Ayla Reynolds shrine outside her father’s home removed

Posted July 03, 2012, at 11:54 a.m.
Last modified July 05, 2012, at 9:48 a.m.
Ayla Reynolds
AP
Ayla Reynolds

WATERVILLE, Maine — Questions are mounting after a pile of stuffed animals and toys honoring missing toddler Ayla Reynolds was removed on Tuesday.

People had been leaving keepsakes on the front lawn of Justin DiPietro’s home on Violette Avenue, where 20-month-old Ayla was reported missing on Dec. 17.

“I’m just as curious as everyone else right now,” said Trista Reynolds, Ayla’s mother, who lives in Portland. “I did text Justin [after being notified the shrine was missing by a reporter] and asked him who did it? He never texted me back.”

A phone message left for DiPietro by the Bangor Daily News was not immediately returned.

Charles Rumsey, Waterville’s deputy police chief, said no one from the residence reported anything missing.

“We have not received a call or complaint from that residence,” said Rumsey, who said he became aware of the shrine’s removal when questioned by reporters. “For us, it boils down to the fact that it’s private property. If those property owners choose to launch a complaint, we’ll investigate that.”

“I thought it was wrong,” added Trista Reynolds, regarding the shrine’s removal.

The shrine removal comes just days after a $30,000 reward offered for information leading to an arrest in Ayla’s disappearance expired. The reward, which was offered by Waterville-area businesses, expired on June 30.

“First the reward was taken away and now this,” said Trista Reynolds.

Police continue to investigate the toddler’s disappearance more than six months after Ayla last was seen.

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