WATERVILLE, Maine — William Wurzburg, 94, of Camden has never professed to have psychic abilities, but according to his son, he has been adamant since January that he knows the location of missing Waterville toddler Ayla Reynolds.
According to William Wurzburg Jr., who earlier this week sent a letter on his father’s behalf to Waterville Police Department, the FBI and Bangor Daily News, his father has been “inconsolable” about dreams he has had that Reynolds is being held — alive — in a hidden room in the basement of her father’s Waterville home on Violette Avenue.
“He was adamant that we send this letter,” said Wurzburg Jr. “I have read that the powers that be had checked into tips from psychics, so I told him ‘either they’ll find the kid because of your information, and I’ll be shocked and amazed, or they won’t.’ He asked that the letter be sent to the newspaper because he wanted to make sure they don’t just ignore it.”
Reynolds was 20 months old when she was reported missing on Dec. 17, 2011, by her father, Justin DiPietro.
Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety, said that of the nearly 1,200 tips that have come in during the months-long investigation, about 400 of them have been from people claiming to be psychics. Though both McCausland and Waterville Police Chief Joseph Massey said Tuesday that they have never known a psychic tip to lead to a major break in an investigation, they said any tip in the search for Reynolds or any other case is never ignored.
“[Tips from psychics] obviously go into a category that is far different than a person offering specific information on something they have seen or heard that is first-hand,” said McCausland. “But we don’t ignore them.”
“We pass them on to the detectives,” he said. “The primary detectives take a look at those and make some determination whether they need to contact this person.”
In the letter to the Bangor Daily News, Wurzburg Jr. said his father has had recurring dreams that Reynolds is hidden in a room that was created in the basement of the Violette Avenue home when a bulkhead was closed off. Neither McCausland nor Massey would comment about investigative details nor the credibility of any specific tips that have been received. Police have said they have ruled out the possibility that Reynolds was abducted and said in early June that at this point, investigators don’t expect to find her alive.
“He got the idea from dreams that this house was like the one we grew up in,” said Wurzburg Jr. “He’s been driving the family crazy. We don’t want to bother anybody, but he is just not to be denied.”
McCausland said that despite the fact that an offer for a $30,000 reward for information that leads to Reynolds’ discovery expired at the end of June, the search for the child is still going strong. He welcomed any information that might help investigators or keep Reynolds in the media and the public eye.
“The investigation has not and will not end,” he said. “We continue to work on the case with a hope that we will actually find Ayla.”
Anyone with information about the case is asked to call investigators at 624-7076.