Fact Check

Missing Child: Victoria Stafford

Victoria Stafford: missing child or Internet hoax?

Published April 26, 2009


Claim:   Eight-year-old Victoria Stafford is missing from her Woodstock, Ontario, home.


Example:   [Collected via e-mail, April 2009]

Please pass this picture along to everyone in your address book that would know anyone in Woodstock. This is Rodney and Tara Staffords' daughter Victoria. Please see below.

AMBER ALERT!!!! Please help find Victoria (Tori) Stafford She is 8 years old, blonde hair, blue eyes and approximately 4' 5" tall. She was last seen leaving Oliver Stephens school in Woodstock around 3:40 pm, April 8. She was wearing a black Hannah Montana jacket and denim skirt and green shirt. If you have any information please call the Woodstock police right away. Her family and friends are very worried about her

My niece went missing this afternoon from Woodstock Ontario. We are trying to spread this information to everyone that we know. Please pass this on to everyone that you know.

The last things that she was seen wearing: A black Hannah Montana jacket with a white fur-lined hood, a green sweater, with pink writing on it, a denim or black skirt, black leotards/pantyhose, and black shoes.

She was last seen Wednesday April 8 at 3:30pm, leaving school.


Victoria Stafford


Origins:   On 8 April 2009, at about 3:30 p.m., eight-year-old Victoria (Tori) Stafford vanished in Woodstock, Ontario, just after getting out of school that Wednesday afternoon. The last known sighting of her was captured on a grainy surveillance video, showing her

walking near her school with an unidentified woman.

The unidentified woman is described as 19 to 25 years old, five feet one inch tall, and about 125 pounds with long black hair worn in a ponytail. Although the video was too blurred to allow viewers to make out the woman's facial features, police said they had "pretty substantial direction" regarding her identity but declined to divulge more details. On 24 April 2009, those working the case reclassified it from a missing person's investigation to an abduction. The Stafford abduction was featured on the 25 April 2009 airing of the television series America's Most Wanted.

On 20 May 2009, police arrested an Ontario man and woman on charges of abducting and killing Tori Stafford, although authorities had not then publicly confirmed that Tori was dead. On 21 July 2009, police announced that human remains discovered a few days earlier in a wooded area near Mount Forest, Ontario, had been identified as those of Tori Stafford.

Last updated:   21 July 2009


    CBC News.   "Victoria Stafford's Remains Identified."

    21 July 2009.

    Huber, Jordana.   "OPP Takes Over Search for Missing Girl."

    Canada.com.   21 April 2009.

    Tambar, Jaspreet.   "Sketch Released by Police of Tori Stafford Suspect."

    The Toronto Star.   22 April 2009.

    The Canadian Press.   "Parents Pleased by Intensified Search for Missing Victoria Stafford."

    18 April 2009.

    The Canadian Press.   "'America's Most Wanted' Airs Segment on Victoria Stafford."

    26 April 2009.

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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