The Coroner’s Court in Seremban was told today that the search and rescue (SAR) team tasked with looking for missing Nora Anne had previously covered the area where the body of the teenager was later found.
Inspector Hor Ming Jai, 30, from the General Operations Force (GOF) in Semenyih, Selangor, said the team entered two search zones, marked as ‘zone five and zone six’ on August 7 and 8, 2019, but did not find any positive indication of the teenager’s whereabouts.
Nora’s body was eventually discovered on August 13, 2019 by a group of hikers — 10 days after she was reported missing from The Dusun Resort, Negri Sembilan — near a river trail that ran through Hor’s designated search zone.
“Our teams were the first to enter the designated areas and we did not uncover any tracks that could have led us to believe the victim had passed through the area during our search,” he told Coroner Maimoonah Aid.
At the material time, the search-and-rescue (SAR) operation for Nora had entered the fourth and fifth day of her disappearance.
Earlier, Hor told the court he had received orders on August 5, 2019, to assemble a platoon to assist in the ongoing SAR operation for the missing girl until asked to stand-down.
Recalling the sequence of events on August 7, Hor said his team had conducted a sweep of the area while focusing their search along streams, citing a person’s instinct to head towards one if they are lost.
“We observed the streams from afar to see if there was any movement among the dense vegetation but chose not to venture further as there was no need to at that time since there was no disturbance.
“The river was shallow, and the current was not that strong since it had not rained,” he added.
He said their search orders were maintained on August 8, with the teams narrowing further their search operations by walking along the riverbank for a thorough sweep.
However, both days yielded no sign of the missing girl.
When asked further, Hor said there would be footprints or marks left behind if one were to traverse the riverbank since the ground was soft enough to register an imprint.
He also described the jungle as one that was filled with dense vegetation, river trails and steep terrain in certain areas.
Earlier, three witnesses – VAT 69 Commando Hamzah Abd Rani, 49, and Insp Khairul Marwan Kahar, 29, and Insp B Sathia Balan from the 3rd Battalion GOF in Semenyih – were called to testify as the 20th, 21st and 22nd witness, respectively.
Similar to Hor, all three witnesses told the court that their respective searches did not turn up any clues as to Nora’s whereabouts.
Meanwhile, Multi-Skill Team (MUST) personnel Hizwan Khalil testified he was one of the personnel that had entered the area on August 5, 2019 where Nora’s body would eventually be found days later.
To this, Hizwan said there were no positive indication of the missing girl at the time of their search.
The inquest is conducted by deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Sazali Omar.
The proceeding continues.