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PostSubject: Victoria (Tori) Stafford (8) R.I.P.   Victoria (Tori) Stafford (8) R.I.P. Icon_minitimeThu Oct 01, 2009 5:09 pm

CANS Missing Endangered Alert Canceled for 8 Year Old Woodstock Girl
Posted: Saturday, April 11, 2009
Updated: Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Victoria (Tori) Stafford (8) R.I.P. 2z50gu9

Woodstock, ON
Code Amber News Service (CANS) canceled this Missing Endangered person Alert after two individuals were arrested and charged with the murder of Victoria. Michael Thomas C.S. Rafferty, 28, has been charged with kidnapping and first-degree murder. Terri-Lynne McClintic, 18, is charged with kidnapping and being an accessory after the fact. As of today (05-20) authorities continue to search for Victoria's body. No Amber Alert was issued in this case.

Victoria (Tori) Stafford a white female, 8 years old with short blond hair and blue eyes. she is 4' 5, weighing 62 pounds. She was last seen wearing a black Hannah Montana jacket with a fur-lined hood.

There is no suspect at this time although police have security camera footage of Tori leaving the school with a tall woman with long black hair wearing tight blue jeans. Police are asking the woman to come forward to aid in the search.

There is no suspect vehicle at this time.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Oxford Community Police Service or Crime Stoppers at 421-TIPS

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PostSubject: Re: Victoria (Tori) Stafford (8) R.I.P.   Victoria (Tori) Stafford (8) R.I.P. Icon_minitimeThu Oct 01, 2009 5:10 pm

Victoria Stafford
Victoria (Tori) Stafford (8) R.I.P. 98bzb6

Recovered , Jul 19, 2009

April 25 2009

Cops Confirm That Child's Remains Are Tori's
It's been over three months since 8-year-old Victoria "Tori" Stafford disappeared near her school in Woodstock, Ontario, Canada. On July 19, 2009, authorities discovered a child's remains in a wooded area 35 minutes north of Guelph, Ontario -- a town cops were led to shortly after the arrest of two suspects in the little girl's murder and abduction. Now, police have confirmed that the remains are indeed Tori's.

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PostSubject: Re: Victoria (Tori) Stafford (8) R.I.P.   Victoria (Tori) Stafford (8) R.I.P. Icon_minitimeThu Oct 01, 2009 5:10 pm

Rodney Stafford’s Kilometres for Kids ride reaches Kenora
Posted By Lloyd Mack

Rodney Stafford, whose daughter Victoria ‘Tori’ Stafford was abducted and killed April 8 as she walked home from her Woodstock, Ont., school, is now cycling to Edmonton and will arrive in Kenora today.

Stafford, who turns 34 Friday, is riding to Edmonton, where his daughter visited a favourite aunt last year, and will release a single purple — her favourite colour — balloon from a mountain in Jasper. He is also using the 3,400-kilometre Kilometres For Kids ride to raise money and awareness for Child Find.

The trek began Aug. 5 and people can go to www.eye-zon.com to follow Stafford's progress.

In several cities, Stafford and his small support group have set up a table outside the local Walmart or McDonald’s with a donation jar that steadily fills by the hour. In Kenora, supporters have planned a barbecue at Walmart on Saturday from 1-4 p.m. to support the Kilometres For Kids ride.

Donations to Kilometres for Kids can also be made at TD Canada Trust, Branch 0227, Account 5210920. All proceeds go to Child Find Ontario.


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PostSubject: Re: Victoria (Tori) Stafford (8) R.I.P.   Victoria (Tori) Stafford (8) R.I.P. Icon_minitimeThu Oct 01, 2009 5:10 pm

100 days of private hell

The top story on John Walsh's "America's Most Wanted" website this week was that of Victoria "Tori" Stafford, the eight-year- old who was abducted from outside the Oliver Stephens Public School in Woodstock, Ontario, on April 8, 2009.

Captioned above a picture of Tori were the words "Cops Con-firm That Child's Remains Are Tori's," then superimposed on her picture the word every parent whose child has been abducted dreads to hear -the word "deceased."

It's been a prolonged nightmare for her Mom and Dad and the many who loved Tori, a horrid nightmare that began four days before Easter Sunday and ended 102 days later on July 19, 2009.

No columnist writing about this tragedy can capture the intensity of the anguish experienced by her parents, Tara McDonald and Rodney Stafford. It must be inexplicably painful, one must feel that one's heart has literally been ripped out, crushed beyond measure.

Speaking from the personal trauma of losing his own son, John Walsh says, "Adam's abduction was our private hell." And 'hell' indeed it is, every year here in this nation for many parents whose children go missing.

According to the RCMP's latest statistics 60,582 children went missing in Canada in 2007. Of that staggering amount, more than 46,000 were runaways, most found within 72 hours of their disappearance.

The province of Ontario ranks highest with 21,293 going missing in 2007. By far the highest number of abductions occurred at the hands of parents, 120 here in the province. Tragically in this latest year for which statistics are available, across the nation, 56 instances of child abductions were perpetrated by strangers, 17 of those here in Ontario.

Every abduction is a traumatic event, but it is those schemed and planned by strangers that pose the biggest threat to the security of a child. This danger will not dissipate in the days ahead -the availability of Internet porn, much violent in nature, merely fuels the lusts of the pedophiles in our midst. Add to that the sexualization of public school children and you have a sure recipe for disaster.

The Tori Stafford abduction and murder has clearly awakened cries for true justice, and the re-emergence of the death penalty, particularly for such crimes as heinous in nature as this one.

Having served as a jail chaplain for about 12 years here in Ontario, I can tell you that we are too soft on crime and criminals. Too often the offender walks away with a slap on the wrist, and the victim is left to pick up the pieces of a life that has been mercilessly broken and ruined.

The Stafford murder requires a punishment that is commensurate with the crime. It ought to be "an eye for an eye," and nothing less. It also ought to be said, that in this case the OPP and other investigators never gave up. Diligently, relentlessly, they kept on the case, searching, pursuing, mere shreds of evidence.

It was, according to Julian Fantino, the province's top law enforcement officer, "...a Herculean task." The police, often subject to criticism by certain sectors of the general public, ought to be commended for the work they did.

As the hearse containing the remains of Victoria Stafford was driven from the dirt road where they were found, police officers stood at attention with accompanying salute. It was a poignant moment, a little girl's body, and a little girl, being silently dignified by those who had combed every inch of ground to find her.

It was for her parents, Tara and Rodney, "closure" of a sort, never to have found her brings no finality to this trauma, yet, as John Walsh of "America's Most Wanted" is so perceptive to note, "Everybody uses this word (closure) and banters it around....I don't have any closure and most parents of murdered children or crime victims don't really have closure, because your life is changed forever by that event."

And life is changed forever. Walsh, following the abduction and murder of his own son, would launch "America's Most Wanted," and turn his personal pain into a pulpit.

Hopefully Tara and Rodney can do the same, and facilitate the healing process in their own lives.

For those of you who are parents of tiny tots and children, the Tori Stafford abduction and murder begs a question of you: "Have you 'street-proofed' your kids?" Have you carefully indoctrinated them with sufficient street smarts that will keep them safe when they are out of your sight? If not, do it right away! Get some help from Child Find Ontario or some other child-friendly agency.

Today, Saturday, there will be a memorial service for the cute little eight-year-old. She went to school on Wednesday, April 8 with her Hanna Montana T-shirt and her purple "Bratz" bag. She was only eight folks, that's all.

Let justice flow down like a mighty river !

Rev. Eric Strachan is the pastor of New Life Community Church in Petawawa


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PostSubject: Re: Victoria (Tori) Stafford (8) R.I.P.   Victoria (Tori) Stafford (8) R.I.P. Icon_minitimeThu Oct 01, 2009 5:11 pm

Ontario Amber Alert changes coming
Thursday, August 20, 2009 | 9:52 PM ET

Changes will be unveiled this fall to Ontario's Amber Alert system because of criticism over how police handled the Victoria Stafford case, a senior provincial investigator says.

Ontario Provincial Police Commissioner Julian Fantino is behind the changes, OPP Sgt. Dave Rektor said Thursday in London.

"[The Amber Alert system] is so effective because it's not overused," Rektor said. "If it becomes misused then it weakens the effectiveness."
Victoria (Tori) Stafford (8) R.I.P. 27yvhjp
Victoria, also known as Tori, disappeared April 8, minutes after leaving her elementary school in Woodstock.

However, an Amber Alert wasn't posted immediately because police at the time said her case did not meet the guidelines for issuing one.

Before an alert is issued, police must confirm three main criteria: the child is under 18 and has been abducted, the child is in danger of serious harm, and there is enough descriptive information about the child and abductor or the suspect vehicle that a media alert would be helpful.

Ontario's Amber Alert system will be changed in the wake of criticism of the police response to the case of Victoria Stafford, who disappeared on April 8, 2009.

Video: John Lancaster reports: Ontario Amber Alert changes coming (Runs: 2:26)
Play Video: QuickTime »

Play Video: Real Media »

IN DEPTH: Amber Alert


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PostSubject: Re: Victoria (Tori) Stafford (8) R.I.P.   Victoria (Tori) Stafford (8) R.I.P. Icon_minitimeThu Oct 01, 2009 5:11 pm

Father of murdered girl promotes child safety

Rodney Stafford wants people to open their eyes to potential dangers lurking in their communities.

"I want people to know that no matter where you live, whether it be a big city, a small town, a little community, it can happen anywhere, at any time," said Stafford. "These people find out ways to make it happen and children are disappearing everywhere. We have to try to put some kind of stop to it."

Stafford is biking from his hometown of Woodstock, Ont., to Edmonton. Tuesday marked his 34th day on the road and about a week remains on his tour. So far, the father has raised about $22,000 for Child Find.
Stafford was at the Cornwall Centre on Tuesday where a couple of information booths were set up.

Victor Prettyshield, with Saskatchewan Child Find, said his organization supports initiatives such as Stafford's because they share a common vision, which is to promote children's safety.

"This is your child's safety. You don't have to buy anything from us. Just come and get the information," said Prettyshield. "Maybe they think they've done enough already, but as a Child Find organization we feel there's not enough safety your child can learn."


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PostSubject: Re: Victoria (Tori) Stafford (8) R.I.P.   Victoria (Tori) Stafford (8) R.I.P. Icon_minitimeThu Oct 01, 2009 5:12 pm

Murder of Victoria Stafford

Victoria "Tori" Stafford
Born Victoria Stafford
July 15, 2000(2000-07-15)
Woodstock, Ontario
Died April 8, 2009 (aged 8)
Woodstock, Ontario
Body discovered July 19, 2009
Nationality Canadian
Education Oliver Stephens Public School
(Gr. 3)
Height 4 feet 5 inches

Weight 60 pounds

Known for Abducted/murdered child
Parents Tara McDonald (mother)
Rodney Stafford (father)

Relatives Darren Stafford (brother)
Victoria "Tori" Stafford was a Canadian girl abducted from Woodstock, Ontario on April 8, 2009, and murdered sometime between April 8 and May 20. She was last seen on security camera footage walking with an unidentified woman.

Her disappearance and the subsequent investigation and search have been the subject of massive media coverage across Canada. The search for her body ended on July 19, 2009, when a child's remains were found in a wooded area in rural Ontario and were immediately believed to be those of Tori Stafford. This was confirmed in a news conference held July 21, 2009. The police response to the situation as it developed and their lack of calling an Amber Alert has been criticized by the public, and has recently been the focus of a review of the Amber Alert system in Canada.

She was seen for the last time at about 3:32pm Wednesday April 8, 2009 on Fyfe Avenue, walking past a high school up the street from Oliver Stephens Public School. She was wearing a black Hannah Montana jacket with a white fur-lined hood, a green shirt, denim skirt, black and white shoes and a purple and pink Bratz bag.

A security video taken from the high school shows her walking with a person of interest. The person of interest is described as a white female aged between 19-25 - 5'1 to 5'2 tall and weighing approximately 120-125 lbs with straight long black hair worn in a pony tail. She was wearing tight black jeans and a white puffy jacket.The case was later featured on America's Most Wanted.

The initial investigation was led by Oxford Community Police Service, but then turned into a joint operation with the Ontario Provincial Police.

On Tuesday, July 21st 2009, at 9:00am police confirmed the remains found near Mount Forest, Ontario, approximately 500 meters from Concession Road 6, were that of Tori.

On May 20, 2009, police charged Michael Thomas Rafferty, 28, with first degree murder and Terri-Lyne McClintic, 18, with being an accessory to murder (in addition to lesser charges) in the abduction and suspected murder of Tori. Ontario Provincial Police indicated that Tori's mother, Tara McDonald, was familiar with McClintic. McClintic assisted the police search for the remains of Tori Stafford after her arrest and her lawyer stated that her client "wants Tori's family to know she is trying hard to find her body."

On May 28, 2009, McClintic's accessory charge was altered to a murder charge. Abduction charges against McClintic and Rafferty were altered to unlawful confinement charges. The co-accused will be tried separately on charges of 1st-degree murder and unlawful confinement

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PostSubject: Re: Victoria (Tori) Stafford (8) R.I.P.   Victoria (Tori) Stafford (8) R.I.P. Icon_minitimeThu Oct 01, 2009 5:12 pm

During the ride west, "my biggest thought was of Victoria this spring," on a family outing walking along a beach near Woodstock, skipping stones, he said. "I had a few good chuckles. Everyone else was picking up nice flat stones and skipping them. But Victoria picked up big, fat ones and chucked them. She couldn't quite get the hang of it. But then one, she skipped eight or nine times.

"It was a free time, a happy moment. We had so many."

But after Tori's death, he found his faith in people shaken.

He set out on his bike to take "time to think and get over what happened," Stafford said. "I wanted to see some different scenery, clear my mind," he said.
He also wanted to raise awareness for child safety, to see if he could help save another child's life, he said.

He made more than a dozen public appearances for ChildFind along his route, speaking to thousands of people, he said. He also raised more than $22,000 for the Kilometres for Kids fund he set up for the trip.

The response amazed him, he said.

"People would just stop and offer dinner and a place to stay. There's been amazing support from the beginning," he said. It convinced him good people in the world, "far outnumber the bad people."

He was hosted at strangers' homes 20 nights of his 45 on the road.
"They're just coming up and saying thank you. In time, this (attention) will fade, I'm sure, and I'll just remember I did something significant," he said.


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PostSubject: Re: Victoria (Tori) Stafford (8) R.I.P.   Victoria (Tori) Stafford (8) R.I.P. Icon_minitimeWed Oct 21, 2009 10:11 am

Victoria “Tori” Stafford (8) - disappeared after leaving school on April 8, 2009; body found 04/19/09
Michael Thomas Rafferty (28) - arraigned on abduction and first degree murder charges May 20, 2009
Terri-Lynne McClintic - (18) - charged with abduction and helping Rafferty escape
Woodstock, Ontario, Canada

Tori Stafford murder suspect Terri-Lynne McClintic appears in court via video
Toronto Star - 10/01/09

A woman charged in the slaying of an eight-year-old southern Ontario girl made her first court appearance in more than 1 1/2 months on Thursday. Terri-Lynne McClintic, 19, appeared via video link before a judge and was remanded in custody until her next court date on Nov. 27. She remains in custody at the London-Middlesex Detention Centre.

McClintic and Michael Rafferty, 28, are charged with kidnapping and first-degree murder in the death of Victoria Stafford, who was last seen leaving her school in Woodstock, Ont., in April. The Crown says the disclosure of evidence to McClintic's lawyer is "an ongoing, extensive process".

Rafferty appeared in court Sept. 25, at which time a judicial pre-trial meeting was set for Oct. 8. One of Rafferty's lawyers, Scott Reid, said that meeting will essentially lay the groundwork for an upcoming preliminary hearing.

{complete case coverage below}

Accused in Tori Stafford case makes court appearance
680 News - 09/25/09

A man accused in the abduction and murder of eight-year-old Victoria Stafford of Woodstock, Ont., has made another court appearance. Both Michael Rafferty, 28, and co-accused Terri-Lynn McClintic, 19, are charged with first-degree murder and kidnapping.

Tori disappeared from outside her Woodstock school in April and her remains were found on July 19 north of Guelph, Ont. At Rafferty's brief appearance Friday, a judicial pre-trial meeting was set for October 8.

One of his lawyers, Scott Reid, said that meeting will essentially lay the groundwork for an upcoming preliminary hearing. Rafferty will then make another video court appearance on October 16.

Stafford reaches Edmonton on trek in memory of slain daughter
Metro News Edmonton - 09/19/09

He pedalled nearly 3,500 kilometres across the country and finally reached the Edmonton area Thursday.

Rodney Stafford, the father of slain eight-year-old Victoria Stafford, began his awareness ride on Aug. 5.

After his daughter’s murder, he vowed to remind parents across Canada to protect their children.

Stafford will gather with families at West Edmonton Mall Saturday afternoon for the tour finale event. Children will be fingerprinted for free, and Stafford will talk about his life in the months since his daughter’s murder.

Victoria spent last summer with her aunt, Rebecca Stafford-Nichols, and extended family. After Saturday, Stafford-Nichols said, the family will journey to Jasper, travelling the same route Victoria took on a trip last summer.

“Rodney wants to see everything she saw with his own eyes,” she said.

Once in the rocky region, he’ll climb alone to the top of Whistler’s Mountain, and release a purple balloon in his daughter’s honour.

Man will plead not guilty in Stafford's death
CBC - 08/21/09

One of the two people charged in the death of eight-year-old Victoria Stafford plans to plead not guilty, according to his lawyer.

Michael Rafferty "will certainly be pleading not guilty," said lawyer Dirk Derstine, whose client made a court appearance Friday morning in Woodstock, Ont., via video link from a London detention centre.

Rafferty, 28, and Terri-Lynne McClintic, 19, have each been charged with first-degree murder and kidnapping.

Victoria, also known as Tori, went missing last April. A security camera videotaped her leaving her elementary school with a woman on April 8 in Woodstock, a city west of Hamilton.

Police searched for the girl for more than a month. That ended in late May when officers arrested Rafferty and McClintic and charged them.

In late July, Stafford's remains were found in an area near the small farming community of Mount Forest, about 95 kilometres north of Woodstock. Forensic scientists in Toronto identified her using dental records.

Victoria Stafford murder suspect back in court
CJBK Radio 1260 - 08/12/09

The woman charged in the abduction and murder of 8 year old Victoria Stafford has had her case put off until October.

Terri-Lynne McClintic appeared in a Woodstock court today through a video link from the Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre and a new court date was set for October 1st.

Her lawyer, Jeanine Leroy, says there is a ``substantial amount of evidence'' to review before the case goes further and that is why she asked for more time.

Meanwhile, co-accused 28 year old Michael Rafferty, who is also charged with kidnapping and first degree murder, will be back in court next week.

Victoria was abducted on April 8th as she was leaving her Woodstock school. Her remains were found in a field north of Guelph on July 19th.

Tori's dad continues long ride
North Bay Nugget - 08/11/09

Rodney Stafford left Huntsville Monday morning as his incredible "Kilometres for Kids" journey from Woodstock to Edmonton, Alta., to raise money for Child Find Ontario.

At 2:25 p. m., Stafford was travelling at 30.3 kilometres per hour along Highway 3, nearing the northern region of the province. While the recent weather had slowed his progress -- the thunderstorms and humidity weren't exactly conducive to long-distance cycling -- Stafford's determination had not wavered.

I believe 120 kilometres per day is rushing what I am trying to accomplish," Stafford wrote in his Sunday blog entry. Thank you to everyone for your support up to this point, and I hope you will continue to help me spread the word."

Conceived as a tribute to his late daughter Victoria, Stafford's lengthy journey began Wednesday from the parking lot of Woodstock's Calvary Church. After an emotional goodbye to family and friends, Stafford mounted his donated 27-speed Kona Sutra asphalt" bike and began the first leg of his journey, travelling 128 kilometres by the end of the day.

Got the (GPS) tracker working well, so everybody can see me moving along my route, which is pretty cool," Stafford wrote in his Thursday blog entry.

Stafford begins his journey
The Oxford Review - 08/05/09

Surrounded by family and friends, Rodney Stafford began his 3,453-kilometre fundraising journey Wednesday morning.

Stafford, wearing his “Kilometres for Kids” sponsors’ T-shirt and a blue bike helmet, left the Calvary Church parking lot with a police escort — a cruiser and the Oxford Community Police Service’s two core bear officers, who joined the procession on their own bicycles. The group of supporters cheered as Stafford rode the first few metres of his 31-day trek,

“What better way to bring our children’s safety into the spotlight,” Stafford said before leaving.

Both a fundraiser for Child Find Ontario and a tribute to his daughter Victoria “Tori” Stafford, who was kidnapped and murdered earlier this year, the “Kilometres for Kids” journey will culminate with a personal commemoration of the grieved for eight-year-old. Stafford plans to visit a mountain near Jasper, Alta., and release a single purple balloon as his way of “saying goodbye” to his daughter.

Private funeral planned for Tori
London Free Press - 07/31/09

The grieving family of Victoria 'Tori' Stafford is planning a private funeral after the remains of the eight-year-old girl were returned this week.

"They were brought back to Woodstock," her father, Rodney Stafford, said yesterday. "Funeral services are in the works."

The family is planning a private service. Even that will not provide closure to him, Stafford said.

"I believe my final chapter won't happen until all the court proceedings are done," he said.

"There are going to be things I am not going to want to hear," he agreed. "But there is going to be lots of good things come out of this."

Included in the good is a fundraising event this weekend for Child Find Ontario, which kicks off his Kilometres for Kids ride to Edmonton, Stafford said.

Tomorrow's event will have "a whole lot of things for kids," Stafford said.

Besides games, dances, a dunk tank and prizes, children can be fingerprinted for their safety by Child Find, an organization that helps protect children and look for missing kids.

In the evening, adults will be entertained by six or seven bands, he added.

"One-hundred per cent of the money raised will go into an account for Child Find."

The same goes for money raised during his bicycle ride, Stafford said.

About 30 area businesses have offered to help him make the ride, and the local Lions Club has pledged its support to feed him and his crew along the way, Stafford said.

Family set to say goodbye
The Oxford Review - 07/30/09

Sixteen weeks after she was cruelly stolen from a Woodstock street, Victoria "Tori" Stafford has now come home.

The eight-year-old's remains were finally returned to her grieving family this week from Toronto's Centre for Forensic Sciences, marking the end to the saddest chapter in this heart-wrenching story.

"We have been able to return Victoria back home for a (private) funeral," acting Oxford Community Police Service Chief Rod Freeman confirmed Wednesday. "We're happy she's back home. I've talked to the family, who are relieved they can put her to rest with dignity."

But Tori's sad homecoming is far from the end of the police investigation, which Freeman promised would continue in earnest for some time.

Officers with this joint OPP-OCPS investigation were still combing the rural area near Mount Forest where an OPP detective discovered Tori's remains on July 19.

"They are still working up in the Mount Forest area," Freeman said. "It won't be for much longer."

Freeman said that pathologists at the Centre for Forensic Sciences were still examining recovered evidence in preparation for the upcoming trials of the two Woodstonians accused of Tori's kidnap and murder. While the police would still be at the forefront of the investigation for weeks to come -- Freeman estimated that OCPS officers would still part of the "core investigation" until the late fall -- the acting chief said the case was fast approaching the point where Oxford's Crown attorney's office would be taking the lead.

"The task force is still shouldering the lion's share of the investigation right now," he said, "but we're certainly a lot closer to that point now than we were just a few weeks ago."

Freeman indicated that investigators were already working closely with the Crown attorney's office to prepare the cases against 28-year-old Michael Rafferty and 19-year-old Terri-Lynne McClintic. With several prosecutors working full time on the two trials, including Oxford Crown attorney Brian Crockett, assistant Crown attorney Michael Carnegie and London-based Crown attorney Geoff Beasley, Freeman suggested there was an "unprecedented working relationship" between the Crown's office and the task force.

It's Tori
London Free Press - 07/22/09

It may be several weeks before the body of Victoria (Tori) Stafford is returned to her loved ones.

Investigators confirmed yesterday that remains found Sunday near Mount Forest are those of the Woodstock girl who disappeared April 8, but further forensic tests could delay a formal funeral by as much as a month, the Stafford family says.

"They (police) said it could be some time yet," said Doreen Graichen, Tori's paternal grandmother. "It could be from a week to a month. They were very general.

"There are some ways it's a relief, because now we know where she is, but it's not what we wanted to happen. I just feel kind of numb."

Stafford's family, aware of the discovery in rural Wellington County on Sunday, was told Monday night the remains were Tori's, dental records having been used for confirmation.

Yesterday, Rodney Stafford said his daughter's funeral will be private, a public memorial already held June 6. He, too, expressed some relief amid the sadness.

"With the positive identity (done), we know where she is and we'll be able to bring her home and lay her to rest," Stafford said.

Tara McDonald, Tori's mother, yesterday grieved privately, addressing reporters at her home through a hand-written note taped to the front door. "Give us peace and time to process everything that is happening," it read. "I will contact the media if I wish to speak to anyone."

Family was prepared for the worst, says Tori's dad
CTV - 07/22/09

The father of slain Woodstock, Ont., girl Victoria Stafford said his family was prepared for the worst when they were told by police that they had located his daughter's remains. But he continues to struggle with the question of how something so horrible could happen to someone as innocent as his little girl.

Rodney Stafford told CTV's Canada AM on Wednesday that the news was "definitely something you don't want to hear" but that his family had feared the worst from the moment Victoria was kidnapped in April.

Police found the eight-year-old girl's body Sunday afternoon but didn't confirm the remains were those of Victoria until Tuesday.

Victoria, also known by her nickname "Tori", was last seen alive on April 8, walking away from her school with an unidentified woman. The child and the woman were captured on a security camera near her school.

Stafford said his son, 11-year-old Darren, is "not doing too bad" since finding out about his sister's murder.

He said Darren had been prepared from the moment police arrested two suspects in connection with the case back in June and charged them with first-degree murder.

Stafford said a public memorial, also held in June, gave Darren a chance to mourn his little sister.

Now, it's up to forensics
Oxford Review - 07/21/09

Victoria Stafford's remains may yield clues that will help investigators piece together what happened to the little girl after she left school on April 8.

Dental records or DNA would be used to identify Tori, said one forensic anthropologist.

"Forensic anthropologists also examine skeletal remains for signs of trauma like sharp force trauma, blunt force trauma or for signs of strangulation," said Dr. Tosha Dupras, associate professor of anthropology at the University of Central Florida, in an e-mail yesterday to the Sentinel-Review.

Dupras received her master's from the University of Guelph and PhD in anthropology from McMaster University. In addition to co-authoring, The Forensic Recovery of Human Remains: Archaeological Approaches, Dupras assists local law enforcement agencies with the search, excavation and analysis of human remains.

Dupras is not involved in the Stafford investigation.

Since Victoria was missing for just over three months, decomposition had likely begun but the extent depends on weather, place of disposal and site conditions.

"Smaller children would decompose faster than adults in most circumstances," said Dupras.

The condition of the clothing depends on the fabric. A cotton garment can decompose in about four to six months depending on the conditions while polyester may last years.

Rori Stafford: Accused's neighbours aloof
London Free Press - 07/22/09

There are few signs of activity at the family home of Michael Thomas Rafferty, where a knot of cobwebs has even formed over the doorbell.

And as for the reality that they lived so close to the man accused of killing Victoria (Tori) Stafford, neighbours aren’t touching that, either.

It’s clear residents of Tennyson Street — many of whom spoke openly right after Rafferty’s May 20 arrest — now find the matter radioactive.

“I just don’t feel like talking about it right now,” one man said Tuesday, holding his front door open slightly. “It’s affected all of us.”

He was one of several Tennyson residents who declined to discuss the connection to Rafferty, charged with first-degree murder and kidnapping along with an ex-girlfriend.

One woman said the situation is “very creepy.”

Rafferty’s former next-door neighbours were also tight-lipped, shouting over a fence they had no comment.

“We don’t want to say anything,” a woman said. “There’s nothing to say.”

That reaction is no surprise to Woodstock Mayor Michael Harding, who suggested that aside from Tori’s neighbourhood, the enclave where Rafferty lived may be feeling the most pressure. Some news reports, Harding noted, have unfairly described Tennyson as a “rough” area.

“(That) reflects poorly on them and their children,” Harding said.

Remains of a young child found near Guelph, Ontario
News 1130 - 07/20/09

Remains of a young child have been found in a rural area north of Guelph, but police say it is still unclear if they are that of Tori Stafford, who has been missing since early April.

The eight-year-old disappeared on April 8 and Ontario Provincial Police have been focusing their search for her body in the Guelph and Fergus areas, northwest of where the remains were discovered on Sunday.

Sgt. David Rektor with the Ontario Provincial Police says they don't want to speculate the remains are those of Tori but they are classifying the remains as suspicious and members of the Stafford Homicide Investigative team are taking part in the investigation.

Michael Thomas Rafferty, 28, and Terri-Lynne McClintic, 18, have been charged with first-degree murder and abduction in connection to Tori Stafford, who would have turned nine years old on July 15.

July 19, 2009

Rafferty to plead not guilty
Woodstock Sentinel-Review - 07/19/09

Michael Rafferty’s new lawyer said his client will likely plead not guilty to first degree murder charges in the death of Victoria “Tori” Stafford.

“That is a safe assumption,” said Scott Reid of the law firm Derstine Penman.

Both Rafferty, 28, and Terri-Lynne McClintic, 18, are facing murder charges in connection to the disappearance of Stafford on April 8.

During a brief video court appearance Friday from the Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre, Rafferty advised the court Reid will replace Rafferty’s former lawyer, Hal Mattson.

Reid, speaking to reporters after the video appearance, said he can’t comment on Rafferty’s decision to change lawyers.

“That’s between Rafferty and his former lawyer,” he said.

Reid said he expects to receive more information regarding the case in the near future.

“I expect in the next few days and week we’ll be provided with Crown disclosure,” he said. “I think we’ll be getting that in due course.”

Suspect in Tori Stafford death gets a new lawyer
CTV - 07/17/09

A 28-year-old man charged with kidnapping and murder in a Woodstock, Ont. girl's disappearance has a new lawyer.

Toronto lawyer Scott Reid of replaces Hal Mattson in the case of Michael Rafferty, who appeared Friday in a Woodstock court via videolink from a detention centre in nearby London.

Rafferty's case has been put over until Aug. 21.

Reid would only say he will "vigorously defend" Rafferty, saying under questioning that it would be a "safe assumption" his client wouldn't plead guilty.

Rafferty and Terri-Lynne McClintic both face charges of first-degree murder and kidnapping in connection with the April 8 disappearance of Victoria Stafford, who would have celebrated her ninth birthday this week.

Their trials aren't expected to begin until sometime in 2010.

Police continue to search for Tori's body in the Guelph and Fergus areas. However, they have not yet found any trace of the little girl.

Ministry brings in help for Crown
Woodstock Sentinel-Review - 06/29/09

Oxford's Crown attorney will now be working full time preparing the prosecution's case against the man accused of kidnapping and murdering Victoria "Tori" Stafford.

Crown attorney Brian Crockett and assistant Crown attorney Michael Carnegie have been "assigned full time to the Tori Stafford case," confirmed Brendan Crawley, a spokesperson for the Ministry of the Attorney General. Because of the preparation time needed in the case -- and the mountains of evidence from the ongoing police investigation -- the assignation of the two prosecutors is not unusual.

With the preliminary hearing not expected until early next year -- and Michael Rafferty's trial some time after that -- Brendan Evans, a senior assistant Crown attorney from the London office, has been temporarily assigned to Oxford as its acting Crown.

"A second (assistant) Crown attorney will be brought in to help with the regular workload," Crawley said.

The Crown attorney's office declined to comment Thursday on these staffing arrangements.

The amount of evidence to date in the Rafferty case is already staggering. Defence lawyer Hal Mattson told the Sentinel-Review in mid-June that his office had received about 300 gigabytes of disclosed evidence and expected several hundred more.

"We can't move the file forward until (we receive) all the disclosure," Mattson said at the time.

Rafferty, 28, was arrested on May 19, almost six weeks after Tori was abducted. The eight-year-old girl was last seen walking north along Fyfe Avenue with a dark-haired young woman shortly after leaving Oliver Stephens Public School at 3:30 p.m. Rafferty's next court appearance is scheduled for July 17 while 19-year-old Terri-Lynne McClintic, the young woman also accused of Tori's kidnapping and murder, is next set to appear on August 12.

Case for female suspect in Tori Stafford case put over to Aug. 12
London Free Press - 06/23/09

One of the two murder suspects in the Tori Stafford case made another court appearance today in Woodstock.

Terry-Lynn McClintic’s case was put over until Aug. 12 after the Crown and defence sought more time to sift through the evidence.

McClintic, who appeared in court via video from the detention centre in London, and Michael Rafferty, 28, are each charged with first-degree murder and kidnapping in the death of the eight-year-old girl.

The two were arrested on May 20, several weeks after Tori vanished outside her school.

Tori’s body has not yet been found despite widespread police searches in the Woodstock, Guelph and Fergus areas.

Tip line opens to aid search for Tori Stafford's remains
The Star - 06/07/09

Hundreds of tips are pouring into the newly opened Victoria Stafford Tip Line just days after a memorial service was held for the 8-year-old who went missing in early April.

Oxford Community Police in conjunction with the Ontario Provincial Police are hoping that new tip line will help manage the massive amounts of public information received on the case, and inch them one step closer to finding Victoria's remains.

"The intensive search for the remains of Victoria Stafford continues on all fronts and we are encouraging the public to use this new tip line to call in information," said OPP Det. Insp. William Renton.

The small southwestern town of Woodstock has been reeling with shock since the disappearance in early April of Victoria Stafford, also known as Tori, and the subsequent arrests of a man and woman charged with first-degree murder.

Despite having not found her remains, a memorial for Victoria Stafford was held on Saturday with about 800 people gathered inside a church to hear emotional speeches from Victoria's family, including her 11-year-old brother Daryn Stafford who broke down and blamed himself for Victoria's disappearance.

Even during the memorial services, investigators continued their search for Victoria's body.

Search for Tori Stafford enters 13th day
canada.com - 06/01/09

Police began the 13th day in the search for the body of eight-year-old Victoria Stafford Monday along Highway 401 between Woodstock and Cambridge, Ont.

The OPP Emergency Response Team, and other assisting police services, planned to search for evidence along the westbound shoulder of the highway.

Over the weekend, investigators concentrated their efforts in rural forested areas of southwestern Ontario but police officials said they have yet to find any new evidence in the case.

“I haven’t received any information of anything being found yet,” Const. Laurie-Anne Maitland told Canwest News Service, disputing reports by some media agencies on the weekend that suggested investigators came across some “items of interest” while searching along Highway 6, near Fergus, Ont.

As the search for Tori’s body continues, the little girl’s grieving family is making plans for this week’s memorial service.

Her parents, Rodney Stafford and Tara McDonald, say they will be holding the service for their daughter on June 6 at Calvary Pentecostal Church in Woodstock at 1 p.m.

They had initially refused to plan a service until police recovered the girl’s remains.

On Friday, police delivered the grim news to her father to brace himself for the possibility that the body of his daughter may never be found.

Tori was last seen on a surveillance tape on April 8, willingly walking from school with an unknown woman in Woodstock, about 150 kilometres west of Toronto.

May 28, 2009
Charges Upgraded to Murder for Tori Stafford Accused

Accused in Tori Stafford case, woman's charges upgraded to first-degree murder
The London Free Press - 05/28/09

Charges against an 18-year-old woman accused in the Tori Stafford case have been upgraded to first-degree murder.

The upgraded charges against Terri-Lynne McClintic, who’d previously been charged with abduction and accessory after the fact to murder, were read out at a court appearance in Woodstock this morning.

Michael Rafferty, who is also charged with abduction and first-degree murder in the case, also appeared in court.

The two will get two separate trials that will be prosecuted by two different Crown attorney, a move Rafferty’s Kitchener-based lawyer said was “unusual.”

“Someone might think they (the Crown) had already made some sort of a deal with McClintic already,” lawyer Hal Mattson said.

Mattson also suggested the two trials and two Crowns are a result of criticism during the Paul Bernardo-Karla Homolka trial, during which the prosecution got criticized for making a deal with Homolka in exchange for a her testimony against Bernardo.

Mattson also suggested that it might be difficult for the trial to take place in Woodstock because of the high publicity in the case.

The eight-year-old Woodstock girl went missing April 8 shortly after leaving Oliver Stephens school, where she was in Grade 3. She was last seen on a surveillance video walking with a dark-haired woman dressed in a puffy white coat and black jeans.

The court appearance comes as police continue to search for Tori’s body at a landfill site east of Salford, Ont. and along the Hwy. 401 corridor between Woodstock and Guelph.

“The investigative team is working hard and is utilizing all available resources to help locate the body of Victoria Stafford,” said Detective Inspector Renton.

May 22, 2009
Neighbours' tip key to Tori Stafford Case

Neighbours' tip key to case
Toronto Sun - 05/22/09

The mother of the woman accused of abducting Victoria "Tori" Stafford told reporters yesterday she knew nothing about her daughter's involvement in the case.

"If I actually thought I knew what was going on, you actually think I'd let it go on?" an angry Carol McClintic said. "Now leave me alone."

When it was suggested her neighbours thought she knew something, McClintic shouted, "Now what do my neighbours know? Please leave me alone."

Those neighbours yesterday provided more chilling details about the suspicious behaviour of Terri-Lynne McClintic, 18, charged in the April 8 abduction of Tori.

The day after the abduction, police released a surveillance video that showed a young woman walking with Tori after school.

McClintic told neighbours it could have been her in the video because of events the day before and the day of the abduction.

"She said that could have been her in the video because the day before (the abduction) she had been walking with a dog around the school area and some little girls had been talking to her and petting her dog," said next-door neighbour Jessica McDonald, 30.

"The day that Tori was abducted, she said it could have been her on the surveillance because she was talking with a little girl and the little girl kept asking her where was her dog."

Those comments convinced McDonald to take a look at the video herself. She had no doubt the woman looked a lot like McClintic.

That began more than a month of detective work for McDonald, her friend Craig Racine, and another neighbour, who asked to be referred only by her first name, Tina.

Soon after the strange conversation, the three amateur sleuths began their investigation.

They also told police about their suspicions.

They pretended to befriend the McClintics and asked if they could use their laundry machine to check the basement of the apartment.

Racine said he was inside the apartment when police, canvassing the neighbourhood, knocked on the door.

Is there anyone else in here? police asked.

Racine called for Terri-Lynne to come out.

"No, no," he remembered Terri-Lynne saying.

"You didn't take the little girl, did you?" Racine said he asked.

McClintic said, "No."

After the videotape was released, McClintic cut her long hair short.

She told her neighbours it was because she got bubblegum in her hair.

Two days later, on April 12, police took McClintic into custody on an unrelated matter, a breach of probation, the sleuths said.

They began doing more probing. McDonald asked Carol if her daughter had a white puffy coat, like the woman in the surveillance tape.

Mother of Tori Stafford puts little faith in accused's efforts in search for body
Moose Jaw Times Herald - 05/22/09

he woman accused of abducting Tori Stafford is aiding police in the search for the eight-year-old's body, but Tori's mother said Friday that she is putting little faith in those efforts.

If Terri-Lynne McClintic knew where the body was then police still wouldn't still be searching a large area near Guelph, Ont., said Tara McDonald.

“I honestly feel that she's just enjoying some helicopter rides and some fresh air because she's probably not going to be getting very much of that in the near future.”

The six-week effort to bring eight-year-old Tori home safely turned into a grim search for her body Wednesday after two people in her hometown of Woodstock, Ont., were charged in her abduction.

McClintic, 18, is charged with being an accessory and Michael Rafferty, 28, is charged with first-degree murder.

Speaking out Friday, McDonald says she was called the No. 1 suspect by police during the investigation - an accusation that “disgusted” her.

“At one point, point-blank, one officer did come and say, `I'm just bringing you up to speed, and you are our prime suspect right now,”' she said.

“That was when I said, you know, obviously if I'm their prime suspect, they are looking really hard at us, and that is such a waste.”

McDonald said she had met McClintic before Tori went missing outside her school on April 8.

“We were going to breed our dogs... We offered them furniture because when we went into their home, they didn't have any. They said that their stuff was in storage,” McDonald said.

“I only met her on two or three occasions, and it wasn't like we were even talking to her, we were speaking with her mother.”

When asked about rumours that she had bought OxyContin, a narcotic, from McClintic, McDonald replied: “absolutely not.”

McDonald said she decided against breeding dogs with the McClintics because she found them to be “strange people.”

“I just didn't feel comfortable there,” she said.

A judicial order has allowed McClintic to remain in the custody of the Oxford Community Police Service to assist in the search for Tori's remains, which was taking place about an hour outside Woodstock, in Fergus, Ont.

May 21, 2009

Two Arrested For Murder of Missing Ontario 8-Year-Old
CBC - 05/20/09

Man charged with murder of Tori Stafford
The Globe and Mail - 05/20/09

Police are searching for the body of eight-year-old Victoria “Tori” Stafford today after two people were arraigned this morning for her abduction and murder.

With “profound sadness and regret,” Oxford Community Police Service Chief Ron Fraser announced on Wednesday afternoon the “exhaustive” investigation has ended in tragedy.

“This is certainly not the end anyone was hoping for,” Chief Fraser said.

“There are no consoling words to offer, or profound words of wisdom, that can make this news easy for anyone to accept or convey. We are left with hundreds of questions that hopefully one day will be answered in our courts of law.”

Michael Thomas Rafferty, 28, of Woodstock, Ont., was arraigned in a Woodstock court on Wednesday morning, charged with abduction and first degree murder of the eight-year-old girl who went missing six weeks ago.

Terri-Lynne McClintic, 18, was charged with abduction and helping Mr. Rafferty escape the area, court documents show

The man and woman were arrested on Tuesday evening and appeared in the Woodstock Provincial Court the next morning. Police said they do not expect to make any further arrests in the case.

The two were remanded in custody and will next appear in court on May 28.

The relationship between the two accused was unclear.

Police said on Wednesday that Ms. McClintock “may be familiar with” Tori's mother Tara McDonald.

Court documents suggest the murder took place on, or around, the day Tori went missing from outside her school, April 8.

Chief Fraser and Detective Inspector Bill Renton said their focus now was on finding Tori's body.

“The most important mission we have yet to accomplish is to reunite Victoria with her loved ones,” Chief Fraser said.

A canine unit is reportedly now being used in the search for Tori's remains in a rural area of Guelph, about an hour east of Woodstock.

On Wednesday morning, Tori's father told media he'd been made aware of the arrests the night before.


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Rafferty lawyer asks public to keep 'open mind'

WOODSTOCK — The lawyer for the man accused of kidnapping and murdering eight-year-old Victoria "Tori" Stafford asked for the public's "patience" Thursday.

Following a brief court appearance by Michael Rafferty, lawyer Laura Giordano said the public needed "to keep an open mind" about her client.

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PostSubject: Re: Victoria (Tori) Stafford (8) R.I.P.   Victoria (Tori) Stafford (8) R.I.P. Icon_minitimeWed Nov 25, 2009 3:20 am

This article here digs a bit into rumours why he was transferred and that`s exactly what I figured...

Here is part of the article:

But one of the sources that tipped off The Free Press about the move said Rafferty had made several complaints about the mail delivery, phone access and taunting by guards and other inmates at EMDC.
Especially upsetting to Rafferty were threats from members of
the Bandidos motorcycle gang, also held at EMDC on murder charges, the source said.
Rafferty's life is much quieter and more casual at the Chatham jail, where he's held by himself in an area usually quartering four people, the source said.
He's allowed more privileges, such as snacks and access to a television, the source said.
"There aren't as many rules governing him."
A source inside the corrections system made a similar assessment of Rafferty's stay in the Chatham jail, built to hold 53 inmates.
"They're lucky if they have 20 or 30 inmates. It's very small. It's really, really quiet. They sent him there to pretty much hide him, just to kind of keep him out of the limelight."
The possibility Rafferty is getting anything he wants angered Tori's mother, Tara McDonald.
"Our family is absolutely outraged. There is no way that he should be receiving any sort of special treatment," she said.

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Tori's dad gives thousands to Child Find


The London Free Press

WOODSTOCK -- When Rodney Stafford presented the cheque to the directors of Child Find Ontario yesterday, they responded with astonished gratitude.

The amount of money he raised -- $46,687.78 -- was simply overwhelming to the child-safety advocacy group.

"They were very impressed," Stafford said after the presentation at Woodstock city hall. "Child Find is pretty overwhelmed with the . . . amount of support out there."

Most of the money was raised during Stafford's Kilometres for Kids bike trek from Woodstock to Edmonton, which he began as a tribute to his slain daughter, Victoria.

Stafford left Woodstock on Aug. 5. He finished the 3,453-kilometre trip 45 days later.

Victoria, 8, was abducted outside her elementary school on April 8, her remains discovered in July. An 18-year-old woman and 28-year-old man are charged with abduction and first-degree murder.

Given Child Find's mandate -- helping find missing children, providing counselling and raising awareness -- Stafford's donation will likely provide a lasting legacy for his little girl.

"It's pretty incredible," Stafford said. "When I started (Kilometres for Kids), it was more to raise awareness than raise money."

The money raised during Stafford's trip came from all over the world, with donations and encouragement pouring in from the United States and even Europe.

Even with the ride over, donations are still arriving. Following their visit to Woodstock, the Child Find directors travelled to Ingersoll to pick up a $2,300 cheque from a recent fundraising dance.

"There's still more donations," Stafford said. "That's not actually a final total yet."


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OSBI Defends Investigation in Aja Johnson Case
Posted: Mar 30, 2010 6:11 PM

OKLAHOMA CITY -- The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation said they did everything they could in the Aja Johnson case. Some tipsters said they were not taken seriously when they told investigators to check out the area where Aja's and Lester Hobbs' bodies were found Monday.

The white Toyota Paseo the public has been asked to keep an eye out for during the last two months was easily spotted by SkyNEWS 9 HD in a heavily wooded area near Lake Thunderbird. OSBI said they never flew over the location because there were never clear cut leads to cause them to do so.

"We have to have a lead to go to a specific area. We can't just fly all over Oklahoma. We did fly over parts of Geronimo, and we flew over the Stroud area," said OSBI Spokeswoman Jessica Brown.

Family members of Lester Hobbs said they suggested the OSBI search in the area where the car and the bodies were ultimately found. Hobbs once lived nearby and his parents are buried in a cemetery just up the road.

Bobie Ford said he used to be friends with Lester Hobbs, and claimed he also tried to get OSBI to search the location.

"What was his tip? So it was a hunch? A gut feeling? We need leads we need they've been spotted somewhere because we're getting hundreds of those, we just saw them here. We have to run with what's most immediate," Brown said in response to the allegations.

Brown said she shouldn't have to defend the OSBI and thinks any public criticism is misdirected.

"We had our people working 18 hour days continuously seven days a week through ice storms. We should be getting accolades for doing as much as we did. We are heartbroken it turned out this way. What we should be focused on is Lester Hobbs. He's the one who perpetrated the crimes," Brown said.

Norman Police assisted OSBI on the case and said they patrolled the area at least three times after receiving tips that Hobbs may return, but they never found anything.


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