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Thread: Ayla Reynolds,20months old, Waterville,Maine

  1. #11

    purple Re: Ayla Reynolds,20months old, Waterville,Maine

    Ayla Reynolds, Missing Maine Toddler, To Receive Teddy Bear Vigil

    A teddy bear vigil for missing 2-year-old Ayla Reynolds is being planned for 1 p.m. Saturday at Castonguay Square in Waterville, Maine.

    Organizers are asking those who attend to bring donations of teddy bears. The stuffed animals will be laid at the shrine near Ayla's home or donated to agencies that assist children in need. Those in attendance will receive a free bracelet and nightlight, WABI-TV5 reported.

    "It struck my heart. I just wanted to do anything I could to help Ayla," event organizer Laurie Bingham told The Morning Sentinel. "From day one, I just couldn't get this case off my mind."

    Bingham is also the creator of the Facebook page "Laurie Bingham Ayla's Angels," which raises awareness about the missing toddler.

    "I wanted it to be a voice for Ayla," Bingham told the Sentinel, speaking of the page. "No one else was doing that. My page is about Ayla."

    Investigators are searching for Ayla Reynolds, a 20-month-old Maine girl believed to have vanished from her bed while her family slept. Reynolds' father, Justin DiPietro, told investigators he last saw the child at around 8 p.m. on Dec. 16 when he put her to sleep in her own bedroom. The following morning, at around 8:50 a.m., he called police to say her bed was empty

    Ayla's father, Justin DiPietro, reported the child missing just before 9 a.m., on Dec. 17, 2011. DiPietro told authorities that he found an empty bed when he went to wake the child. Police say DiPietro, his girlfriend and his sister were all at the home on the night of the disappearance.

    Authorities maintain that DiPietro has not been cooperative or forthcoming with information regarding his daughter's disappearance.

    Investigators are continuing search efforts for Ayla. Last month, dive teams searched the Kennebec River and Messalonskee Stream, both located in the Waterville region where Ayla was last seen. Billboards are also being posted on the toddler's behalf throughout the greater New England region.

    In addition to Saturday's teddy bear vigil, LostNMissing Inc. and Ayla's maternal family will be sponsoring a birthday vigil for her on April 4, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The event is open to the public and will be held at 22 Monument Square in Portland, Maine. Those planning to attend are asked to wear the theme colors purple, yellow and green. Those who are unable to attend are asked to change their social networking profile photo that day to one of Ayla to help raise awareness that she is missing.

    Ayla is 2 feet 9 inches tall and weighs approximately 30 pounds. She has short blonde hair and blue eyes. At the time of her disappearance, Ayla's left arm was in a sling and soft splint. The child was last seen wearing a green one-piece pajama with polka dots and the words "Daddy's Princess" written on them.

    Any individual with information regarding Ayla's whereabouts is asked to call the Waterville Police Department at 207-680-4700 or the Maine State Police at 207-624-7076. A $30,000 reward is being offered.


  2. #12

    Default Re: Ayla Reynolds,20months old, Waterville,Maine

    Trista Reynolds: ‘DHHS Blew Me Off’

    In a conversation Monday, Trista Reynolds, mother of missing baby Ayla Reynolds, answered questions about events in Ayla's life before her father Justin DiPietro reported her missing Dec. 17. Trista also shared her developing perspectives on the insurance policy DiPietro bought on Ayla's life and the timing of Ayla's disappearance.

    Who Took Care of Ayla?

    Trista said she is "now starting to wonder" who took care of Ayla during the time she lived with Justin. She suspects Phoebe DiPietro provided much of the childcare.

    When she called Justin to talk to Ayla, he would often tell her, "Oh, you'll have to call my mom. She has Ayla."

    Abuse Concerns

    Once DiPietro got involved in Ayla's life, Trista was "always concerned" about possible abuse, she said. She doesn't know whether police are considering an abuse angle in the investigation in light of Ayla's injuries in the DiPietro household, she said in response to an inquiry, noting she never asked police that question.

    Trista provided several new details about Ayla's injuries and medical treatment. On Sept. 29, she took Ayla to the doctor for a leg injury she says occurred when Ayla was with Justin Sept. 22 to 23. As explained on the Answers for Ayla website operated by Trista's stepfather, Trista was initially advised to wait a week and see if the leg got better. When it didn't, she brought Ayla to the doctor and expressed her misgivings about Ayla's safety with Justin.

    Trista said Monday, "I know the doctor called [DHHS]," as indicated in the medical report. What she doesn't know is whether that agency followed up.

    She said she herself reported concerns about Ayla's injuries in the DiPietro household to DHHS on multiple occasions.

    "DHHS blew me off," Trista said of those reports. It was her impression that DHHS caseworker supervisor Karen J. Small did not like her due to prior dealings between the Reynolds family and DHHS, unrelated to Ayla. Trista thinks Small's disdain for Trista's family led to inaction on the abuse reports.

    Ayla's Broken Arm

    There's been confusion in the blogosphere about Ayla's broken arm. Trista consulted her calendar in providing the following timetable:

    * Nov. 5, Justin informed Trista he was taking Ayla to the emergency room. Trista was not present at the visit.

    * With Justin and Ayla, Trista attended two follow-ups with an arm specialist, Nov. 7 and Nov. 21.

    * Ayla's final appointment was set for Dec. 16, but Justin did not keep the appointment.

    Trista noted she is getting medical records about the arm break Tuesday and is willing to make them public.


    The last time Trista talked to Ayla was Dec. 8. One of the big questions being discussed on the internet is whether Ayla disappeared about that time or a week later when DiPietro reported her missing.

    According to Jeff Hanson, Trista's stepfather, there have been no confirmed sightings of Ayla after Dec. 8.

    Trista's on the fence about when Ayla actually disappeared, still trying to think through the puzzling events.

    She said she tried to speak with her daughter "every single day. I never stopped. Every day I called."

    After Dec. 8, Justin said "No. No, no, no, no, no," Trista recounted. In a January interview with Bangor Daily News, Trista described Justin's excuses, telling her Ayla was busy playing or napping.

    Life Insurance and Trickery

    Was Justin's purchase of insurance on Ayla's life sinister or innocent? Trista isn't sure. But she does feel discomfort about it. In trying to gain some perspective, she said she asked a bunch of parents she knows if they would buy life insurance on their babies. They all said no.

    Trista feels Justin used trickery to obtain Ayla's social security number for the life insurance application.

    "Justin asked for Ayla's social security number so Phoebe could open a college account like she had for [Ayla's cousin] Gabby," Trista said. But once he got the number, he used it to buy life insurance. He also used it to try to claim a tax deduction.

    In 2010, Justin wanted to claim Ayla as a dependent, Trista noted, but she objected because Ayla lived with her, not him. For 2011, armed with Ayla's social security number, Justin went ahead and filed, Trista said, but the deduction didn't hold up since Ayla hadn't spent six months in the DiPietro household.

  3. #13

    Default Re: Ayla Reynolds,20months old, Waterville,Maine

    Search resumes for Maine toddler missing 3 months

    WATERVILLE, Maine (AP) — Searchers aided by dogs have failed to turn up any new clues as they renewed their search for a Maine toddler who's been missing for more than three months.

    With the ground clear of snow, more than 100 volunteer searchers, firefighters and game wardens searched fields and woods in Waterville on Saturday for signs of Ayla Reynolds.

    Ayla was 20 months old when her father reported her missing from his Waterville home on Dec. 17. Police are treating her disappearance as a crime, but no one has been charged.

    Searchers found no signs of Ayla, but Public Safety Department spokesman Steve McCausland says they found the remains of 53-year-old Steven Brandon of Waterville, who was reported missing in 2004, along Messalonskee Stream. Foul play is not suspected in his death.

  4. #14

    Default Re: Ayla Reynolds,20months old, Waterville,Maine

    WATERVILLE — The body of man missing since 2004 was found Saturday during a search for Ayla Reynolds, but searchers did not find any clues that would lead them to the toddler.

    Volunteer searchers found the skeletal remains of a man whom investigators believe to be Steven C. Brandon, a Waterville resident who has been missing since February 2004. Police do not believe foul play was involved in his death, according to Department of Public Safety Spokesman Steve McCausland.

    The remains, found by volunteer searchers on the banks of Messalonskee Stream, will be sent to the state medical examiner’s office to confirm the identity and cause of death.

    Unseasonably warm weather this winter and spring and the early disappearance of the winter’s snow allowed about 100 searchers, including the Maine Warden Service, Maine State Police, the Kennebec County Emergency Management Agency, area firefighters, Maine Association of Search and Rescue volunteers and cadaver dogs to search Saturday, said Lt. Kevin Adam of the warden service.

    “Typically we wouldn’t be able to search in March this early,” Adam said. “It’s great searching conditions out there. It’s mostly dry. There are no leaves, so you can see a long way. Good scenting conditions (for the dogs) — it’s not real hot, not real cold.”

    The search areas included parts of Waterville, Oakland, Sidney, Norridgewock and Fairfield. Adam said searches in Waterville were done to retrace areas that weren’t thoroughly investigated in December, shortly after Ayla was reported missing from her home on Violette Avenue.

    In Oakland, the search of First Park, an industrial park off Kennedy Memorial Drive, was meant to expand the radius of areas that have been covered. Searches in other towns were in isolated areas based on higher-priority tips received by state police.

    Adam said more ground searches are planned for the coming weeks, as well as water searches by dive teams.

    At a press conference Saturday afternoon, McCausland said investigators have received 988 tips in the case, which is in its fourth month. He added that state police, Waterville police and the warden service have spent more than $100,000 in overtime related to finding Ayla.

    “That gives you an idea of the commitment that has taken place over the past three months, at least financially,” he said.

    McCausland also said that communication with the three adults who were in the home the night before Ayla was reported missing has “basically stopped.” Those adults are Ayla’s father, Justin DiPietro; DiPietro’s girlfriend, Courtney Roberts, of Portland; and his sister, Elisha DiPietro.

    “As I have stated all along, we believe those three individuals inside that home that night know things that they haven’t told us, and that is frustrating,” he said. “But we continue on, we continue to make progress and the work will not stop.”

    Asked why communication has stopped, McCausland said, “I guess you’ll have to ask them why the communication has stopped.”

    Justin DiPietro couldn’t be reached for comment Saturday.

    Steve Bourget, the Augusta lawyer representing Elisha DiPietro and Ayla’s grandmother PhoebeDiPietro, agreed that communication has stopped between his two clients and investigators, but they remain cooperative, he said.

    “As far as Elisha and Phoebe are concerned, police have not asked us any questions,” Bourget said.

    “Anything we can do to help, we will wholeheartedly help, but they have not asked for any help.”

    McCausland also encouraged landowners in Kennebec County and its surrounding area to search their property for any signs of the missing girl, who turns 2 on April 4.

    “If they’re in the backyards, or back 40 ... and they think they see something that might have some connection to this case, we obviously want to hear from them, and it doesn’t take much to break this case wide open,” he said.

    He said the invitation extends to all Maine residents, “But obviously Kennebec County is a pretty wide swath from Waterville.”

    Police are treating her disappearance as a crime, but no one has been charged.

    Police confirmed weeks ago that Ayla’s blood was found in the partially finished basement thatDiPietro uses as his bedroom, but wouldn’t say how much. Police won’t confirm a report on, a blog maintained by Ayla’s maternal family, that investigators have told them more than a “cup full” of blood was discovered.

    On Friday, the blog also released news of Saturday’s planned search about 12 hours before the search was announced by McCausland.

    Missing man

    Brandon, the man whose body police believe they found Saturday, lived on Winter Street when he was last seen on Feb. 16, 2004.

    According to a 2004 Associated Press article, Brandon left his home without a car or cellphone and didn’t say anything to his family or girlfriend.

    At the time, Brandon’s mother, Ann Brandon of Cherryfield, said her son had an argument with his girlfriend and was apparently distraught.

    Relatives of Brandon could not be located at press time.

    Ben McCanna — 861-9239

  5. #15

    Default Re: Ayla Reynolds,20months old, Waterville,Maine

    Missing Maine toddler generates online discussions

    PORTLAND, Maine—When his wife's young granddaughter disappeared, Jeff Hanson felt helpless as the family anxiously awaited word from law enforcement authorities. He decided he needed to do something constructive as the investigation, now more than three months long, drew out.

    So Hanson created the first of two websites aimed at drawing attention to Ayla Reynolds, the Maine toddler who disappeared in December from her father's home in Waterville.

    The original website has received more than 1 million clicks, and there are now more than a dozen websites, blogs and Facebook pages dedicated to the case of the blond, blue-eyed youngster, helping to raise awareness along with billboards, posters and other conventional means of spreading the word about missing children.

    "We have a new information age where there are many tools available for the public to either participate or inform themselves. The websites are part of that. In this case, it's all positive because it keeps her name out there," said Stephen McCausland of the Maine Public Safety Department.

    Ayla, whose second birthday will be celebrated Wednesday, was 20 months old when she was last seen the night of Dec. 16. She was reported missing the following morning after her father, Justin DiPietro, said he found her bed empty, prompting a massive search effort. Searchers lowered the level of several streams, and divers searched icy rivers, as well.

    They've found no sign of her.

    Investigators declared the disappearance a crime, disclosed that Ayla's blood was found in her father's bedroom and dismissed the possibility that Ayla was kidnapped from the small house where three adults were present.

    Beyond that, investigators have been mum on details.

    But there's plenty online, including discussions about the amount of blood found at the scene, a timeline leading to the toddler's disappearance and debates over investigative details and theories of what may have happened.

    Hanson originally launched to raise awareness, and it received more than 1 million hits. Little more than a week ago, he started a new website,, to give the family a place to air its thoughts and to set the record straight on details. The website reported that DiPietro took out a life insurance policy on Ayla and details about blood evidence, information police have not confirmed.

    But that's only the beginning. There's another blog, justiceforayla, that reported last week about a suspicious van seen near DiPietro's house, and another blog that analyzes public statements made by those involved in the case, aiming to ferret out the truth. A blog entitled JustStopTheLies aims to debunk false claims.

    Hanson said he passes along anonymous tips he gets to police, and he hopes that they provide information police need to bring Ayla home. He tries not to let his mind entertain the possibility that something bad happened.

    "I'm holding out for the best," Hanson said. "That's how we get by every day."

    Ayla was placed in her father's care after her mother, Trista Reynolds, entered a substance abuse rehabilitation program in Lewiston, and the Reynolds family has questioned the care he provided for Ayla.

    After being placed in his custody, Ayla broke her arm. DiPietro said she broke it when he fell on stairs while carrying Ayla and groceries. They say Ayla suffered bruises on one occasion that DiPietro blamed on a scuffle with another child and on another occasion suffered a pulled leg muscle that the father blamed on "horseplay."

    He didn't return a message left on his cellphone.

    While the investigation goes on, family members wait with growing frustration as they prepare to observe Ayla's second birthday with cake and balloons on Wednesday at Portland's Monument Square. The vigil is being sponsored by the family and nonprofit LostNMissing Inc.

    The family is taking it day by day.

    "It's not easy," said Ronald Reynolds, Ayla's grandfather. "It's not easy at all to go through every day, not knowing if she's OK, if she's being taken care of."

    He said he's begun to fear the worst. But regardless of the outcome, the family needs to know what happened.

    Trista Reynolds believes Justin DiPietro knows more than he's telling: "I hope that soon enough he decides it's been long enough and that he can't hide her forever. What's really on my mind on a daily basis, I'm wondering every day whether my daughter is dead or alive. That's what I want to know."



  6. #16

    Default Re: Ayla Reynolds,20months old, Waterville,Maine

    One hundred people hold vigil to mark missing Maine toddler Ayla's second birthday

    One hundred people gathered in Portland's Monument Square in Maine to mark the second birthday of missing toddler Ayla Reynolds.
    Led by Trista Reynolds, the little girl's mother, the crowd sang 'Happy Birthday' during the vigil while a birthday cake was cut.
    Pleading for people to keep praying for the safe return of Ayla, Wednesday's meeting featured music including Maroon 5's 'Moves Like Jagger', which Ayla liked to dance to.

    Some members of the crowd presented flowers and letters to Miss Reynolds while others wore T-shirts and buttons embossed with Ayla's face to help keep up awareness of the missing girl.
    'I want her to know that even though she's not here, she's still in my heart,' said Miss Reynolds.
    'This is for her. This is her birthday. This is about her.'
    Ayla went missing last year on December the 16th after her father Justin DiPietro put her to bed at his home in Waterville, 75 miles northeast of Portland in the state of Maine.

    Wearing green polka dot pyjamas with the words 'Daddy's Princess' on them, Ayla was also wearing a soft cast on her left arm which she had broken.
    He reported her missing at 9am and told authorities that he found an empty bed when he went to wake her up.

    Police have stated that DiPietro, his girlfriend and his sister were all home the night that Ayla disappeared.
    Since December, DiPietro's perceived lack of cooperation with the police has upset Miss Reynolds even though DiPietro has maintained his innocence throughout the entire investigation.
    It has been reported that he and his family have stopped talking to authorities with Steve McCausland of Maine Department of Public Safety speaking blunty.

    'The communication with Justin, his sister and his girlfriend have basically stopped,' said McCausland last month to the Portland Daily Sun.
    'It’s been frustrating for police since December because we haven’t been able to find Ayla, and as I’ve stated all along, I believe those three individuals inside that home that night know things that they haven’t told us, and that is frustrating.'
    When informed of McCausland's comments, Ronald Reynolds, Ayla's maternal grnadfather was equally straightforward.
    'I agree. I agree because they know, they know more than what they're saying,' said Mr Reynolds.
    'They were the last ones to see Ayla, how could you not know? It doesn't make sense. This whole thing doesn't make sense.'

    In January DiPietro told reporters, 'I would never harm my daughter,' denying all knowledge of her disappearance other than what he had already told the police.
    He even took a lie detector test although the results of this have not been made public.
    Despite the fact that police have called her disappearance a crime, they have found no trace of her nor have there been any arrests.
    'She's out there somewhere. I know she is,' said Mr Reynolds.

    'It's a matter of time. It's a matter of time law enforcement will find her and bring her home, where she belongs.'
    Speaking to television cameras at the meeting, Miss Reynolds was emotional as she discussed her missing daughter.
    'If she sees me on the TV, I want her to know that mommy says happy birthday and that mommy loves her a lot,' said the crying mother.
    Ayla's father, Justin DiPietro, did not attend the event.

    He, his sister, Elisha, and his girlfriend, Courtney Roberts, were the last three adults known to have seen Ayla on the evening of December 16th.

    Read more:

  7. #17

    Default Re: Ayla Reynolds,20months old, Waterville,Maine

    Divers search river for missing Maine toddler
    July 17, 2012 16:45 GMT

    WATERVILLE, Maine (AP) -- Divers from the Maine State Police and Warden Service are searching the Kennebec River for signs of Ayla Reynolds, the toddler who was reported missing from her Waterville home seven months ago.

    The search, which began Tuesday morning, is concentrated below the Brookfield dam in Waterville-Winslow. Spokesman Steve McCausland of the state Public Safety Department says police with dogs are also searching the banks of the river where the water's been lowered.

    McCausland says Tuesday's search had been planned for three weeks, and the timing, which marks seven months from the day she was reported missing, is coincidental. Several searches of the Kennebec and other Waterville-area waterways have been conducted, and the area being searched Tuesday had not been checked.

    Ayla was 20 months old when she was reported missing.

  8. #18

    Default Re: Ayla Reynolds,20months old, Waterville,Maine

    WATERVILLE -- Penny Rafuse thinks about Ayla Reynolds every day.

    She remembers the missing child when she backs out of her Violette Avenue driveway in the morning and drives past Ayla's house.
    She is reminded of Ayla, whose third birthday would be Thursday, every time she steps into her own dining room.
    "I have a light in my dining room window," Rafuse said at her house Wednesday. "It's a Christmas light that I've never turned off since Dec. 17, 2011, when Ayla was reported missing."
    She said she will not turn the light off until those responsible are behind bars.
    "I don't know how these people can sleep at night."
    Rafuse lives five houses away from Ayla's grandmother, Phoebe DiPietro, who lives at 29 Violette Ave. That is where then-20-month-old Ayla was reportedly last seen. She lived there with DiPietro; DiPietro's son, Justin DiPietro, who is Ayla's father; Justin's sister Elisha DiPietro; and Elisha's baby daughter.
    The night Ayla reportedly disappeared, Justin DiPietro and his girlfriend, Courtney Roberts, were in the house, along with Roberts' son, Elisha DiPietro and her daughter. Justin DiPietro filed the missing-person report.
    Police have said they think Ayla wasn't abducted from the house and that she is no longer alive.
    No one has been charged in her disappearance.
    "The case continues to be open and active, but there are no new developments," Steve McCausland, spokesman for the state Department of Public Safety, said Wednesday.
    He added: "Any birthday of a child is a milestone, usually filled with joy and hope. Today is a sad reminder this is not the case in Waterville, and that on Ayla's third birthday we still do not have the complete story of what happened inside that Violette Avenue home from those who know what occurred. Ayla deserves better."
    Meanwhile, Rafuse and other neighbors continue to keep Reynolds in their thoughts.
    "It's good that people aren't allowing other people to forget about her, because if you forget about her, it'll never be solved," Rafuse said.
    "She's supposed to be walking around and communicating and learning her independence and tying her shoestrings and kicking a ball in the street. It breaks my heart, even more so now that I have a granddaughter."
    Remembering December 2011
    A cold wind whipped down Violette Avenue on Wednesday, sending dust swirling in circles near Phoebe DiPietro's house.
    A black car stood in the driveway, but no one answered the door, which was flanked on either side by stuffed garbage bags, Christmas lawn decorations and a child's orange snow shovel hanging from a mailbox.
    A shrine of teddy bears and other stuffed animals that for many months grew on the front lawn is gone, but a 'No Trespassing' sign still hangs from a big tree near the street.
    On Wednesday, the wind whacked away at the sign, making an eerie howling noise that alternated with the clang of a black metal wind chime perched near the house.
    Across the street, Will and Kay Conway were sitting in their kitchen, reading the newspaper and remembering Ayla.
    "It just doesn't seem possible that it happened," said Kay Conway, 82.
    She and her husband, who is 82, have lived in their house for 55 years and spend part of every winter in Myrtle Beach. They recalled going there after Ayla was reported missing and being the focus of attention because they lived on Violette Avenue.
    Everyone in Myrtle Beach knew about the Ayla Reynolds case, they said.
    Kay Conway left the kitchen and returned with a photo album containing a picture of all the media trucks and cameras stationed outside Ayla's house for several days after she disappeared.

    Will Conway said he can't help but think of her every time he looks out the window at the house or sees a little child about her age.
    They wait for the day when the case will be solved.
    "I can't believe that somebody doesn't know something," said Kay Conway, a retired teacher.
    Farther up the street, Glenn Parkhurst, 38, was in his basement, restoring stained-glass windows.
    He said people talk less about Ayla these days, but they do not forget.
    "Every time I go down the street, I go by the house and think, 'Where is she?'" he said.
    Parkhurst said the day Reynolds was reported missing, a friend who is a firefighter knocked on his door at 9:30 a.m. and told him what was happening.
    For several nights after that, before Parkhurst and his fiancee went to bed, they brought a pot of coffee to state police officers stationed on Violette Avenue.
    Parkhurst said he never imagined the case would remain unresolved more than a year later.
    "I kind of thought it would be like an episode of 'Columbo' and somebody would step up and reveal a piece of information that police could use," he said.
    Both Rafuse and Parkhurst think police know what happened and are waiting for all the pieces to fall into place before charging someone.
    Rafuse, who has lived on Violette Avenue for 27 years, said police did a phenomenal job scouring the neighborhood and beyond, searching nearby Messalonskee Stream and the Kennebec River.
    "It's almost surreal," she said, reflecting. "It's like she just vanished, and I so totally respect the law enforcement agencies for what they did."
    Walking her dog, Holden, down Violette Avenue on Wednesday, Rafuse said her neighborhood is a safe one, where people are friendly and close-knit.
    "If something bad happens, everybody rallies. It's just one of the best streets in the world to bring a child up on."
    She said the Ayla's disappearance deeply affected everyone.
    "It beyond rocked the neighborhood," she said.
    Rafuse said she would be thinking of Ayla's mother, Trista Reynolds, on the child's birthday.
    "I can't imagine how she's going to feel," Rafuse said. "Ayla's got a little brother that's never going to know her."

  9. #19

    Default Re: Ayla Reynolds,20months old, Waterville,Maine

    AP: 911 call details timeline for missing toddler

    PORTLAND (AP) -- The biggest criminal investigation in Maine's history started with a 911 call in which a father said his 20-month-old daughter was last seen about 10 hours before he reported her missing.

    The Associated Press requested the 911 transcripts under the Freedom of Access Act after the state supreme court ruled they cannot be withheld unless police show how releasing them would harm an investigation.

    Justin DiPietro told a dispatcher that he put Ayla Reynolds to bed at 8 p.m. on Dec. 16, 2011, and that his sister checked on her two hours later. He answered "there's no way" when asked if she could've crawled out of a crib.

    Ayla was reported missing at 8:49 a.m. the next morning and hasn't been seen since. DiPietro was living in his mother's home in Waterville

    Transcript 1:

    Transcript 2:

  10. #20

    Default Re: Ayla Reynolds,20months old, Waterville,Maine

    Statute of limitations draws near for some charges in toddler's disappearance

    PORTLAND (AP) — The blood found throughout the home where Ayla Reynolds was last seen nearly three years ago is all her mother needs to demand charges — any charges — be brought against the child's father and two other adults who were with the toddler the night she disappeared, setting off the largest investigation in Maine's history.

    This undated file photo provided by Trista Reynolds shows Ayla Reynolds, her two-year-old daughter, who went missing on Dec. 16, 2011 from her father's home in Waterville. Three years after Ayla's disappearance, her mother Trista Reynolds wants prosecutors to bring lesser charges if they can’t prove a homicide. Maine has no statute of limitations for homicide and there’s a six-year limit for other felonies. But the limit is only three years on lesser charges.

    Though investigators believe Ayla is dead and the three adults know more about what happened that night than they're telling, no charges have ever been filed.

    Now the clock is running out on some of the lesser charges the girl's mother believes could have already been brought. The statute of limitations on misdemeanors like child endangerment expires in a matter of weeks, on the third anniversary of Ayla's disappearance.

    "All of them should be put in jail," said Ayla's mother, Trista Reynolds.

    But she said she isn't in regular contact with police and has little confidence that any charges — let alone the homicide charges she believes appropriate — are imminent.

    "I don't see that happening any time soon," Reynolds said.

    Ayla was 20 months old when she was reported missing by her father, Justin DiPietro, on Dec. 17, 2011. The toddler had been living with DiPietro and his girlfriend, sister and mother in Waterville.

    Ayla's disappearance set off a massive search with FBI, police, wardens and volunteers combing through the woods and searching streams. Investigators ultimately announced Ayla was the victim of foul play but said there is no evidence she was abducted.

    Maine State Police spokesman Steve McCausland said the investigation remains "active and ongoing." DiPietro, who has denied knowing what happened to his daughter, couldn't be reached for comment and a lawyer who represented the family did not return a phone call.

    Maine has no statute of limitations for homicide and there's a six-year limit for other felonies. But the limit is only three years on lesser charges — misdemeanors like simple assault or endangering the welfare of a minor, said Jim Burke, a professor at the University of Maine School of Law.

    Burke said he sympathizes with the mother but said prosecutors likely don't want to put their homicide investigation at risk for the sake of pursuing misdemeanors.

    Bringing lesser charges would expose evidence central to the homicide investigation and could allow the defense to try to prevent harsher charges by claiming double jeopardy, said Assistant Attorney General Leane Zainea. She said prosecutors are keeping "an eye toward the more serious offenses."

    Kennebec County District Attorney Maeghan Maloney, who has reviewed the available evidence but is not involved in prosecuting the case, said prosecutors from the attorney general's office are best suited to direct the investigation and to decide whether there's enough evidence to win at trial.

    "They're absolutely devastated by this case that has consumed them. They're trying to do everything they can. I have 100 percent confidence in them," she said.

    Ayla was placed in her father's care after Trista Reynolds entered a substance abuse rehabilitation program, and the Reynolds family has questioned the care he provided.

    As months turned into years, Reynolds has sought to put pressure on DiPietro and law enforcement agencies while trying to keep her daughter in the public eye. She and others even chased DiPietro following an unrelated court appearance last year, with the crowd shouting "murderer!" and "Where's Ayla!"

    Maloney said she doesn't blame Reynolds for pressing for justice and for being frustrated. "What she's going through is the worst thing a parent could go through," she said.

    But Burke said law enforcement investigators have to be patient because criminal investigations don't play out as quickly as they do during a TV show or movie. Sometimes they take years, he said.

    "The state is not going to go away," he said. "Sometimes it takes 20 years for someone to slip up. So they sit and wait. They never give up."

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