August 21, 2013

Ayla Reynolds' mom to divulge 'horrific' evidence next month

State police say they aren’t involved with Trista Reynolds’ planned September release of material she says will incriminate Ayla's father, Justin DiPietro, in the girl's December 2011 disappearance.

By Jesse Scardina
Staff Writer

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.

Trista Reynolds

AP file photo by Robert F. Bukaty

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Ayla Reynolds

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Trista Reynolds wrote that she will release the evidence through two websites on Sept. 24 and hold a press 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 Violette Avenue basement, where DiPietro lived with his mother, Ayla and his sister. In February, police said the girl is likely dead.

Reynolds' press 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 Septs. 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 Violette Avenue house the night Ayla disappeared.

Hanson said Reynolds recently gave birth to another child, and the press 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 press conference this morning. McCausland said the case into Ayla's disapperance 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 reaction.

Ayla was 20 months old when she was last seen at her father's house on Violette Avenue in Waterville 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 this afternoon.

Jesse Scardina — 861-9239

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Justin DiPietro

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