A Missing Child

There’s nothing more heartbreaking than to find out that a child is missing. Every day, all over the world, children disappear. Many of whom we never hear about, some of whom we do. Here, in Canada, there is at least one story every year of an abducted child that flashes across the news. Several of the most recent that stick out in my mind are the abductions and murders of Cecilia Zhang and Holly Jones. As we follow their stories closely (at least I know I do), we are gripped by fear for the child and hold hope for the family that they will be reunited. As a person, I can understand that this situation is a parent’s worst fear. As a parent I cannot sit by idly and hope. If my child were to go missing, god forbid, I would want to believe that everyone was doing anything they could to help.

Victoria Stafford
Victoria Stafford
Sadly, we find ourselves in this terrifying situation again. An 8 year-old girl from Woodstock – a small Ontario town – has been abducted. Her name is Victoria (Tori) Stafford. At left is her photo. If you have seen the girl or have any information on where she might be, please call the Woodstock Police (519) 537-2323. She is described as “4’5″, 60 pounds with blue eyes and blond hair cut below the ears. She was last seen wearing a black Hannah Montana jacket with a white fur-lined hood, a black velvet skirt, black and white shoes and a purple and pink Bratz bag”.(The Star.com)

For a long time, I’ve had sitting in my kitchen, the RCMP Identification Kits but have never used them. Its very disturbing to think about doing this – this being a possible last resort to finding one of my children should anything happen to them. But it is something to resort to and I should use it. Now that I’ve been reminded, I won’t wait any longer to complete them. Being vigilant about their safety is always a difficult line to walk. We don’t want to smother them, but we can’t let them go too far too soon. And how can we account for the unknowns? The predators? I suppose education for both them and for us is the best defence and to use every available resource at our disposal…like the RCMP kits.

I don’t have any answers here with absolute certainty that these tragedies can be prevented. In the cases when they haven’t been prevented I have heard that swift action is the best help. Let’s hope that due to swift action by the police and wide coverage through media, Facebook, blogs, etc. little Tori is brought home safely. I can only ask that if you are a Canadian reading this post and are also a blogger, you might mention Tori on your site. Thank you.

For further information and databases on Canada’s Missing Children see:
Missing Children Society of Canada
ChildFind Canada
RCMP – Our Missing Children

All three sites have useful tips for parents to help protect their children.

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10 thoughts on “A Missing Child

  1. My heart goes out to all the parents who have a child missing. As a father and as a human being, I can’t contemplate anything more painful, more agonizing than this devastating loss.
    I hope Tori gets back home to her family safe and sound, soonest. I pray every lost child finds his or her way back.
    Thank you for sharing this tragedy with your international readers. There might be very little we can do physically to help but simply bringing this matter forward and discussing it on your blog will increase awareness at home and abroad.

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    1. Sadly, you’re right, Abu Fares. This is a problem everywhere. Thank you for your support and understanding. The response here, in the effort to help find the child has been fantastic…I just hope its enough.

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  2. It seems that with Tori walking down a public sidewalk in the middle of the day someone should have seen her or remembered her. It appears that she knows this woman and feels safe walking next to here. It just seems that when she left school and this woman approached her someone must have seen something. We have to lift our heads and be more aware of our surroundings in this fragile world we live in today.
    I pray that this sweet little angel finds her way back home to her family who are living a nighmare.

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    1. To me, Donna, this is the most frightening scenario of all…a child being abducted by someone he/she knows. How do you protect your children from that? How do you explain that everyone they thought they could trust…they might not be able to? The family is definitely living a nightmare…I imagine wee Tori is too. I share your hope that she finds her way home soon.

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  3. Isobel, I saw this post and couldn’t read it at first, I just can’t separate myself from what this mother must be feeling.

    Tonight a friend of my daughter’s went missing for about ten minutes. The second we all realized we hadn’t seen her, mutual controlled panic set in. Thankfully we found her quickly.

    This scenario was the subject of “The Shack” that I read and blogged about awhile ago. I am praying Tori’s ending is VERY different, and for her family.

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    1. I know, Kinzi. I had a horrible time writing the post. I had to withdraw myself emotionally or I wouldn’t have gotten through it. If even I can’t find my children for a minute, I get panicked…I don’t honestly know how Tori’s mother can cope…other than with the desperate hope that her daughter will be found safe.

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    1. Thank you, Vikram. The information on your site appears very useful and sensible. I’m not sure we can completely prevent these things from happening, but being vigilant and aware will definitely reduce the chances of such tragedies.

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  4. Thank you for raising awareness Isobel. It breaks my heart to see her smiling face and think that she hasn’t been sleeping on her bed the past few nights.

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