On the morning of December 17, 2011, Justin DiPietro reported his 20-month old daughter Ayla Reynolds missing. After spending the day with Ayla December 16, Justin claimed he put her to bed at 8 p.m., and she was gone when he woke up in the morning. Ayla had lived in Justin’s home just 59 days.
Two other adults, his sister Elisha DiPietro and his girlfriend Courtney Roberts, were in the house that night. Justin and Courtney claimed to have slept in his basement bedroom, while Elisha claimed to have slept in her own bedroom, with her own daughter, across the hall from the bedroom Ayla normally shared with Elisha’s daughter. They insisted it was a normal night, and none of them saw or heard anything.
Investigators concluded Ayla was not kidnapped and she did not leave the house on her own accord. They determined that foul play befell her in the house. They announced they did not expect to find Ayla alive. Some of the critical evidence included Ayla’s blood in various rooms in the house both upstairs and downstairs.
That blood was found in baby Ayla’s bedroom on a doll; it was found in the family living room on the sofa; downstairs, where Justin and Courtney alleged to have slept unaware there was a fist-size stain of Ayla’s blood on the sheets and mattress, her blood was splattered on the wall next to the bed and on the floor. There was also blood in a pair of Justin’s shoes near the bed.
A blue plastic tote contained a sheet investigators said was used to clean up some of Ayla’s blood. Some of the blood found in the house contained saliva, indicating projectile vomiting and/or blunt force trauma.
Two vehicles were parked in the DiPietro driveway. The closest to the road belonged to Courtney. The other vehicle belonged to Justin. Inside Justin’s vehicle, police found Ayla’s car seat stained with her blood. Ayla’s vomit was also present in Justin’s car.
Police have searched for Ayla’s body but have yet to locate it. Justin, Courtney, and Elisha all deny knowledge of Ayla’s whereabouts.
Justin DiPietro’s false report of a missing baby set off the most extensive and expensive missing child investigation in Maine’s history, costing the citizens more than $500,000.
Despite the passage of 21-months, there have been no arrests in the death of Ayla Reynolds or its cover-up. Trista Reynolds, Ayla’s mother, and her family, suffer with each day that passes and justice for Ayla is not forthcoming. Timely prosecution would alleviate this aspect of their burden.
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