The mother of a missing eight-year-old Ontario girl lashed out at "ignorant" people Friday as she expressed her sadness and frustration at the speculation surrounding her missing daughter.
Victoria Stafford's mother, Tara McDonald, said she is tired of gossip and rumours that she is somehow involved in the disappearance of her child and urged people to focus on Tori.
Very defensive in her wording & shes really known for showing no emotion about Tori(tears) but shes also known as very defensive and argumentative!!
She said she tells her son Daryn, 10, to be strong in the face of online chatter.
"Daryn bawled his eyes out the other day," McDonald said. "He said 'I don't understand why people are doing this to you mom.' "
The pair plan to spend a quiet Mother's Day together.
They don't have concrete plans but the hope is Tori, missing now for one month, will be home, McDonald said.
"I've never ever in all of their lives ever spent a Mother's Day without both of them together," she said.
As police continued their investigation, McDonald said her brother's house and his mother's house outside of Calgary were searched by officers.
Oxford Community Police said Friday they could not confirm the searches took place.
McDonald said police also took her computer and her mother's computer.
She also said she feels "awful" that her best friend is now the target of town talk. McDonald said it was "ridiculous" to think a composite sketch -- released by police of a woman last seen walking with Tori -- looked anything like her friend who has been by her side since her daughter went missing.
"There is nobody to point a finger at," McDonald said. "So when they are done pointing a finger at me they have to find somebody else and they continue to point a finger at me and at my friends."
She said she has an appointment with a lawyer next week to look into "all the slander" that has been written about her.
Flanked by her ex-husband, Rodney Stafford during her daily briefing with media outside her Woodstock house Friday, McDonald was in mid-sentence talking about the "unfair" spotlight on her friend when Stafford interrupted.
"If you think about it, it's not fair to us. Somebody stole our child. It is not fair to us that we have to go through this everyday. Cameras in our face. Police in our face. We have to go through this every day. Unfortunately she has to too, because she does have a similarity to that sketch."
Good or bad, as long as people continue to talk about his daughter, Stafford said it will keep her story out in the public eye.
"If it's got to be negative stuff out on the Internet, whatever. It's keeping it out there," he said.
Tori has not been seen since April 8 when she went missing while walking home after school.
On Friday, Rodney Stafford recounted how he went to an event for his daughter just outside Woodstock Thursday night and was approached by a 10-year-old boy who handed him a four-leaf clover he had found in the grass.
"(He) gave it to me," Stafford said. "It instantly brought a tear to my eye