PORTLAND, Maine — The mother of a toddler missing for five months says she’s begging, pleading and praying for someone to come forward with information that will help solve the mystery of what happened to her child, who disappeared from her bed just a week before Christmas.
Trista Reynolds said she awakens every day hoping for answers to the disappearance of her daughter, Ayla, but there has been precious little information from law enforcement in recent weeks.
“It’s so hard to stay positive. We wake up every morning and there’s a possibility that she’s out there, there’s a possibility that she’s coming home to me. Every morning I wake up and say, ‘Please let today be the day. Please let me have some answers,’” Reynolds said.
Ayla was 20 months old when she was reported missing on Dec. 17 from the home of her father, Justin DiPietro, 75 miles away in Waterville. The disappearance prompted a massive search by law enforcement officials who canvassed neighborhoods and lowered the level of several streams.
State police confirmed Ayla’s blood was found in the home. Police have said that the three adults in the house on the night Ayla went missing know more than they’re telling police. The adults have speculated the child was abducted, but police have dismissed that theory.
“This case continues to be worked upon by investigators and there will be more searches. And the work continues,” said Stephen McCausland of the Maine Department of Public Safety.
DiPietro didn’t return a call from The Associated Press.
In Portland, Reynolds’ family is angry and upset that there are no answers.
They’re waiting to see if items retrieved from the Kennebec River in Waterville earlier this month have anything to do with Ayla.
“There’s a lot of frustration. There’s a lot of anger. There’s a lot of sadness. There’s a lot of hurt,” said Reynolds, who said she’s having difficulty sleeping and eating.
Ron Reynolds, Trista’s father, said the family has endured tremendous anguish, made all the more frustrating because he believes there’s someone out there with answers.
“Just to watch this family go through what we go through every day, there’s a lot of pain. Isn’t enough enough?” he said. “If something did happen that night, why can’t somebody come out and say something?”
Trista Reynolds said it’s rare that she gets updates from police these days, but she continues to hope that there will be a tip that helps police crack the case.
“I really love Ayla. I’m begging and I’m pleading and I’m praying to whoever knows something, to please come forward,” she said.