She was a creative, fiery girlie-girl; a pint-sized tiger who hopped, ran and bounced instead of walking.

Victoria (Tori) Stafford was a small child, about 4-foot-5 and 62 pounds, with cropped blonde hair framing an elfin face and a button nose. In photos she is always smiling, often with her head cocked slightly to the side. A playful, challenging gaze.

Brenda Fitzmaurice, Tori’s former neighbour and a family friend, described Tori as a delightful contradiction: A girlie-girl who loved dresses and the colour purple, but had a quick tongue and a tomboy streak. Tori and her brother, Daryn, 11, were always together, she said, and often rode their bikes to the creek to look for tadpoles and turtles.