Exactly 10 years have passed since Victoria Stafford‘s horrific murder, and the young girl’s father is still haunted by what happened after she was taken from outside her Woodstock elementary school.
“You walk around in public, holding a smile, being happy, trying to carry on and allowing everyone to believe that you’re moving on with no issues,” said Rodney Stafford.
“Time at home is totally different. You get into your depressed states, ‘what ifs’, ‘what could I have done’… I think of and look at pictures of Victoria.”
Tori was abducted, raped, and brutally murdered on April 8, 2009. Her small body was found months later near Mount Forest, stuffed into garbage bags and covered with rocks.
Michael Rafferty and Terri-Lynne McClintic are serving lifetime prison sentences for her death.
The two made national headlines last year when it was discovered that McClintic was transferred to a Saskatchewan healing lodge (she was moved back into prison following public outrage) and again after it was discovered that Rafferty had been moved to a medium-security facility months before McClintic’s transfer was made public.
Here I am, just about a decade later, still fighting for justice for my daughter,” said Stafford, who, in an effort to make Canada safer, has been railing against the government for allowing his daughters’ killers to stay in medium-security facilities.
“It’s just basically thrown my life upside down. I can’t focus on my day-to-day life because I’m too concerned on getting justice for Victoria,” he said.
“I think she’d be pretty proud.”
Stafford is in Ottawa on Monday morning, taking part in another protest on Parliament Hill to make sure McClintic and Rafferty never walk free.