GUA MUSANG, Oct 10 — A gripping story of courage and survival emerged yesterday when two girls who went missing with five friends 47 days ago were found malnourished in thick jungle 3.3km from their school hostel.
Noreen Yaakob, 10, and Mirsudiar Aluj, 11, were found about noon near Sungai Perias where the decomposed body of eight-year-old Sasa Sobrie was discovered on Wednesday and the skeletal remains of a child were found on Thursday.
Rescuers found the remains of a fifth child, identified as Ika Ayel, nine, by family members, in the same area.
Noreen and Mirsudiar were treated at the Gua Musang Hospital before being transferred to the Raja Perempuan Zainab II Hospital in Kota Baru at 6.30pm.
Still unaccounted from the original group are Noreen’s brother, Haikal, eight, Linda Rosli, eight, and Juvina David, seven.
The courage of the girls has given hope to the families of the two other children who are still missing.
Authorities said the disappearance was the most baffling involving children the country had ever seen.
Kelantan police chief Datuk Mazlan Lazim said police were still unable to draw a theory as to what happened to the students.
“At the moment, we can’t speak to the two girls as they are very weak and traumatised.
“We did try asking them if they knew the whereabouts of the two other still missing children but they were unable to reply,” he said.
Mazlan said Ika’s remains would be handed over to her family after a post-mortem at the Gua Musang Hospital.
He said police would continue with the search and rescue operation until the two others are found.
Mazlan said the search had been intensified along the banks of the river, a tributary of Sungai Nenggiri.
Noreen’s mother, Midah Angah, told reporters at the Gua Musang Hospital that words could not describe her emotions when she first heard her daughter was alive 47 days after going missing.
“My heart sank when I saw her being brought down from the ambulance. But I am extremely glad that she is alive,” she said.
Midah is praying that her son Haikal, eight, who is still missing, will be found soon. She said she had a dream a few days ago in which an elderly person told her that Noreen was alive.
“I don’t know how she survived in the jungle without food. Maybe, she just ate grass and earth.
“I really hope my son will be found alive as well,” she said, adding that she lost her husband eight years ago.