Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Dec. 15, 2011
Staff photo by Michael G. Seamans Game Wardens search a small pond on First Rangeway on Wednesday for 20 month old Ayla Reynolds who was last seen in bed Friday night only blocks away.
Trista Reynolds files for full custody of her 20-month-old daughter, Ayla Reynolds, in Cumberland County District Court. Ayla had been in the care of her father, Justin DiPietro, since October, when Reynolds went into a drug rehabilitation program.
Dec. 16, 2011, 10 p.m.
Justin DiPietro sees his daughter for the last time, lying in her bed in their home at 29 Violette Ave. in Waterville, he later tells police. She is wearing one-piece pajamas with the words “Daddy’s Princess.” Her left arm, broken in an accidental fall three weeks earlier, is in a soft splint and a sling.
Dec. 17, 2011, 8:51 a.m.
DiPietro calls 911 to report Ayla is missing after finding her bed empty. Waterville police, firefighters and wardens from the Maine Warden Service search the neighborhood by foot and air Waterville and Maine State Police detectives search the house.
Dec. 18, 2011
FBI agents, police dogs, neighbors and other volunteers join the house-to-house and neighborhood searches. Wardens scour the banks of nearby Messalonskee Stream. Police interview DiPietro, his sister Elisha DiPietro and his girlfriend, Courtney Roberts, all of whom were in the house the night Ayla disappeared.
Dec. 19, 2011
Police seize two vehicles, one of them registered to DiPietro and the other to his girlfriend, Roberts, of Portland. Police say DiPietro and Reynolds are cooperating. Reynolds appears on ABC’s “Good Morning America” and HLN’s “Nancy Grace” shows. The search swells to 70 law enforcement agents, including wardens looking at Messalonskee Stream with an airboat and circling the area in an airplane.
Dec. 20, 2011
DiPietro releases a statement through Waterville police saying he doesn’t know what happened to Ayla. Investigators drain a section of Messalonskee Stream to look for clues, and examine garbage bins, garages, backyards, ball fields and woods near the home. FBI Child Abduction Rapid Deployment Team canvasses Waterville neighborhoods. Police say it’s still a missing child case. They’ve received more than 100 tips.
Dec. 21, 2011
The search expands across Waterville with help from 50 members of the Maine Association for Search and Rescue. Nearly 100 people attend a candlelight vigil at a local church.
Dec. 22, 2011
Six days into the search, investigators put crime scene tape around 29 Violette Ave., two of the state’s top homicide investigators visit the house and intensify the search for clues.
Dec. 23, 2011
Overnight snow ends the ground search. Reynolds tells NBC’s “Today” show that she blames DiPietro for not keeping Ayla safe and hopes her daughter will be home for Christmas. Police get media inquiries from across the country. Dozens gather for a candlelight vigil in Congress Square in Portland.
Dec. 24, 2011
Waterville police appeal for a break in media coverage so they can do their work “outside the microscope.” Crime-scene evidence tape seals all doors and windows of the house.
Dec. 26, 2011
Ten days into the investigation, police say for the first time that they don’t believe Ayla left the house on her own. Community members offer a $30,000 reward for evidence. A state police evidence response team van is parked in the driveway.
Dec. 27, 2011
Investigators from four police agencies continue the search and follow up on more than 300 tips.
Dec. 28, 2011
DiPietro issues a second statement through Waterville police, repeating that he doesn’t know what happened to Ayla. The Warden Service ends the last of the large-scale ground searches in Waterville.
Dec. 29, 2011
Reynolds appears on the “Today” show, pleading with DiPietro to communicate with her.
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