The critical detail in the Nora Quoirin case that everyone is missing

It’s a mystery. When the Quoirin family woke up, Nora was gone. They say they have no idea why. But isn’t it really rather obvious?

Nora disappeared on her first night at the Dusun Resort. This is important. It means many aspects were new and novel to her, but it also means a very important and very well-known residual effect – common to all travelers – was playing out in the little girl’s personal experience. Jet lag.

Fullscreen capture 20190817 001733

London is seven time zones – but at this time of year eight hours – behind Kuala Lampur. [The extra hour is part of daylight savings, which is implemented between late March, early April and the end of October each year in England].

When it’s time to get up in England it’s afternoon in Malaysia. When it’s lunchtime in England, it’s dinnertime in Malaysia. And crucial to our inquiry, when it was bedtime in the Dusum Resort [which the parents told us was 22:00], it was barely mid-afternoon back home [14:00].

The map below shows how when it’s almost midday in London it’s a few hours before midnight in Kuala Lampur.

Fullscreen capture 20190817 002143.jpg

We also know that the parents flew into Malaysia from two different destinations. Sebastien arrived with the three children from London. Meabh, for reasons unknown, traveled separatedly, flying in from Singapore.

It can be assumed that the mother have been on a different “time clock” to the rest of the family, and further, that if she’d spent any time in Singapore, and perhaps adjusted somewhat, her bedtime would have been different to the rest of the family.

Although Meabh has changed the privacy settings on her Facebook page, preventing the public from following her movements over the days leading up to the incident, some artifacts were captured in the early days by some of the more enterprising folks in the true crime community. As a result, we’re able to see her last post on July 31st, was precisely on the issue of insomnia, and posted from Sydney Australia, which is a few time zones ahead of Malaysia.

Fullscreen capture 20190817 003414

The “Couldn’t sleep so…” entry was made on Saturday, July 27th, exactly a week before the incident. If Meabh flew into Malaysia from or via Singapore, it suggests she either flew from Australia, having spent several days there, or possibly from Singapore or a regional location. Meabh’s job, as is clear from her Facebook page [while it was available] took her frequently around the world.

In any event, what this illustrates is the importance of understanding not only the actual sleeping arrangements, but the actual family dynamics, especially the sleep cycles of the various members of the family.

Did one or both parents typically use sleeping pills while travelling?

Did the parents give sedative medication or soothing beverages to their children to help them sleep?

If Nora was on medication for her condition, and very likely she was, would she be exempt from these medications, or would there be serious contra-indications? Some of the treatments for Holoprosencephaly are at face value similar to those for epilepsy. Powerful medications are used to help integrate the brain’s systems. These include but are not limited to:

  • Anticonvulsant Agents.
  • Decarboxylase Inhibitors.
  • Anticholinergic Agents.
  • Skeletal Muscle Relaxants.
  • Histamine H2 Antagonists.
  • Proton Pump Inhibitors.
  • Prokinetic Agents.
  • Estrogens/Progestins.

Orphan drugs associated with the treatment of Holoprosencephaly include:

nihms611185f3It’s beyond the scope of this post to deal in further detail with the medical aspects, but this area does deserve further and deeper study, especially given the apparently “invisible” nature of Nora’s mechanism of death.

The outstanding toxicology reports may well confirm or rule out the possibilities of drug interference. It should be noted in cases of this nature that excess compounds will tend to accumulate in the hair, and thus Nora’s hair samples should be preserved and tested as a matter of urgency. Presumably these tests are being conducted at this time.

Further reading:

Nora Quoirin: Devastated family considering second postmortem into teen’s death – The Mirror

Nora Quoirin’s family seek answers over girl’s death in Malaysia – The Guardian

Nora’s grandad reveals family still of belief it was foul play – Belfast Telegraph

Nora Quoirin: Family hoping to soon get ‘more answers to our many questions’ – Sky News


Madeleine McCann’s mother takes drug test – The Telegraph

‘Proof’ McCanns did not sedate Madeleine – The Telegraph

McCanns: We can prove that we didn’t sedate our children – Evening Standard

Tests show McCanns ‘did not sedate Madeleine siblings’ – The Independent

6 thoughts on “The critical detail in the Nora Quoirin case that everyone is missing

  1. Oh wow..proton pump inhibitors. stops stomach acid production. I’ve taken omeprazole for a low grade ulcer and gastritis. If you need it, it’s not a good idea to stop taking it abruptly. Think I know where you’re going with this.


      • Well I think it might explain the internal bleeding referred to in the pm as being caused by hunger and stress. Which sounded a bit odd. If you need these your stomach acid is causing inflammation in your stomach lining or gastro intestinal tract. This risks very bad inflammation or ulcers that can then lead to a GI bleed which is a medical emergency. If you need them and abruptly stop taking them your stomach acid is going to be pumping out and further damaging the area that was already at risk. Sadly it is also painful and makes you feel very sick.


  2. I suppose so – if she were on a strict regimen of medicine schedules then skipping something would have a detrimental effect, but not cause her to wander out the window. If it was midday in her time zone but bedtime in Malaysia then it’s also possible she wouldn’t be able to sleep – without sleeping medication, which would interfere with the strict schedule or routine of meds she was already on. But I would think her mother would understand this, having traveled the world herself. Her mother would also know about drug interactions.

    But there are some other peculiarities to this case with Nora. Why did they say she was sleeping upstairs if she wasn’t. What aren’t they saying.


  3. It could mean that she died due to her medication not being available to her rather than starvation and stress. Apparently you can survive for up to 3 weeks without food if you have water. I’m starting to wonder if she could have gone through the window into the immediate area and then been taken somewhere. If she was on just some of the above medications (anti convulsants, etc) she would have been quite ill quite soon without them.. Btw you think her need for medication might have been stressed while the search was on but I don’t recall hearing that. If someone was holding her locally they might have then panicked if she was deteriorating in health (fits, vomiting blood etc) and dumped her in the jungle to die. Rather than have a body on their hands. This would make sense of what her grandfather has said about it being inconceivable that she could make her way 2km into dense jungle terrain.

    Also -I think melatonin listed above is a sleep aid that is meant to help restore sleep cycles. With the jet lag etc and as a previous blog entry said, this was likely a factor.


  4. We don’t know which possible related illnesses nora may have had which are listed above. But there’s an interesting one on the list – sleep apnoea. I’m not a medical person but as well as stomach ulcer issue i also suffer from obstructive sleep apnoea (I’m just lucky I guess!). Because I stop breathing on average 8 times per hour when I sleep i have to always sleep attached to a CPAP machine and mask – like the attached.

    I’m advised to take it anywhere if I go away fro m home – including holidays or hospital – and to not sleep without it. My compliance and patterns of apnoea are monitored by a modem in the machine that passes data to the hospital. Central sleep apnoea is slightly different than obstructive sleep apnoea in that it’s caused by your brain sending faulty messages to stop breathing rather than soft tissues causing a problem but the cpap machine requirements are the same. My level of apnoea is classed as moderate in medical terms.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.