Search crews looking for missing British 15-year-old Nora Quoirin have begun playing her mother’s voice in the dense Malaysian forest near where she disappeared, as rescuers linked footprints discovered nearby to the teenager.
Nora’s mother Meabh Quoirin can be heard saying “Nora darling, Nora I love you, Mum is here,” on the recording.
Nora, who has special needs, disappeared from the Dusun forest eco-resort in southern Negeri Sembilan state.
A search team of 200 is using megaphone-amplified recordings of Nora’s close family members.
Earlier, State Fire and Rescue Department operation division assistant director Ahmad Mukhlis Mokhtar said they were investigating whether footprints spotted in the forest belonged to the missing teen.
He told local journalists: “Previously, our detective canines had spotted footprints, but when we conducted a search there, we couldn’t find her.”
He added that the rescuers would now focus on the jungle’s hilly areas amid a theory Nora could be hiding behind trees or rocks.
Police chief Datuk Mohamad Mat Yusop told Malaysian publication The Star that Ms Quoirin’s voice was used first as she is closest to Nora.
He also said the missing 15-year-old’s family members are not part of the search operations for security reasons.
Mr Mohamad said Nora was believed to have climbed out of her resort room window.
“An able-bodied or normal person would be weak by the fifth day, and that is why we need to find the victim as soon as possible,” he said.
Nora’s photograph is being handed out at roadblocks in the area.
Her family has said they remain hopeful after police leading the investigation refused to rule out a “criminal element”.
The Irish-French family, which has lived in London for 20 years, issued a statement welcoming “the assistance of the French, British and Irish police”.
“We are completely overwhelmed by the support we have received from all over the world,” they said.
“And we ask everyone to keep Nora in their thoughts, and to continue to support the ongoing search for her.
“Nora is still missing, and she is very vulnerable, and we need to do everything we can to bring her home.”