The devastated parents of London teenager Nora Quoirin released a statement expressing their sorrow over the death of their daughter, as pathologists said they were unable to complete a post-mortem on her body.
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"Nora is at the heart of our family. She is the truest, most precious girl and we love her infinitely,” they said on Wednesday.
"The cruelty of her being taken away is unbearable.” Nora’s body was discovered after a nine-day search beside a small stream running through a dense Malaysian jungle, about 1.6 miles from the Dusun eco-resort where her parents, Meabh and Sebastien Quoirin, and her two younger siblings had checked in for a two-week holiday on August 3.
Her father discovered she was missing from her room early the next day and a window in a downstairs hall was found to be open, although it remains unclear whether this was done from the inside.
Speaking outside Tuanku Jaafar Hospital, in Seremban, close to the capital, Kuala Lumpur, one of the leading investigating officers, Che Zakaria Othman, said the four-member pathologist team was still carrying out their work eight hours after they began.
The search for Nora expanded to some 350 people, including a Malaysian special forces elite unit, and British, French and Irish police officers.
Her naked body was eventually found by local volunteer searchers, who told the BBC that they had remained at a distance of about ten metres in order not to contaminate the scene.
“We did not want to destroy any evidence,” said one eyewitness. Deputy police chief Mazlan Mansor said that the remains were winched by helicopter to a hospital mortuary.
He added that it remained a missing persons case but that police were looking into all possibilities including the "angle of criminal investigation".
Sankara Nair, a lawyer hired by the family, said that if the post-mortem does not clearly determine how she died, the Malaysian government could hold an inquest into her death.