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Remains of young child found by Tori investigators
Web Staff, cp24.com
Published Monday, July 20, 2009 4:00PM EDT
Police say suspicious remains found by members of the Stafford Homicide Investigative team near Arthur Township on Sunday morning are believed to be that of a young child.
Police are at the scene, which is located west of Orangeville and north of Guelph off Concession 6, south of Highway 89 between Mount Forest and Teviotdale.
The remains were found as a team of officers involved in the search for Tori Stafford probed a new area that they had not searched before. It is about 15 minutes north of areas they had already scoured.
Police say they had been following up on tips and were looking for "landmarks" when they found "a spot."
An officer involved in the investigation was driving past the area on Sunday. He noticed a laneway opposite to a home close to the roadway and that scene fit a "profile" of areas police had been searching.
The officer stopped to check the area, and found the remains.
The remains have been removed by a local funeral home and will be taken to the Coroner's Office for an autopsy and dental record comparison to confirm identification.
OPP Sgt. Dave Rektor says police can't confirm the remains are that of Stafford's, but investigators involved with her case are following up on the most recent development.
Police say they will issue an update if the remains are positively identified as the nine-year-old's.
"At this point we are hopeful that we will be able to honour the life of Victoria Stafford by reuniting her with her loved ones in Woodstock," OPP Det. Insp. Bill Renton said in a statement.
In press conference, Tori's father, Rodney, says if the remains are confirmed to be those of his daughter, there will be a private family funeral. He says he will say his own goodbye at the top of an Alberta mountain after a bike ride across Canada in honour of his slain daughter.
Two people have been charged in connection with the Woodstock, Ont. girl's murder, but her remains have never been found.
Michael Rafferty, 28, and Terri-Lynne McClintic, 18, are charged with first-degree murder and kidnapping. Their trials are not expected to begin until next year.