The blame game has started, and since the parents are off limits, who’s next? Inexperienced cops who got tired quickly in the heat. It’s surprising these images below didn’t cause more controversy than they did. They don’t inspire urgency, but then they’re just a snapshot of a ten day travesty. They’re also completely besides the point.
Knowing what we know now, that Nora was still alive, and was still so close to the resort, and also exactly where she said she wanted to go, it’s hard to imagine if Nora’s family [both parents, her brother and sister] and the whole staff of the resort had simply searched for Nora until they found her, that they wouldn’t have found her.
Very early on the family seemed more committed to starting up fundraisers and giving press conferences. To complicate matters, we heard the Quoirin family had also hired a legal representative, meaning the police could no longer freely talk with them or Nora’s siblings. This was a grave if not fatal error on its own.
Of course the greatest culprit in this devastating debacle is the Abductor Narrative. With that dubious drumbeat blasting through the media the search was already fatally compromised and undermined.
Although it’s still too soon to absolutely exclude this possibility, it’s precisely because this narrative was foisted into the front and center of the search, and because international media exerted pressure on the search [invoking the abductor nonsense], that the search was fragmented, and that there seemed little hope that Nora would still be in the region. If she’d been abducted, surely she was long gone and there was no point searching in the jungle to begin with. Or so the thinking went.
Now I want to address the notion that the search teams were inexperienced head on. I want to articulate just how bogus this line of inquiry is.
First of all, we can’t fault the Malaysians for a lack of manpower, just in terms of the sheer amount of eyes and ears on the ground, by recruiting an army of 350+.
Second, they checked many of the right boxes by bringing in sniffer dogs as well as cadaver dogs. It turned out to be a big error in the Madeleine McCann case to wait almost four months before cadaver dogs were brought in. Having said that, it was disappointing that the dogs didn’t do better than they did. Bear in mind, it was human’s picking up a smell that first alerted a local team of amateur hikers to the poor girl lying beside the stream.
It may be that the dog teams weren’t well trained, or that the dogs weren’t as adept in a rural environment. Dog handlers also need to know in an outdoor setting about the best time of day to track. This was a situation where scents could be laid down, washed away, then laid down again. It seems no one was really considering the possibility, indeed the probability that Nora was actually lost. Again, it’s unfortunate that the parents were so adamantly opposed to the idea of their daughter wandering off.
Third, ground penetrating radar and infra-red was apparently used. It’s unclear why neither of these technologies worked. Nora wasn’t buried, as far as we know, but one assumes ground penetrating radar could see into ravines and through trees. If this case proves anything, it’s the limits technologies like these still face in the dense layers of a tropical ecosystem.
Finally, if we’re determined to blame someone we ought to start in the obvious place. Regardless of sentiments and sympathies, in broad strokes this was a case of a family on holiday, and their little girl disappearing at night. Use your common sense: who is responsible when children get themselves into trouble? Does one have to be explicit on the point that while the family was fast asleep, their daughter came to harm? One might argue that being asleep is a sort of alibi, but come on, parents with children in their custody are expected to take care of them. And disabled, dependent children even more so.
There are many additional arguments to make, including about the choice of resort, the steep surroundings immediately adjacent to the resort, as well as the appropriateness of the layout of their bungalow in terms of their daughter.
We’ve also examined the mysterious sleeping arrangements of the family. This really cuts to the heart of things, and it appears the police weren’t convinced the family’s version of this score was even accurate. If true, one could argue that if someone wasn’t truthful to the investigators about the scene/setting immediately prior to the disappearance this fact alone could have misdirected the entire search.
Ultimately, the fact that Nora got lost [as it appears] despite so many looking for her seems terribly unlucky. But if anyone is to be accused of a lack of urgency or a lack of focus, it can’t be the men and women recruited from far and wide.
It should also be noted that the Abductor Narrative is very convenient to parents in this situation [regardless of whether there is an abductor or not], because it redirects the narrative repeatedly away from those who were closest to Nora when she disappeared. The Abduction Theory needs to conclusively rejected and debunked, so that we can address the other side of the equation. If Nora did wander off, how and why did that happen?
Whether it happens after the toxicology results come out, or never, Nora’s parents still owe Nora and her countrymen an explanation.