The family of little Victoria (Tori) Stafford expressed a sense of relief yesterday that the remains of the eight-year-old girl abducted 31/2 months ago have most likely been found by police.

The girl’s aunt told a news conference yesterday that the discovery of a child’s decomposed remains in Mount Forest, a 90-minute drive from Tori’s Woodstock home, would prevent a lifetime of wondering if she was still alive.

Rebecca Stafford says hope for the safe return of the girl she called their “sweetheart” has finally dissolved.

She said the family girded for the worst when they were called by police Sunday night, but tried to take solace in resolution if they were told her body had been found.

“Our mentality going in was regardless of what they had to share, it would be positive because even though it’s not the ending we were hoping for, we’re not going to be spending a lifetime wondering,” Staff­ord said.

“We’re not going to be looking in every car, in every backseat that we drive by, in every window of every house we drive by, we’re not going to be wondering if Victoria is in there. So, yes, there is a sense of relief.”

She said the family hadn’t given up hope even after two people were charged.

“We’ve said all along until we had her physical being we would not speculate on her spiritual being,” she said.

Tori’s father, Rodney, said news that the extensive police search of the fields, rivers and woods of rural Ontario had finally yielded a body was not what the family was hoping to hear.

“Out of the scenarios we came up with, it was the worst of the possibilities,” he said.