On August 5th, after Nora Quoirin had been missing for one day, family representatives in Ireland and France started up two separate GoFundMe pages. They were ostensibly started for the purpose of “Finding Nora”, but the descriptions were explicit that funds raised might also go to paying for family members’ flights to and from Malaysia, as well as “unforeseen expenses”.
I seem to remember the page originally stating something about paying for accommodation as well, but I don’t have a screengrab of that section of the original. If it was part of the original it isn’t now.
Soon after starting the GoFundMe, the person who started it – Meabh’s sister and both her children – traveled to Malaysia. Although the GoFundMe states the reason for the fundraising was to “participate in the search and rescue effort”, on the ground there is no evidence this happened. There are no photos of any family members searching the forest, although there are photos of others guests’ families doing so.
Nora’s body was discovered at midday on August 13th. The GoFundMes that were started to #FindNora nevertheless continued taking donations for the next two weeks, until it was deactivated on August 27th.
The Quoirin family, meanwhile, had already returned from Malaysia to an undisclosed location, presumably around August 20th, though details on when they left Malaysia remain sketchy. News reports suggest Nora’s body was flown home as early as August 17th.
On August 20th, the Lucie Blackman Trust closed the official fundraising efforts on their official page, and thanked the public for their overwhelming support while inviting them to join another initiative – the LBT Global Volunteer Network – with fundraising as part and parcel of their stated objective.
Matthew Searle, the Quoirins spokesman, also diligently went to the closed group on Facebook – Nora Quoirin: Uncovering the truth – and posted this message, explaining the delay in closing the GoFundMe pages.
It has subsequently come to light that the Quoirins hired a lawyer in Malaysia on the same day the twin GoFundMe’s were set up, and have also secured representation with a lawyer in France.
Thus far it appears they have not felt it necessary to do a second autopsy or pay for any additional investigation into their daughter’s “abduction”, even though Nora’s clothing was never found. They have been saying all along that they believe foul play was involved, and that Nora was abducted.
It would be good to get full disclosure on precisely how and where the money raised for the purposes of finding Nora was actually spent, and also whether the reward promised the day before Nora was found dead, was paid by the hikers who found her in the jungle. And if it wasn’t paid to the hikers, what happened to that money?