Below is the victim impact statement from Daryn Stafford, Tori Stafford’s brother. Now 14 years old, he was 11 at the time of her murder.
When I was asked to write my statement, I didn’t know what to write. What is there to write when there are no word to describe the impact this whole thing has left on me. Not everyone knows how it feels to have your whole world ripped out form under you in less than a day. No hugs, no ‘see you later,’ no goodbyes, just a part of my heart ripped out. Not one person can say they feel the same way as me. My sister, was the only person I had to talk to, someone that felt what I felt, cried when I cried, laughed when I laughed, and now I feel alone, like the world is playing a sick trick on me. But it’s not, this is my reality. No more fun times, just old memories, no more “I love yous,” just an empty spot in my heart. On top of that loss, I have a dad who is also dealing with thoughts around this situation, a mom who is an addict because she doesn’t know how to cope with her own emotions surrounding my sister’s murder and a totally fractured family. I can’t even talk to someone and know if they like me for who I am or because they feel bad that I’m Victoria Stafford’s brother. On top of that I now have really strong anxiety problems. I can’t walk by myself without watching behind me. I can’t sleep because of nightmares and my fear of the dark, and I can’t be alone.
The first question is, Have there been any changes to your family? How would you describe family relationships? To answer that in full honesty, my family is torn. My mom and dad can not get along. They never have, but now they can’t even for me.
My dad’s side of my family sometimes can’t stand each other, and the same with my mom’s.
In the past 3 years I have missed dozens of days of school because of counselling sessions and a psychiatrist. I can’t concentrate most days because my mind is always somewhere else. I have to take walks and talk to my teachers because a lot of the time, I can’t control my emotions. I don’t even want to go out for sports teams because of my anxiety and my low self esteem and confidence.
The booklet then says was anything taken from you? It’s obviously asking about property, but something was taken from me. My baby sister was taken from me, and that’s not something I can go buy at a store to replace. My last memory I have of Tori was only a few minutes before she went missing. We were arguing like any brother and sister, but when school was done and we parted, I didn’t know I would never get to see her again. And it was weird because it felt like something was wrong. I could feel it. Now I am lost without her, trying to move on without my baby sister and best friend.