(WATERVILLE, Maine) — A $30,000 reward is being offered in the case of missing Maine toddler Ayla Reynolds, the largest missing person reward in the state’s history.
In announcing the reward, police said that they believe there is foul play in the disappearance of the 20-month-old girl who has been missing since Dec. 17.
“We are confident that Ayla did not let herself out of the house,” Waterville Police Chief Joseph Massey said. “We believe that someone removed Ayla from the house, and that is where our investigation is focusing.”
Massey and local attorney John Nale said that calls were pouring in from private citizens and businesses wishing to make donations for a reward, with the money adding up to $30,000.
“I am very hopeful that the offer of a large monetary reward may serve to spur someone to make the phone call we desperately want to receive, the call that will lead us to Ayla Reynolds,” Massey said.
Investigators searched for the toddler through the holiday weekend. Police said they believe that additional leads that came in over the weekend were prompted by the coverage of the case on America’s Most Wanted.
The leads, however, have not led to any suspects yet and authorities are conscious of the time that has passed since Ayla was last seen.
According to police, Ayla’s father Justin DiPietro, 24, said he put the child to bed the night of Dec. 16 in his home, and awoke the next morning to find her missing. Police have said several other adults were in the home, including one non-relative. Reynolds was living with her father while the girl’s mother, Trista Reynolds, 23, was in rehab for substance abuse.
Police have said both parents have been cooperative, but investigators still have no sense of what happened to Ayla.
Investigators are asking that anyone with information about Ayla please call the Waterville Police Department at 207-680-4700.
Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio
Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN
Betsy Klein, CNN
Andreas Preuss, CNN
Emanuella Grinberg and Kwegyirba Croffie, CNN