April 23, 2018
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Police urge anyone who knows 20-month-old Ayla’s whereabouts to call

By Staff and Wire Reports, Special to the BDN

WATERVILLE, Maine — Police in Maine are going to be talking about a new citizen initiative that is part of the search for a missing 20-month-old Waterville girl.

A news conference is scheduled for 3 p.m. in Waterville.

Waterville police say the initiative is designed by local individuals to encourage anyone with knowledge of Ayla Reynold’s whereabouts to contact police.

Ayla’s whereabouts have been unknown since her father, Justin DiPietro, reported her missing on Dec. 17. DiPietro has told police he last saw his daughter on the previous night when he put her to bed and that when he checked on her the next morning, she was gone.

The case continues to garner attention from state, regional and national media. Numerous national outlets have highlighted the case, including the Today Show more than once and the Lifetime Channel program America’s Most Wanted on Friday night.

Experts on missing persons investigations also have weighed in with a litany of theories that ranged from Ayla wandering away from her home during the night to being abducted to being the victim of foul play. Investigators have said they are pursuing several angles at once.

Members of the First Baptist Church in Waterville devoted part of their Christmas service to praying for the girl.

The toddler is described as 2 feet, 9 inches tall, weighing 30 pounds and with blond hair. She last was seen wearing green polka-dotted one-piece pajamas with the words “Daddy’s Princess” on the front. She had a cast on her left arm.

State and federal law enforcement agencies have spent all week searching for her, including several places in the Waterville area late this week. They searched vehicles at the DiPietro home and put crime scene tape around it, which Waterville Police Chief Joseph Massey said is standard procedure. As of late Saturday morning, according to McCausland, the situation still was considered a missing person case.

“I’m not aware of any new developments today on this Christmas weekend,” said Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Stephen McCausland.

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