AUGUSTA, Maine — A spokesman for the Maine State Police confirmed Sunday that blood samples taken from Justin DiPietro’s home last month belong to Ayla Reynolds.
Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Stephen McCausland told the Bangor Daily News on Sunday evening that more testing is pending on blood samples and a slew of other material taken from DiPietro’s home in the days following Reynolds’ disappearance, but that investigators have determined blood found in the home is Ayla’s. Justin DiPietro is Ayla’s father. He reported her missing from his Waterville home on the morning of Dec. 17.
“Our first priority is finding Ayla,” said McCausland. At one point the spokesman said “some of the samples taken from the home were Ayla’s.” Asked if investigators have found anyone else’s blood, McCausland declined to respond, citing the ongoing investigation. He also declined to say how much blood was found or what objects or areas it was found in or on.
On Saturday, McCausland confirmed media reports that blood had been found in the DiPietro home at 29 Violette Avenue in Waterville. He also said Saturday that investigators believe the three adults in the home on the night of Dec. 16 “have not given us the full story.” Those adults include DiPietro, his sister Alisha DiPietro, 23, and his girlfriend Courtney Roberts, 24, of Portland. In addition to Ayla, both Alisha DiPietro and Roberts have told police they had young children in the home on the night of Dec. 16, though McCausland said Ayla was sleeping in a bedroom by herself. The other children slept with their respective mothers, and DiPietro slept in the partially finished basement where the blood was found, McCausland said.
Justin DiPietro has not responded to numerous requests for comment from the Bangor Daily News, including one on Sunday evening. DiPietro has maintained that he is innocent throughout the investigation.
Investigators have been slow to release details about the case until Saturday when news broke about the blood. The family of Trista Reynolds of South Portland, who is Ayla’s mother, said in a statement Sunday that the news about the blood found in DiPietro’s home had been leaked to the media on Saturday just hours before a Balloons and Bubbles Vigil was held for Ayla Reynolds in Waterville. The statement, which appears at the website www.aylareynolds.com, said investigators told Trista Reynolds that the blood had already been confirmed as being Ayla’s.
“They also stated to us that it is ‘more blood than a small cut would produce,’” reads the statement, which was confirmed as authentic Sunday by Jeff Reynolds, who is Trista’s stepfather. “Even in light of this evidence we are more determined than ever to find out what has happened to Ayla and we still cling to the hope that she is alive and will be returned to us,” reads the statement. “We urge anyone that has information about Ayla to come forward now and unburden yourself of the truth.”
Anyone with information about the case is asked to call investigators at 624-7076. A $30,000 reward has been offered for information that leads to Ayla’s discovery.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.