Father of missing toddler Ayla Reynolds charged with domestic assault in separate incident

Posted July 15, 2013, at 10:41 a.m.
Last modified July 15, 2013, at 11:23 a.m.
Trista Reynolds and Justin DiPietro, speak to a reporter in 2012, six weeks after Ayla Reynolds was reported missing
Trista Reynolds and Justin DiPietro, speak to a reporter in 2012, six weeks after Ayla Reynolds was reported missing

PORTLAND, Maine — The father of toddler Ayla Reynolds, whose disappearance in December 2011 remains unsolved, was arrested this month on domestic violence charges unrelated to his daughter’s case.

According to a Monday announcement by the Portland Police Department, DiPietro was arrested on July 6 in the area of 88 Spring St., after a police lieutenant passing by allegedly witnessed him grab and push a woman with whom he was arguing.

The police announcement described the victim as a 25-year-old ex-girlfriend of DiPietro, and stated that the alleged assault occurred at approximately 11:15 p.m. The woman was not injured in the alleged assault, according to police, and DiPietro has been released on bail.

The search for Reynolds has been described by state police as the largest criminal investigation in state history.

DiPietro has not been charged in connection with the disappearance, and around the one-year anniversary of the crime, police stated that they had “renewed communications” with DiPietro and his family members after previously saying they did not believe DiPietro had been forthcoming about the night of Reynolds’ disappearance.

The 20-month-old Reynolds was staying with DiPietro in a Waterville home when she disappeared.

State police officials stated in May 2012 that they believed it would be “ highly unlikely” that they would find Reynolds alive. That revelation came four months after police confirmed that Ayla’s blood had been discovered in the basement of the Waterville home and that they had ruled out abduction in the case.

DiPietro is not the first family member of Ayla Reynolds to face unrelated charges since her disappearance, which attracted nationwide media attention. In late May, Portland police were allegedly forced to use a Taser to subdue the child’s maternal grandfather, Ronald Reynolds, after charging him with threatening a family member with a knife.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence and would like to talk with an advocate, call 866-834-4357, TRS 800-787-3224. This free, confidential service is available 24/7 and is accessible from anywhere in Maine.

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