August 21, 2013

Ayla Reynolds' mother plans to reveal evidence tied to disappearance

Trista Reynolds plans to post the information on two websites and hold a news conference.

By JESSE SCARDINA Morning Sentinel

WATERVILLE — Next month, the mother of missing toddler Ayla Reynolds plans to describe "horrific physical evidence" she says the Maine State Police gave her in connection with her daughter's case, according to her website, www.aylareynolds.com/.

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Trista Reynolds

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Ayla Reynolds

AP

Trista Reynolds wrote that she will release the evidence through two websites on Sept. 24 and hold a news conference in Portland's Lincoln Park the next day.

In January, Reynolds was told "selected specifics and probable causes" about Ayla's blood found in Justin DiPietro's basement at 29 Violette Ave., according to a statement from Jeff Hanson, Ayla's stepgrandfather, who maintains the website.

In 2012, state police said that Ayla's DNA was found in the basement of the house where DiPietro lived with his mother, Ayla and his sister.

Police said in May of that year that the girl was likely dead.

Reynolds' news conference is planned to start just after DiPietro is scheduled to appear at nearby Cumberland County Superior Court on a domestic violence charge unrelated to his daughter's case on Sept. 25.

DiPietro allegedly grabbed and pushed former girlfriend Courtney Roberts on July 6 in Portland.

Roberts is one of three people, including DiPietro and his sister, Elisha DiPietro, who were in the house the night that Ayla disappeared.

Hanson said Reynolds recently gave birth to another child, and the news conference's timing is intended to allow her to recover.

On her website, Reynolds said the evidence she'll describe was given to her by state police on Jan. 3. Reynolds wrote that she hopes the evidence she provides to the public will be enough to prosecute DiPietro.

Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Steve McCausland said state police have no involvement with the announcement. While he wouldn't say if Reynolds was given evidence Jan. 3, he said police have been keeping Reynolds up to date on the investigation.

He said state police found out about the expected news conference Tuesday morning. McCausland said the investigation into Ayla's disappearance is still open and active, but he wouldn't provide further details.

Asked if Reynolds' planned release of information could jeopardize the case, McCausland said he had no comment.

Ayla was 20 months old when she was last seen at her father's Waterville house on Dec. 17, 2011.

Police have said they don't believe DiPietro, Roberts and Elisha DiPietro have told authorities everything they know about the night Ayla disappeared.

A message left on DiPietro's cellphone was not immediately returned Tuesday afternoon.

Jesse Scardina can be contacted at 861-9239 or at:

jscardina@mainetoday.com

 

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