December 19, 2011

Waiting difficult for family of missing toddler

By John Richardson jrichardson@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

Ayla Reynolds’ mother and maternal grandparents waited in the Portland 
area Sunday for any news about the girl.

“It’s just so hard for me to sit back and not do anything,” said Ronald 
Reynolds of Portland, Ayla’s grandfather. “I’m crawling out of my skin 
right now. She’s the apple of my eye.”

The 20-month-old lived in Portland with her mother and grandmother until 
mid October, said Becca Hanson, her grandmother. Hanson and Ronald 
Reynolds said Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services removed 
the girl from her mother’s care in October. The maternal grandparents 
criticized the agency, although no details about the action were 
available Sunday.

Hanson was staying with Ayla’s mother, Trista Reynolds, in a South 
Portland motel as the search continued in Waterville.

“This is the worst thing of all because she doesn’t know where her 
daughter is at,” Hanson said. “I’m hoping that they call us soon and say 
they found her.”

Hanson said Trista Reynolds was not able to talk to the media. Trista 
Reynolds also has a 9-month-old son who is living with her in South 
Portland, she said.

Her grandparents describved Ayla as a bright, happy girl.
“Ayla started walking when she was 10 months old,” Hanson said. “She’s a 
really outgoing child. She always had smile on her face.”

Ayla loves her little brother, she said. “She tries to give him his 
bottle and his binky. They’re like two peas in a pod.”

Ronald Reynolds, her grandfather, said police asked him to stay in 
Portland rather than go to Waterville and try to help. He said he hasn’t 
been able to eat or sleep since police came to his home with the news 

“She is so friendly, loveable, smart,” he said. “I don’t know where she 
is. I don’t if she’s in a car, if she’s in a gutter somewhere.... I want 
my granddaughter found. I want here home safe.”


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