A BRITISH PATHOLOGIST has insisted that sexual assault cannot be ruled out as a factor in the lead up to the death of French-Irish teenager Nora Quoirin.
During the ongoing inquest into the tragic teen's death, forensic pathologist Nathaniel Cary, who performed a second post-mortem on the body of Nora in the UK, claimed that he couldn't exclude the possibility of a sex assault due to the severe body decomposition.
He said however that he agreed with the initial findings that Ms Quoirin had died of intestinal bleeding due to starvation and stress, but added that the poor conditions of her body made it difficult to determine whether or not semen traces or DNA from strangers were identifiable.
"I think we can exclude very serious trauma to the genitalia ... but I won't exclude minimal trauma because of the decomposition obscuring things," Mr Cary said during a virtual inquest.
"The difficulty here is because of the decomposition, the forensic evidence would be disadvantaged to an extent."
Nora vanished a day after her family arrived on holiday at the Dusun eco-resort in Malaysia in August last year.
A 10-day search to find her was launched, and her body was eventually found under 2 miles from the resort where she was last seen.
She was found naked, and in an open area of the jungle where search parties had been extensively searching, leading many to believe she had been kidnapped and placed there after her death.
Malaysian police have insisted that there are no signs of criminal activity and no indications that Nora had been abducted - something her family vehemently challenge.
They claim it was not Nora's character to simply wander off into the jungle, and due to her disabilities, she would not have the stamina nor the instinct to survive in the jungle on her own.
The inquest is expected to conclude next month, but an official verdict may not be delivered until next year.