Ayla Reynolds: Was missing toddler victim of abuse?

Relatives of Ayla's mother say they were concerned about missing tots well being

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Relatives of Ayla's mother say they were concerned about missing tots well being

Twenty-month-old Ayla Reynolds has been missing from her Maine home for over a week, family starts pointing fingers. Family photo.

An investigation into the life of missing Portland, Maine 2 year old, Ayla Reynolds, reveals a turbulent life for the toddler. Accusations of the father’s allegedly abusive behavior and her mother’s drug issues have put the case in the media cross-hairs of family variably.

The missing tot’s father, Justin DiPietro, reported his toddler daughter missing a little over a week ago when he woke up and found that she had disappeared from her room. DiPietro claims he last saw Ayla on the evening of December 16th, after putting her to bed around 8 pm, but didn’t call police until almost 9 am the following morning when he says he went to check on her and found her gone.

Ayla’s mother, Trista Reynolds, had custody of the baby temporarily revoked while she was recovering from a reported alcohol and substance abuse addiction and was staying in a rehab center. Members of Reynold’s family voiced concern last week, claiming that the toddler suffered a broken arm while in DiPietro’s care. Police are sticking to the original report of the injury which claims Ayla broke her arm in a fall, but the family remains suspicious. They want to know why the Department of Health and Human Services placed the youngster with her father without further pursuing a full investigation of the incident.

Incidentally, Reynolds whose other child, a 9-month old baby, has been cared for by the Reynold’s family while she was in rehab.


Meanwhile, as Ayla’s mother continues to make the media rounds, she appears to be placing blame on the baby’s father, telling MSNBC that DiPietro failed to keep Ayla safe. Coincidentally, Reynolds also makes mention that she filed for sole custody of Ayla the day before the toddler went missing.

Maine Police are saying that they aren’t ruling out anything at this point. This may suggest that both parents, given their checkered pasts, may eventually be potential persons of interests if you parse out their potential motives. If drugs, violence or a bitter custody battle enter into the equation, it’s conceivable that such things could have played a role but at this point of the investigation, police aren’t willing to name either parent is a suspect.

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  • Jo Etta Horn

    This baby is missing from 29 Violette Street, Waterville, Maine -not Portland. She is 20 months old, not quite 2 years old.

  • two yr old baby and the father didnt check on her for 12 hours, I hope and pray she’s well wherever she is

  • maureen g. o’brien

    Supposedly, the mother had also tried to call the child’s father for nearly a week to check on her child, before the ‘disappearance’. I live in Portland, ME., and the unfortunate consensus here is that the baby was probably a victim of ‘shaken baby syndrome’, as who has a baby with a broken arm (or not) and doesn’t check on them every few hours to see how they are doing or in need of a diaper change, medication, and food etc.? NO ONE! So sad and tragic, I hope she sues CPS for wrongful death and the father gets life with no chance for parole. He had a week to dispose of the body, so hopefully it won’t be a ‘No corpse, no crime’ situation.

  • Jamie

    I agree w/ Maureen 1000%. I couldnt have said it better myself.
    Im the mom of 3 boys. And this story has my stomach in knots.
    My intuition is telling me that “DAD” is NO GOOD.
    May God bless u baby Ayla!! You are in my prayers!!

  • Thom Richardson

    Is the father of Ayla guilty of being a bad parent? Absolutely. I have children myself. I have a one year old, she goes to bed at 7. She sleeps through the night and will get up around 7 the next morning. However, I go in twice during the night to change her from her wet diaper. She might not wake up, but shes to young to not be looked over.
    With that said, is the father guilty of crimes everyone is saying? No. Regardless of what people want to speculate. Regardless of your own personal opinion. No FACTS have surfaced to prove he did anything wrong, except be a bad parent.
    I get it. Child has broken arm, mother and father fight for custody of the child, than she goes missing. Most people who dont believe in facts would point their finger at this kid.
    HOWEVER, we live in a country inwhich you are innocent until proven guilty.
    If you could be gound guilty just by someone saying you did something. Wouldnt that be a little wrong? How would you feel to have your child missing, everyone thinking you killed your child and because of belief you were locked away for life ONLY to have FACTS come to light months later that proves you were innocent.

    Bottom line is. We dont know what has happened. It could have been the father,mother,friends,stranger danger, the cousin who she shared a room with could have opened the door and Ayla could have walked out. WE DONT KNOW at this moment. What we should be doing is focusing on where this little girl is. Not speculating on who did it. Stick to the facts

  • PRO MOM?

    Why bash the father while the “caring mother” was in REHAB for substance & alcohol abuse?? To me, she would fall into the “bad parent” category quicker than he would. Plus the female’s family is the one casting doubt on the reason for the broken arm & I know plenty of 15-20 month old babies in great, loving homes who have had broken bones. Children will climb, they are curious. If DHS decided he was fit, then drop it. This couple was clearly fighting & now the mother & her family have banded together against him. I don’t understand the “it’s HIS fault, I was in rehab” if she was half of the female a real mother is then she would have chosen her children over a bottle & her candy. The child was almost 2 & if she generally slept through the night, why would it be logical to peep in & see if she was still there. You can preach all you want but they were in their home, their safety zone. Unless you are a mother who camps out at her childs door & has the father stand post at the window, a child can quickly go missing. Plus if the baby had shared a room, one could easily assume that the child was safe. I have read comments that the parent would change a baby twice during the night, I was advised to let my baby sleep while he slept & change him as soon as he awoke, some docs will advise different views. I am not saying this man is innocent but for the love of God, this is his child who was in his care & I am sure he feels guilty enough. Hold your stones until the facts are in. DHS is not at fault either, they are usually between a rock & a hard place & with the laws protecting the parents rights. You cannot just waltz in & remove a child w/o proof or reoccuring incindents.