Mother to take polygraph test in case of missing Ayla Reynolds

Posted Jan. 16, 2012, at 3:24 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 27, 2012, at 1:56 p.m.

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Trista Reynolds talks about her daughter Ayla, who went missing in December, during an interview in Portland with the Bangor Daily News on Wednesday evening.
Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Trista Reynolds talks about her daughter Ayla, who went missing in December, during an interview in Portland with the Bangor Daily News on Wednesday evening.
Ayla Reynolds
Ayla Reynolds

PORTLAND, Maine — The mother of Ayla Reynolds said reports last week that Ayla’s father, Justin DiPietro, took a polygraph test administered by investigators has heightened her doubt about whether DiPietro is telling the truth. Trista Reynolds also said she and others in her family are arranging with investigators to take their own polygraph tests.

Reynolds told the Bangor Daily News on Monday that DiPietro’s statements to the media, as well as the fact that he won’t communicate with her in recent days, are pushing her toward the belief that he knows more about Ayla’s disappearance than he has said so far. She said she exchanged a few text messages with DiPietro while her son Raymond was hospitalized recently with an illness but that he stopped responding more than a week ago.

Reynolds declined to say when she will take a polygraph test because she didn’t want to create expectations among the public in case for some reason it doesn’t happen as scheduled. She also said she doesn’t want to interfere in the investigative process.

“When I go, you best believe I’m going to tell everyone out there the results,” said Reynolds, who added that some of her family members also are expected to take polygraph tests. “I have been offering to take a polygraph test since Day One.”

DiPietro did not respond to telephone calls and a text message from the Bangor Daily News on Monday.

According to The Associated Press, which cited a story from the Waterville Morning Sentinel, DiPietro told a reporter last week that he took a polygraph test, which is sometimes called a lie detector test, shortly after Ayla’s disappearance on Dec. 17. DiPietro told the newspaper that he “smoked” the test, but that investigators had not told him the results.

Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety, will not discuss the results of the test because of the ongoing investigation, but said DiPietro was told how he did on it.

McCausland said Monday that the investigation is continuing on a daily basis. He would not say what investigators have planned for this week. Last week, dozens of personnel searched an area of the Kennebec River near downtown Waterville in what McCausland and others said was an attempt to rule out the possibility that the 21-month-old toddler was in the water. Authorities said more searches might be conducted in other areas in the coming days.

Asked Monday why DiPietro was given a polygraph test weeks ago while Reynolds’ is just now being arranged, McCausland would not comment.

“Those are investigative details we’re just not getting into,” he said.

Reynolds said the news of DiPietro’s test, as well as the fact that the search for Ayla has just passed the one-month mark, have pushed her mood to a dark place.

“I’ve been having a very rough few days,” she said. “I’m really missing her.”

Reynolds said she is in daily contact with a state police detective, but other than updates about what is about to hit the media, she knows little more about the case than anyone else.

“She calls to check in to see how I’m holding up,” said Reynolds about the detective.

Reynolds also responded to reports that DiPietro sent her a text message in the days before Ayla disappeared saying that he was worried someone might take the little girl. Reynolds said that’s a sentiment she has heard from DiPietro numerous times, including long before Ayla went missing. She said she took those statements to mean that he feared she or one of her family members would show up one day to take custody of Ayla.

“Justin thought that a lot,” said Reynolds. “He always thought that I would be the one to take her. I always wondered why he was so scared about that. Now that people are bringing it to my attention, I’m going back and saying, wait a minute. I never went to get her because I thought she was OK and well cared for.”

“I don’t think he realizes how much this is affecting me and my family and the rest of the world. This is serious,” Reynolds said.

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