The family of teenager Nora Quoirin have described their “unbearable” heartbreak after she was found dead in a Malaysian jungle.
The body of the 15-year-old girl, who had special needs, was discovered beside a small stream close to from the jungle resort of Dusun on Tuesday.
It followed a large-scale operation to find the Irish teenager, who disappeared from the resort on Sunday August 4 while on holiday with her family.
In a statement following the discovery of Nora’s body, her family said: "Nora is at the heart of our family. She is the truest, most precious girl and we love her infinitely."
They added: "The cruelty of her being taken away is unbearable. Our hearts are broken.
"We will always love our Nora."
They thanked those who had been searching for her, adding: "Nora has brought people together, especially from France, Ireland, Britain and Malaysia, united in their love and support for her and her family.
“She has truly touched the whole world.”
"To all our friends and family at home, we can't thank you enough for all your love.”
The schoolgirl, who was born with the brain defect holoprosencephaly, disappeared from the jungle resort of Dusun. Police said her body was found less than a mile away from the resort where she was reported missing.
Deputy police chief Mazlan Mansor said the body "was not in any clothings" and said while it remained a missing persons case police were looking into all possibilities including the "angle of criminal investigation".
Irish premier Leo Varadkar said, following the confirmation that Nora's body had been found, that the situation was "every family's worst nightmare".
He tweeted: "Our thoughts & sincere condolences are with Nora Quoirin's parents, siblings & wider family at this unimaginably difficult time. They have experienced every family's worst nightmare. I'd like to pay tribute to everyone who searched for Nora. May she rest in peace."
President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins, and his wife Sabina offered their "deepest condolences" to Nora's parents, to her siblings and to her extended family.
He said: "On behalf of the people of Ireland, I would also like to express my gratitude for the assistance given by the Malaysian authorities in the search for Nora, for the volunteers who answered the call to join the search and for all those throughout Malaysia, Ireland, Britain and France who offered what support they could.
"Our thoughts and prayers are now with Nora's family, at this most difficult time."
The French Foreign Ministry also expressed its sincere condolences to Nora's family.
In a statement on Twitter, written in French, Europe and foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and secretary of state for Europe Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne said: "The French authorities are at the disposition of the Malaysian authorities so that light can be shed on the circumstances of her death."