Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Mother of Missing Child Ayla Reynolds to Release Details of Police Investigation

Ayla Reynolds

Ayla Reynolds

In an effort to force the hand of investigators, who have not made any arrests in the 2011 disappearance of 20-month-old Ayla Reynolds, her mother, Trista Reynolds, announced that she will start divulging unreleased details about evidence in her daughter’s disappearance starting this month.

In a recent interview, Reynolds said that at one point she was shown evidence that points to Ayla’s father, Justin DiPietro, as responsible for the child’s death and disappearance. Early on in the investigation police announced that they found blood in DiPietro’s basement, and that they were investigating and testing, but declined to comment further. At the time, state police spokesman Steve McCausland called the discovery of the blood “troubling,” but declined to comment further.

According to Reynolds, they actually found lots of blood evidence, and some saliva evidence. For the mother it seems the evidence was more than just “troubling,” “All I can picture when I close my eyes is the blood that I saw,” said Reynolds in the interview. She says that in addition to finding blood in the basement, police found Ayla’s blood and saliva in DiPietro’s room, on his shoes and in his truck

Ayla Reynolds has been missing since December 16, 2011, from her father’s Waterville, Maine, home. She was staying with him while her mother, who lives in Portland, completed a substance abuse program. At the time of her disappearance Ayla was reportedly wearing green pajamas with polka-dots and “Daddy’s Princess” written on the front. Her left arm was in a sling. Ayla’s father, Justin DiPietro, who shares the home with his mother, reported Ayla missing on December 17. He told police that he put Ayla to bed the night before, and when he looked in on her in the morning she was gone.

Many noted and were troubled by the detail in Ayla’s description about her left arm being in a sling. It was broken in November 2012 while she was in her father’s care. DiPietro claimed to have been carrying his daughter while carrying groceries up a short flight of stairs, and somehow, he does not know how, managed to fall on the child, ”It happened so fast, I don’t know exactly how I fell on her, but I fell on her,” DiPietro told the Morning Sentinel of Waterville.

The day before Ayla vanished her mother took steps to regain custody of her daughter.

The night Ayla was last seen, DiPietro was home with his mother and another adult. All three have been questioned by police, but according to McCausland, ”We believe they have not given us the full story.”
Both parents took a lie detector test and police are satisfied with the results, though the results have not been made public.
DiPietro was arrested in mid-July for domestic abuse in an incident with a girlfriend, and more recently for being in possession of alcohol in violation of his probation.

That is where the case sits today.

The media attention is gone, the searchers gave up long ago, and little Ayla is still missing, presumed dead.

On September 25 it seems that Trista Reynolds will comment on the blood evidence if police do not press charges.


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