September 24, 2013

Missing Maine toddler's mom tells of blood at house

The mother of Ayla Reynolds releases more details and calls for an arrest and prosecution.

By JESSE SCARDINA and MATT HONGOLTZ-HETLING Morning Sentinel

(Continued from page 1)

click image to enlarge

Ayla Reynolds

click image to enlarge

Ayla Reynolds' parents are Justin DiPietro and Trista Reynolds.

Related Documents

Statement from Phoebe DiPietro (PDF)

Reynolds said police found Ayla's blood on the girl's slippers, on the sofa in the upstairs living room, on a doll's face, on a fan cord in the basement, and on a plastic tote that had a bloody sheet inside of it. There were also splatters of Ayla's blood on the concrete floor and wall near DiPietro's bed in the home's basement.

Descriptions of how much blood Reynolds said was shown to her by police ranged from dime-sized splatters on the wall and floor, to a silver dollar-sized bloodstain on the upstairs sofa, to a "fist-sized" stain on DiPietro's mattress and sheet. The stain on the mattress and sheet also contained saliva, possibly vomit and a "toy-hair like pink fiber, which at the time, Maine State Police had not identified," according to the statement.

In interviews this month, Reynolds said police told her that Ayla's blood was found in Justin DiPietro's car, as well as on his shoes and in his bedroom.

A PUBLIC APPEAL

The statement said state police presented the case details to Reynolds as well as her boyfriend, Alex Favvi, and his mother, Melissa Favvi. The statement was a summary of their memories of a slideshow by three state police detectives and a grief counselor from the Maine Attorney General's Office.

The slideshow started with photos of the inside of the DiPietro home, but was stopped after Reynolds viewed areas in the house that had been treated with a chemical known as Luminol, which makes bloodstains visible, according to the statement.

"Trista was unable to view any more of the horrific display after only two luminol-enchanced photos," according to the statement.

Department of Public Safety spokesman Stephen McCausland has previously said that state police continue to keep Reynolds up to date on the investigation. McCausland has also said he has "no reaction" to Reynolds going public with the information.

Waterville Police Chief Joseph Massey said Monday that while the department has been following the media reports about the investigation, he wouldn't comment about how releasing the information may affect the investigation.

"That's (Trista's) prerogative," Massey said.

In her statement, Reynolds said she "now feels that her quest to bring Ayla home requires a public appeal for pressure on the Attorney General's Office to file criminal charges."

The document said state police told Reynolds that when Justin DiPietro was shown the evidence, he had no reaction.

Attempts to reach Justin and Elisha DiPietro and Roberts were unsuccessful.

Reynolds has previously said that she and others plan to hold a news conference Wednesday at Lincoln Park in Portland to further push their public appeal for action in the case.

BURDEN OF PROOF

Public pressure can sometimes affect investigators even though it shouldn't, according to Bruce MacFarlane, a former deputy attorney general of Manitoba and author of a study on wrongful convictions.

"Criminal charges should not be based on who speaks the loudest," he wrote in an email last week. "It should be based on an impartial assessment of the evidence that has been gathered."

Tepfer, of the Center on Wrongful Convictions, agreed that investigators should resist the urgings of the public to speed a case along.

"It's human nature to feel the emotion and to feel the emotions of the victims of violent crimes," Tepfer said. "The best investigators put that emotion aside."

(Continued on page 3)

Were you interviewed for this story? If so, please fill out our accuracy form

Send question/comment to the editors




Further Discussion

Here at PressHerald.com we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • Type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • Exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)