WOODSTOCK, Ont. – The mother of Victoria Stafford said Thursday any suggestion that a composite sketch of her daughter’s abductor resembles her makes her laugh, and people making that comparison should be ashamed.
“It looks nothing like me,” Tara McDonald said at a news conference in front of her home.
“At the end of the day, I know that I had nothing to do with this. I am a good mother, and either one of my kids will tell you that.”
McDonald lashed out at suggestions made on the social networking website Facebook that she looks like the suspect in her eight-year-old daughter’s abduction. She said such negative messages are taking a toll on her son Daryn, who turns 11 on Friday.
“Me and Daryn go and we read the positive messages that are on Facebook, and every now and then he sees a negative one and it upsets him,” she said.
“So people need to think about the other child that’s involved and think about Tori. Quit pointing a finger at me, quit pointing fingers at everybody else, until there’s somebody that we can point a finger at.”
Victoria, known as Tori to her family and friends, went missing the afternoon of April 8 after leaving school.
The police sketch, which portrays a woman with long dark hair tightly pulled back in a ponytail, builds on video evidence of a woman with long brown hair and a puffy white coat walking with Tori on the day she went missing.
McDonald said the sketch reminds her ex-husband Rodney Stafford of a high school classmate, but she doesn’t recognize the face because she and Stafford went to different schools for three years.
“Rodney mentioned to me who he thinks that it is,” she said. “But we went to different high schools, so I’m not sure.”
McDonald also responded to accusations that she hasn’t been showing enough emotion during her daily news conferences.
“There’s times where I sit in my house and I bawl my eyes out – I curl up in a ball and I sob,” she said.
“But I’m not going to come out here and do that. It’s just not the kind of person I am. … People have asked many times, ‘Why aren’t you crying, why aren’t you showing emotion?’ I don’t do it out here. I do it in there with my friends and family, with people who can console me.”
At the outset of Thursday’s news conference, McDonald said it would be a “positive Tori day.” She showed off childhood photos, a Mother’s Day card she received last year, the girl’s scrawled New Year’s resolutions, and video of Tori dancing to provide “a glimpse into her personality.”
Ontario Provincial Police have completed their search of local waterways and found no evidence related to the investigation. Police are still searching for clues at the Oxford County landfill.