Tori's mom assumed limo would take her to psychic
Updated: Tue Apr. 28 2009 3:17:15 PM
Victoria Stafford's mother thought renowned psychic Sylvia Browne had come to give her a clue about her missing daughter's whereabouts.
Instead, the mystery guest who requested to speak to Tara MacDonald Thursday afternoon is an anonymous person who is offering the eight-year-old child's captors a reward for her safe return.
Victoria has been missing from her Woodstock, Ont. town for 20 days.
MacDonald told reporters on Tuesday she didn't know what to believe when a limo driver knocked at her door and told her that his wealthy boss wanted to speak with her.
The driver had apparently walked through the woman's backyard, far away from the prying eyes of reporters who were camped out front.
"(It all sounds) crazy? I know," she said. "I thought that we were going to see Sylvia Browne."
MacDonald said she has left a message for Browne, wanting to speak to her about Victoria's disappearance.
But it wasn't Browne. Rather, it was an anonymous traveller who had a stopover in Toronto wanted to help after seeing the case on TV.
This person, who MacDonald has refused to describe because of her promise to keep them anonymous, has reportedly also lost a child to a kidnapping.
MacDonald said the person was told by police not to pay a ransom demand for their child and as a result their child was killed.
"They didn't want that to happen to me," MacDonald said. "They said it was fate and that they wanted to help."
MacDonald said she, her boyfriend and best friend travelled to see the stranger in Toronto, at the Sheraton Hotel located by Pearson International Airport. A limousine was provided for them for their travel.
MacDonald said she was the only one who went upstairs to talk to the stranger and when she did, she stayed for about two hours.
MacDonald said she told police about the encounter and forwarded a number to authorities that has been set up to facilitate the transaction should it be necessary.
So far, both police and MacDonald say there have been no ransom demands.
Victoria's father Rodney Stafford stood next to MacDonald while she spoke to reporters.
He said he only heard about the trip to Toronto from MacDonald after it happened and that he wished he went along to meet the stranger.
"If someone is willing to help then that's great, Other than that, I don't know anything about it other than what Tara has told me," he said.
MacDonald said she's well aware the story sounds "crazy" and that people are speculating about the encounter.
"A lot of weird things have taken place (since Victoria disappeared)," she said. "A lot of weird messages, a lot of weird letters. It's not any more weird than anything else that has happened."
Victoria, known as "Tori" by close family and friends, has been missing since April 8. She was last seen walking away from her school with a woman whom police have not been able to identify.