Missing Maine Toddler Ayla Reynolds: Police Investigate Items Found in River
(WATERVILLE, Maine) -- Police investigating the disappearance of Ayla Reynolds are analyzing objects found in the Kennebec River in Waterville, Maine, but have not said whether they are related to the missing toddler, who vanished from her father’s home on Dec. 17, 2011, according to ABC News affiliate WCVB.
Waterville Department of Public Safety spokesman Steve McCausland told the Morning Sentinel that police do not know whether the items, which were found Wednesday, are connected to the case of the missing toddler, who turned 2 years old on April 4.
“Some items were recovered from the Kennebec River yesterday,” McCausland told the Morning Sentinel Thursday. “The items have been taken to the state police crime laboratory for analysis.”
In late March, after the winter snow melted, Maine police intensified their search for the toddler. Organizers implored landowners in the area to watch for anything unusual on their property that could be related to the case.
Ayla’s’ father, Justin DiPietro, told police in December that he believed his daughter was snatched from the bedroom of their Waterville home between her 8 p.m. bedtime on Dec. 17 and when he checked her bedroom in the morning.
Within days what began as the search for a missing child turned into a criminal probe, after investigators discovered blood in the basement of the home.
“What [police] were unwilling to confirm to the press, but left to our discretion, is that it has already been determined to be Ayla’s blood,” the family said in a statement. “Even in light of this evidence we are more determined than ever to find out what has happened to Ayla and we still cling to the hope that she is alive and will be returned to us. We urge anyone that has information about Ayla to come forward now and unburden yourself of the truth.”
DiPietro, 24, and Trista Reynolds, 23, Ayla’s mother, who does not live in the home and was forced by Child Protective Services to place Ayla in DiPietro’s full-time care when she checked into rehab, have taken police-administered lie-detector tests.
Reynolds told WCVB that the test administrator concluded that she could not complete the test because of a medical condition.
DiPietro has said publicly that he passed the test, though Maine State Police would not comment on his claim.
Reynolds previously alleged that her daughter was bruised the last time she saw her, though DiPietro countered that those claims amounted to “accusation and insinuations.”
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