Ayla Reynolds, a 20-month-old toddler from Waterville Maine, is missing today, after having last been seen by a family member at 10 PM Friday night. When Ayla’s father went to her bedroom to check on her at about 9 AM the next morning, she was gone. Police responded to the home at 29 Violette Avenue, after receiving a call from her father.
Ayla was wearing green, one-piece pajamas with polka dots and the words “Daddy’s Princess” on them. She is 2’9″, and weighs approximately 30 pounds. She has short blond hair and blue eyes, and her left arm is in a sling and a soft splint. Police say they believe she either wandered off and left the house on her own, or she was abducted.
Police have been searching the neighborhood extensively for any signs of Ayla, but so far haven’t had any luck. The temperature in Waterville, Maine has been in the single digits, so if Ayla is wandering around somewhere, needless to say, that is extremely dangerous. Police have said they are also intensely searching Ayla’s home for any kind of forensic evidence. They have also spoken with Ayla’s mother, who does not live at the home with Ayla and her father, and they say the entire family is fully cooperating.
Anyone with info regarding Ayla’s whereabouts is asked to call the Waterville Police Department at (207)680-4700.
Click here to see Good Morning America’s coverage of the case that aired earlier this morning.
Police are expected to hold a press conference to update the media this afternoon.
UPDATE: 12/19/11 7:15 AM CST
The timeline for the night Ayla went missing has now been adjusted – Ayla’s father apparently put her to bed at about 8 PM Friday night. This means that Ayla was not seen or checked up on for almost 13 hours.
Good Morning America interviewed Ayla’s mother, Trista Reynolds, who said that she and Ayla’s father, Justin DiPietro, shared custody of her, but they had not been getting along very well over the last few weeks. She said that she had filed paperwork for full custody of Ayla on Thursday, the day before she disappeared. She did not tell DiPietro, and said there was no way he could have known. She said they have not spoken since the disappearance, which seems pretty strange to me. If Ayla was truly abducted from her home by a stranger and no one knows where she is, don’t you think her parents should be able to put all their issues aside to unite and try to find their daughter?
Even if Reynolds blames DiPietro because she went missing from his home under his care, don’t you think he would be the first person she would want to talk to, to try and get more information from him?
Ayla has been missing now for 3 days.
UPDATE: 12/19/11 9:50 PM CST
Police held another press conference today, but didn’t reveal much more about their investigation, except to say that they were searching a nearby stream for any signs of Ayla.
The Portland Herald Press, however, reported that police have seized two cars from Ayla’s residence, and are processing them for evidence.
On Jane Vellez-Mitchell tonight, it was reported that a neighbor heard a loud noise at about 3:30 AM the morning Ayla disappeared.
Nancy Grace also covered Ayla on her show tonight. Trista Reynolds, the baby’s mother, called into the show. According to Trista, Ayla doesn’t normally sleep through the night, so the 13 hours sounds a little more suspect to me.
Trista also addressed why Ayla’s arm was broken. Ayla’s father, Justin DiPietro, had told Trista that he fell on her while going up the stairs with Ayla in his arms. He had supposedly waited 24 hours before he took her to the hospital. Trista also claimed that every time Ayla has come back from spending time with her father, she has had bruises on her.
Mark Klaas, Founder of the KlaasKids Foundation, also appeared on Nancy Grace and brought up a really good point. Ayla had a cast on her arm. If someone wanted to abduct a toddler, why would they choose one with a cast? People would surely see them and remember seeing a little girl with a cast on, and that would be a big risk if they don’t want to get caught.
Another interesting point is that Trista also stated on Nancy Grace that Ayla had missed a doctor’s appointment this past Friday. This makes me wonder who the last person, aside from Justin DiPietro, was to see this child. Maybe she went missing a lot sooner than Friday night at 8 PM.