Thursday, April 16, 2009

Eight days gone

It's been just over a week since Victoria Stafford walked out of school and into thin air. The police have wound down their intensive ground search as they continue to follow every lead and turn over every figurative rock in their search.

Woodstock's your typical small town - 36,000 people, closely interlinked communities, rumor mills that churn more intensely than anything Facebook could ever manage. Some of the snippets that have resulted are, on the surface, disturbing: the mother's boyfriend is known to police, has a rap sheet with words like "drugs" and "theft" on it, has a possible $20,000 drug debt that may be connected to Tori's disappearance.

It's difficult to be so close to Ground Zero - London's 60 km west of the town, and everyone here seems to be connected to Woodstock in one way or another - and not hear the undercurrent, to not be affected by this entire sad ordeal in some way.

And as much as we'd like to find a villain, to identify who took her and bring her safely home, I can't help but wonder if mob rules is really the answer. The police are doing everything they can, looking into every figurative nook and cranny because that's how investigations are run. You never want to look back and wonder if you did everything you could. And as you're burrowing into private places, you occasionally come across some not-so-nice things, elements of people's lives that they'd just as well keep hidden.

That's life, too. This is ugly business. And it's necessary. And it's important for the cops to have the room they need to get the job done. And it's just as important to not second guess them. Because as hard as it is for the general public to stand by and watch, it's infinitely more difficult on her family and on the law enforcement professionals charged with solving this case and hopefully bringing her home.

Your turn: Please say a prayer for Tori's safe return. And if you have a link to an online resource, please feel free to share it in a comment, too.


Carolyn R. Parsons said...

I'm just on the other side of Woodstock in Tavistock...a palpable sense of shock lies throughout the town, the police have been into our Tim Hortons and other businesses that have cameras just in case they came through here.

It's so sad and all the gossip and innuendo serve no purpose to help this little girl, I've heard the stories here as well, I just hope they haven't focussed solely on the parents simply because of their associations because that is doing this little girl an injustice.
Finally, yesterday an amber alert, Friday the chief of police will hold a press conference. I hope the police are playing their cards close to the chest for a reason. And her story is now listed on the America's Most Wanted website.

Above all I hope this little girl is safe and comes home soon.


Jennifer said...

Every parents worse nightmare. So scary and sad. I sincerely hope they find her safe and sound. I can't watch the news and find it difficult to even read anything about this sort of thing. I already worry too much, and can't sleep at night.

photowannabe said...

Its such a mad, mad, sad world. I do hope they find her soon. there has been too much of this type of thing on the news in the last few weeks.
We must keep our children close to us. Its every parents worst nightmare.

Mojo said...

Some ugly implications in the criminal connection. But I'd rather not speculate on them. Every time I hear a story like this one another little piece of my universe crumbles. I pray she's found safe and soon. But after 8 days I find optimism hard to come by.

barbie2be said...

oh, this is so sad... you probably heard on march 27th we had an 8 year old girl go missing from the trailer park where she lived. 6 days after they found her body stuffed into a suitcase and tossed into an irrigation ditch they arrested her sunday school teacher.

i pray that victoria comes home safely and soon.

Joanie said...

It's been over two months since Amber Dubois went missing just a few miles from where I live. She's two years younger than my daughter, two years older than my son. It breaks my heart. And it breaks my heart to hear of yet another young woman missing.

I pray all the children come home safely.

Ron said...

This is the horror parent hopes to never have to face, and one I can't nor want to imagine.

We will be praying. Thanks for the update.

Sleepypete said...

Hope they find her - and it always raises the general level of nervousness when something like this happens ...

I'm not in too bad an area of Bristol, it's definitely better than some parts where you don't go after dark. Don't think our gangs have gone towards kidnap of random people though.

Netchick sent me this time :-)

utenzi said...

Netchick sent me your way today, Carmi.

8 days is a long time for a child to go missing. In a small community like Woodstock, it's amazing that leads haven't turned up. Back when I lived in a small town, it seemed like you couldn't do anything without at least a few people seeing you. Scary times.

Daryl said...

Every day they dont find her makes it worse for the parents/family ... I hope they find her safe and well and quickly.

Bobkat said...

I do hope she turns up safe and sound.

There was a similar case in the UK last year. The young girl turned up at an 'uncles' house where she was kept under the bed. It seems her mother was implicated. I believe it was the rumour mill that helped lead the police to her, but at the same time they were also following hundreds of leads which turned out to be false because of similar rumours. I do think official channels are best though and if someone has something helpful, then the police are the only people they should talk to.

Netchick sent me over to say hi.

sage said...

It's heartbreaking to hear and to know what the parents are going through... speaking of living on Ground Zero, last night I woke up several times to sirens, pray for a family about a mile a way whose home burned and for a mother and three kids in the hospital, one with major burns, the kids attend school with my daughter. Here this time today from Netchick, who says hi!

Star said...

It seems like there is always a story lke this in the news these days. I am keepng all good thoughts for Tori and her family.

amyinbc said...

In BC and have been anxiously waiting for her safe return. I cannot imagine the state the parents of this girl are in. Unimaginable.

I pray this girl is home safely VERY soon.