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.