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Malaysia court rules against coroner verdict in teen's death

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — A Malaysian High Court found Wednesday that a coroner erred in ruling that the death of a French-Irish teenager whose body was found near a jungle resort was likely due to a misadventure that didn't involve other people.
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KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — A Malaysian High Court found Wednesday that a coroner erred in ruling that the death of a French-Irish teenager whose body was found near a jungle resort was likely due to a misadventure that didn't involve other people.

High Court Judge Azizul Azmi Adnan agreed with Nora Anne Quoirin's parents that it would not have been probable for the 15-year-old to venture out on her own, navigate the steep terrain and evade detection for days due to her mental and physical disabilities.

He ruled that “the verdict of misadventure ought to be vacated in the interest of justice and substituted with an open verdict," a finding by a coroner of death without stating the cause.

The ruling is a legal victory for Quoirin’s parents, who believe she was likely kidnapped and had appealed the coroner’s verdict, issued in January.

The teen disappeared at the Dusun eco-resort in southern Negeri Sembilan state on Aug. 4, 2019, a day after the family arrived for a vacation. After a massive search, her body was found on Aug. 13 beside a stream on a palm oil estate about 2.5 kilometers (1.6 miles) from the resort.

The coroner had ruled out homicide, natural death and suicide and said she likely got lost after leaving her family’s cottage on her own, and that no one else was involved. Police have said there was no evidence of foul play, but her parents said she wouldn't have wandered off on her own.

They told the inquest that a third party could have dumped her body in the area following the search for her. The coroner had described the family’s suggestions as “nothing more than probably theory” with no evidence.

The Associated Press

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