WATERVILLE — Groups demanding justice in the case of missing toddler Ayla Reynolds are planning a protest Saturday at the police department on Colby Street.

The event, Press for Prosecution Protest, will be held at noon, with protesters gathering at 11:30 a.m., according to organizers.

“It has been 25 months now and there have been no charges filed in the disappearance and death of 20-month-old Ayla Reynolds, despite the overwhelming blood evidence found in the father’s home,” one organizer, Heather Garczynski, wrote in an email this week to media outlets, state police, legislators and others.

Ayla has been missing for more than two years. Her father, Justin DiPietro, called police Dec. 17, 2011, from their Violette Avenue home, saying she was gone when he checked on her that morning.

More than 20 police searches have turned up no trace of the child.

Ayla was in her father’s care when she disappeared. Her mother, Trista Reynolds, had gone into a drug rehabilitation program in October. She filed for full custody of Ayla on Dec. 15, the day before DiPietro said he last saw his daughter.


Investigators have said they believe DiPietro and the other adults in the house that night – his sister, Elisha DiPietro, and his then-girlfriend, Courtney Roberts, know more about her disappearance than they are saying.

Those organizing Saturday’s protest are demanding that the DiPietros and Roberts and anyone else involved in her disappearance be charged and prosecuted, according to Garczynski. She said people are expected to attend from all over Maine as well as some other states.

Garczynski said Thursday in a telephone interview from her home in Erie, Pa., that she is a grassroots activist educated in criminal justice and is bringing five people to the event, including her children. Garczynski said she plans to speak about why action should be taken in the case.

“Somebody in that house did something to that child,” Garczynski said. “I believe they have probable cause (to charge).”

Jeff Hanson, Trista Reynolds’ stepfather, said Thursday that he and Reynolds, as well as Reynolds’ father, Ronnie Reynolds Sr., plan to attend the protest, although they did not initiate or plan it. They will appear as a way to thank those who continue to press for answers, he said.

Hanson said he wants to make it clear that the protest is not against the Waterville police, even though the gathering is planned outside the department’s building.


“Without a doubt, their dedication in Ayla’s case is unquestioned and they’re not the focus in the event,” Hanson said.

Both he and Garczynski said they want the protest to be peaceful. 

Amy Calder can be contacted at 861-9247 or at:


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