December 28, 2012

Ayla Reynolds' mother frustrated with investigators

Promised meeting set for Dec. 19 cancelled, and police haven't called to reschedule, Trista Reynolds says

By Ben McCanna
Staff Writer

WATERVILLE -- The mother of missing toddler Ayla Reynolds said investigators canceled a meeting that was planned for last week, and she's becoming frustrated by continued delays.

click image to enlarge

Trista Reynolds talk with media during a vigil in Castonguay Square in Waterville for her missing toddler, Ayla Reynolds, in January.

Staff photo by Michael G. Seamans

Police announced the upcoming meeting during a Dec. 14 press conference, when Department of Public Safety spokesman Steve McCausland said investigators would meet with Trista Reynolds "in the coming days." Reynolds said a meeting scheduled for Dec. 19 was canceled by a detective who told her it would be rescheduled later that week.

"I still haven't heard from them," Reynolds said Thursday.

McCausland, who is on vacation, didn't immediately respond to a reporter's message.

Investigators were planning to show Reynolds items that were recovered from the Kennebec River during a search of the Lockwood Dam on April 25, she said. They also planned to present her the same information that investigators shared with members of Ayla's paternal family -- father Justin DiPietro, aunt Elisha DiPietro and grandmother Phoebe DiPietro -- in October, Reynolds said.

"They've been doing this for six months," she said of the delays. "Six months ago, when all this stuff came up in the river, they told me they wanted to sit down and show things to me, and they still haven't done it. Now they're playing games with me."

"For a year I've been waiting and I've been patient. I've done everything they've asked."

Earlier this month, McCausland announced that investigators had met with the DiPietros in October.

"We wanted to give them an update, and we were very frank in the information we shared with them," McCausland said during the Dec. 14 press conference.

Steve Bourget, an attorney for Elisha and Phoebe DiPietro, confirmed that investigators had met with his clients, and said the family was shown physical evidence in the case. Bourget added that DNA evidence found in the toddler's home was a "match to Ayla, but it wasn't necessarily blood."

In January, McCausland said that Ayla's blood was found in the basement of her Violette Avenue home. Earlier this month, McCausland wouldn't respond directly to Bourget's statement but said "there has been no change in any of our previous statements." A Reynolds family member said in January police told the family it was "more than a cupful" of blood, a statement McCausland didn't dispute at the time.

Ayla was reported missing on Dec. 17, 2011, by her father. No one has been named as a suspect. Justin DiPietro contends that Ayla was abducted. Police say a kidnapping did not happen, and they believe the three adults who saw her last -- her father, aunt and Courtney Roberts -- are withholding information in the case.

During a search of the Kennebec River in April, investigators found undisclosed items, which Reynolds believes might be related to the case.

Investigators also believe Ayla is dead. State police are asking that anyone with information call them at 624-7076.

Ben McCanna -- 861-9239

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