Missing Maine Toddler

January 29, 2012 by staff 

Missing Maine Toddler, Maine police revealed Saturday that blood was found in missing toddler Ayla Reynolds’ basement and, for the first time, cast doubt on the accounts of adults who were in the home when she was last seen — saying they don’t “pass the ‘straight-face’ test in Maine.”

“We feel they know more than they’re telling us,” said Stephen McCausland, a spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety.

Investigators found the blood during their initial search of the Waterville, Maine, house, though they did not specify how much blood there was and where exactly in the basement it was located. Determining whose blood it is is “a top priority of the crime lab,” McCausland said.

Justin DiPietro — the father of Ayla, who was 20 months old when authorities began looking for her last month — sleeps in the basement of the home, which is owned by his mother.

McCausland said authorities felt they should reveal the information about the blood discovery now, because “we need information from the public, and we think this might help.”

“The public needs to understand we’re frustrated, and no closer to finding Ayla than we were … December 17,” he said.

Police have said that DiPietro’s mother, Phoebe DiPietro, wasn’t home the night of December 16, when her son told police that he put his daughter to sleep in her first-floor bedroom at 8 p.m. He called police the next morning just before 9 a.m. to report her missing.

Justin DiPietro has said in a written statement that “he would never do anything to harm my daughter.”

Police now say that Ayla was alone in the bedroom the night before she was reported missing, even though relatives have told CNN her younger cousin normally slept in the same room.

In addition to Ayla and her father, two other adults and two other children were in the house on the night of December 16, according to authorities. They were Justin DiPietro’s girlfriend and her young son, plus Ayla’s aunt and her toddler. The latter two also live in the house.

Ayla Reynolds was reported missing on December 17.
The two other children are thought to have slept in a different bedroom than Ayla, and police believe Ayla’s aunt was with them, according to McCausland.

Police said the adults told them “someone snuck into the house, went into the bedroom where Ayla was sleeping, and no one heard or saw anything.” Yet “there is no evidence that we have found that would point to an abduction,” said the state spokesman.

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