The search for an eight-year-old southwestern Ontario girl who has been missing for eight days has widened after the U.S. show America's Most Wanted posted her picture on its website.
Click to view image: '06df5104dc90-missing_girl.jpg'Victoria Stafford, shown in a family photo from July 2008, has been missing since she left her school in Woodstock, Ont., on April 8.
Police in Woodstock, east of London, say they are still chasing leads and have not identified the woman seen leading Victoria Stafford away from her school on April 8 in a surveillance video.
Investigators have said they are still treating the Grade 3 student's disappearance as a missing persons case because it appears in the video she is leaving with the woman willingly.
But her mother has questioned why investigators have refused to label the case an abduction.
"Somebody has abducted her; it's obvious," Tara McDonald said Wednesday. "They took my child. So, I mean, I wish it would be treated as an abduction, because it is."
McDonald also said she understands why police had her, as well as her boyfriend, Stafford's father, Rodney Stafford, and the missing girl's 10-year-old brother take a lie detector test.
"They were just asking questions pertaining to Victoria," she said. "We were happy to do it."
A furious McDonald also lashed out at what she said were false rumours circling the community that she has a drug debt, saying she hasn't done drugs since smoking marijuana in high school.
She acknowledged her boyfriend is facing unrelated charges in connection with a stolen snowblower after reports surfaced on Wednesday he was to appear in court on April 28, but said the issue distracts attention from the search for her daughter.
"Only finding Tori matters now," McDonald said.
Police have not confirmed that lie detector tests were performed on family members, and were scheduled to give an update on the case on Thursday morning.
Investigators working round the clock
Const. Laurie-Anne Maitland, spokeswoman for the Oxford Community Police, said 30 investigators have been working round the clock to find the missing child and identify the woman in the video.
The mystery woman's face is not clear in the enhanced video. She is described by police as between 19 and 25 years old, between 120 and 125 pounds, with long, straight black hair in a ponytail.
She was wearing a baggy white coat and black jeans.
Stafford's parents separated last December. Her father has said he doesn't believe any of the girl's relatives are behind her disappearance.
Anyone with information can call police at (519) 537-2323 or contact Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS.
Tags: Abducted, Girl, Missing, Amber_Alert, Victoria_Stafford, Woodstock, Ontario
Location: Woodstock, Ontario, Canada (load item map)
Marked as: approved
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