Dental records needed to identify remains of Tori Stafford

Police say dental records were needed to confirm that remains found Sunday are those of missing Woodstock, Ont., girl Tori Stafford.

Police and attendants from the Hendrick Funeral Home load the remains of a child into a hearse after a body was found in a field near Mount Forest

WOODSTOCK, Ont. — Police say dental records were needed to confirm that remains found Sunday are those of missing Woodstock, Ont., girl Tori Stafford.

The eight-year-old girl was last seen on almost 3 1/2 months ago as she left her school with a dark-haired woman in Woodstock, Ont.

Ontario provincial police Det. Insp. Bill Renton told a news conference in the southwestern Ontario city that he could not comment on a cause of death.

He said an examination of the remains is continuing at Toronto’s Centre of Forensic Sciences and that it could take a week or longer to complete.

Renton, the lead investigator in the Stafford case, said the next step for police is to prepare for court.

Two Woodstock residents, Terri-Lynne McClintic and Michael Rafferty, are charged with first-degree murder and kidnapping in the death and disappearance of the girl.

Their trials are not expected to begin until sometime next year.

Oxford community police Chief Rod Freeman said the discovery of Tori’s remains “helps us in a big way in bringing this case to court.” He said the court case will then be followed by a “long healing process.”

Freeman said the community has gone through a “terrible, terrible experience” and the discovery of Tori’s remains “brings us a little bit closer to closure” and some sense of relief to her family.

Provincial police Commissioner Julian Fantino offered “deep regrets” to Tori’s family and the community as they grieve the loss of a child.

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