Thursday, February 25, 2021

K9 tracker dogs picked up Nora Anne’s scent, inquest hears

The dogs picked up the teenager's scent near her villa and on a mineral bottle the day after she went missing.

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The Coroner’s Court in Seremban was today told that two dogs belonging to the fire and rescue department managed to detect the scent of Irish-French teenager Nora Anne Quoirin, who went missing on Aug 4 last year, at several locations near the resort where she and her family had been staying.

Fadzil Arshad, operations supervisor of the tracker dog (K9) unit from the Jalan Klang Lama station in Kuala Lumpur, said the Labrador and Border Collie from the UK had picked up Nora Anne’s scent about 100m from the window of her villa on Aug 5.

They picked up her scent again the next day when passing an abandoned drain, on a mineral water bottle that may have belonged to her.

“The two dogs then crossed a concrete drain and headed straight to the stream where they reacted strongly at the rocky rapids.

“I informed my senior officer Mohamad Idris of this discovery,” he said when testifying before coroner Maimoonah Aid on the ninth day of proceedings today.

He said efforts to track Nora Anne continued the next day, focusing on the rocky rapids. He said the dogs had a similar reaction there and did not want to go anywhere else.

On Aug 8, he was asked to brief the police on the location where Nora Anne’s scent was discovered.

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

When questioned by deputy public prosecutor Norhafiza Haron about the role of the two dogs, he said they were trained to track down people who go missing or who stray in the jungle.

Leading fire officer P Ravi, the 17th witness, said his team from the K9 unit at Jalan Klang Lama only joined in the search and rescue mission on Aug 10 after 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.”

He said they began the search at an Indian temple, heading towards a water plant 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 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 from the K9 unit at Bukit Aman, said a German Shepherd brought in on Aug 4 failed to detect any trace of Nora Anne.

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

The inquest will continue on Oct 2, when two more witnesses from the K9 unit are scheduled to testify.

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, about 60km south of Kuala Lumpur.

Her body was found on Aug 13 near a stream about 2.5km from the resort following a massive search.

A preliminary post-mortem report revealed no criminal elements in Nora Anne’s death. It stated that the teenager had died of gastrointestinal bleeding due to prolonged stress and hunger.

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