Friday, April 10, 2009

Major search launched for missing Ontario girl

Last Updated: Thursday, April 9, 2009 | 9:40 PM ET 

Tori Stafford was last seen leaving her school on Wednesday afternoon.Tori Stafford was last seen leaving her school on Wednesday afternoon. (Photo provided by Woodstock police)
A major search is underway in southwestern Ontario for a missing eight-year-old girl in Woodstock, east of London.
Tori Stafford was last seen leaving Oliver Stephens Public School on Wednesday at about 3:40 p.m. ET, but never made it home. Police said they cannot rule out foul play, but the case does not meet the criteria for an Amber Alert because there is no evidence the Grade 3 student was abducted.
Oxford Community Police said they have video surveillance footage from a nearby high school that shows a girl who looks like Tori walking by the school on Fyfe Avenue with an adult. The footage was shot the same day Tori disappeared.
Police have not been able to identify the adult, and cannot even determine whether the person, who is wearing a white coat and dark pants, is a man or a woman. Police would like to speak to that person.
Oxford police worked overnight Wednesday and all day Thursday interviewing residents, searching the area and conducting door-to-door canvasses.
They are getting help from Woodstock firefighters and neighbouring police forces. London police are sending their specialized search-and-rescue team, as well as a canine unit to help scour the area where the girl was last seen.
The Ontario Provincial Police have deployed a helicopter to search from the air. Waterloo regional police are also helping out.
Tori is four feet five inches tall with blue eyes and blond hair cut below the ears.
She was last seen wearing a black Hannah Montana jacket with a white fur hood, a green Hannah Montana T-shirt, a black velvet pleated skirt, black tights and black and white plaid shoes. She had a black headband in her hair, was wearing butterfly earrings and was carrying a purple Bratz bag.
A Facebook page has been set up seeking information and support in the search.