Trista Reynolds implores anyone with information about the disappearance of her daughter, Ayla, to come forward.

Five years later, she still prays that her plea will produce results.

“I need that one witness who can maybe make a difference, and especially this year,” she said.

Reynolds, 28, and her family have decided after five years to request that the court declare Ayla dead so that they can preserve the rights of the child’s estate and file lawsuits in the future.

Ayla was 20 months old when she was reported missing on Dec. 17, 2011, from her grandmother’s home at 29 Violette Ave. in Waterville. She was in the care of her father, Justin DiPietro. His then-girlfriend, Courtney Roberts, and his sister, Elisha DiPietro, also were in the house.

Police suspect that foul play was involved in Ayla’s disappearance and that she is dead.


No charges have been filed in the case, and numerous searches for Ayla have come up empty.

Justin, Elisha DiPietro and Roberts have not responded to requests for comment, but Ayla’s maternal family members continue to speak out. Seeking a declaration of death may help to bring some kind of closure for the family.

Trista says her two young boys, Raymond, 5, and Anthony, 3, keep her going.

Trista said she planned to spend Saturday — the five-year anniversary of when Ayla was reported missing — doing what she has done every year.

“I set off a balloon and light a candle for her at 4:30 p.m.”

Maine State Police Lt. Jeff Love, who has worked on the case since its inception, said police will continue to investigate until they find answers. “It’s not considered a cold case because of efforts put forth,” he said. “It’s a missing person case, and we said that from early on; but there’s foul pay involved and suspected.”

Asked what police need to help further the case, Love said, “We need all of the individuals in the house when Ayla disappeared to be forthcoming. We have made progress, and that work will continue.”


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