WATERVILLE, Maine — Police said a $30,000 reward offered for information that leads to an arrest in the case of missing Waterville toddler Ayla Reynolds has produced more than 30 tips in the past month but that the expiration of the reward offer Saturday likely will pass without any major breaks.
Lt. Christopher Coleman, commander of the Maine State Police’s Major Crimes Unit for the northern part of the state, said Friday the reward, which was offered by a group of Waterville-area businesses, will indeed expire on Saturday as was announced a month ago.
“We did see a slight uptick in the number of tips coming in during the past month,” said Coleman. “We followed up on them and there was really nothing significant.”
Ayla, who was 20 months old when she was reported missing by her father, Justin DiPietro, on Dec. 17, has been the subject of one of the largest missing persons searches in Maine history. The girl’s story has attracted widespread media attention and thousands of people have been monitoring progress on the case through media reports and social networking websites.
A month ago, authorities gathered in Waterville to announce the sunset of the reward offering and used the same event to say for the first time that they don’t believe Ayla is alive. They previously have pointed blame at three adults who were in DiPietro’s home the night before she was reported missing — DiPietro, his sister and his girlfriend — for not being forthcoming with details about the child’s disappearance. However, police have refused to say whether any of those people are considered suspects and have reiterated that no one has been ruled out in connection with the disappearance.
Waterville lawyer John Nale and other area entrepreneurs offered the reward money as a means of uncovering new information in the case.