FBI joins search for missing Portland mother

Posted April 26, 2011, at 9:53 a.m.
Last modified April 26, 2011, at 10:32 p.m.

CONWAY, N.H. — The FBI on Tuesday joined the investigation into the disappearance of a 20-year-old Maine woman whose car and toddler were found in New Hampshire as family members held out hope that she will turn up alive.

Conway police believe Krista Dittmeyer was a crime victim and did not voluntarily leave her car at the Cranmore Mountain ski area parking lot with her 14-month-old daughter, Aliyah, inside. When police responded to a report of Dittmeyer’s car idling with its hazard lights blinking at 6:30 a.m. Saturday, they found the infant unharmed and asleep but no trace of Dittmeyer.

The FBI offered three agents from its New Hampshire office to help in the investigation, said Conway police Lt. Chris Perley.

“We now have a conduit to federal resources we didn’t have before, as well as three trained professional investigators,” Perley said.

Perley declined to comment on a news report of blood being found in the car. He said the sheriff who released that information is not involved in the investigation.

Dittmeyer grew up in Bridgton, Maine, about 25 miles from where her car was found. She moved to Portland shortly after her 2008 high school graduation and has been working as a waitress at a South Portland restaurant, according to her older sister, Kayla Dittmeyer.

Kayla Dittmeyer, who is 22 and lives in Colorado, said the family remains hopeful that Kristen will turn up alive. The family is offering a $3,000 reward for information leading to her whereabouts and has planned a candlelight vigil for Thursday night in Bridgton. Aliyah is now staying with Krista’s mother in Bridgton.

“We don’t know where she is, we don’t know if she’s OK, we don’t know if she’s hurt,” Kayla Dittmeyer said. “For some reason somebody was after her, but we don’t know who or why.”

She declined to comment when asked about the father of her sister’s daughter and his whereabouts during the ordeal. The father is not considered a suspect and police know he was not in the Conway area at the time of her disappearance, Perley said.

Perley said investigators have a good idea of when the car arrived at the Cranmore Mountain parking lot, but he wouldn’t reveal the time, saying that kind of information will help police judge the credibility of potential witnesses.

The ski area closed in early April, but the resort is popular among joggers and those walking dogs. It also has a fitness center that is open year-round, but it was not yet open for the day at the time police got the report of Dittmeyer’s car.

 

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