has set up an email address where information can be passed on at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The LBT has also provided a hotline and email address for information. People can remain anonymous and can call +448000988485 or email email@example.com.