Sunday, April 19, 2009

Pond divers in Tori search find nothing

WOODSTOCK —  Police divers have finished searching a pond near the home of Tori Stafford and found nothing related to her abduction.

Oxford police Const. Laurie-Anne Maitland said Sunday the OPP underwater search and recovery team that scoured the Southside Park pond on Saturday turned up no evidence — and are moving on to other waterways.

Contrary to one published report that seemed to suggest investigators were looking for a body, Maitland stressed investigators “have no information to suggest she’s in the water.”

“We want to be thorough and we (the local force) didn’t have divers last week” when the area was first checked, she said.

“We are just being thorough.”

The dive team, brought in as part of the OPP’s expanded role in the investigation, will today search Pittock Lake, Maitland said.

The number of tips from the public now exceeds 1,000.

Though the original ground search, which is starting anew, was stopped last Monday, Oxford police note their neighbourhood canvassing — knocking on doors, talking to residents — was never interrupted.

It is still ongoing.

While she couldn’t say exactly how many officers are investigating the April 8 abduction of eight-year-old Tori, Maitland says the OPP additions are a huge help.

“Certainly the addition of extra detectives and investigators is helping us keep the intensity up,” she said. “It’s certainly helping everyone be fresh.”

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