JOHOR BARU - Police believe that missing Nurul Nadirah Abdullah, 5, is still alive following new developments in the case.
It is learnt that investigators from the police special task force have been working round the clock in an effort to trace the whereabouts of the missing girl, who is fondly known as Dira.
Police are also looking into several clues based on information from the three suspects arrested, including a woman, several days ago.
Johor police chief Datuk Mokhtar Shariff said police were confident in tracking down the missing girl following the new leads by the special task force, led by state Criminal Investigation Department chief Datuk Amer Awal and Seri Alam police chief Superintendent Roslan Zainuddin.
"The team is also assisted by our counterparts in Bukit Aman, who have information leading investigators to believe that Nurul Nadirah is still alive."
Speaking after a ceremony honouring 16 former police personnel who had served during the Emergency period, Mokhtar said police were placed on alert state-wide and were conducting checks in several key areas in Johor, including entry and exit points.
At present, he said, police could not reveal more information as investigations were ongoing.
It was reported on Wednesday that Nurul Nadirah went missing after being sent to a grocery store to buy instant noodles on March 1.
The RHB Banking Group has started a search for the girl.
"As a responsible corporate citizen, RHB will do its best to assist the police to search for the missing child and reunite her with her family," said RHB Banking Group director of corporate services Norazzah Sulaiman.
Meanwhile, Masai was abuzz with news that the charred human remains found at an oil palm estate could have been that of the missing girl.
However, the grieving family was relieved when the police forensic team confirmed the remains, found about 20km from Nurul Nadirah's house, were that of an adult.
In the 9am incident, a member of the public stumbled upon the charred remains dumped in a hole at the estate.
Seri Alam district police chief Superintendent Roslan Zainuddin said police received the call at 9.20am and immediately deployed a police team to the scene.
"Preliminary investigations could not reveal the identity and gender of the victim, who could have been set alight and dumped there five days ago," Roslan said.