WATERVILLE, Maine — The aunt and grandmother of a toddler who disappeared five years ago, prompting the biggest investigation in Maine’s history, say they believe she is still alive.
A judge Wednesday legally declared Ayla Reynolds dead. The 20-month-old was staying with her father, Justin DiPietro, when she was reported missing Dec. 17, 2011.
The child’s aunt, Elisha DiPietro, and her grandmother tell WCSH-TV they are certain Ayla was taken from the home and is still alive somewhere. Justin DiPietro also believes she was abducted.
Ayla’s grandmother, Phoebe DiPietro, says justice won’t be served until Ayla is found. She criticized Ayla’s mother, saying she lost faith in police.
The girl’s mother, Trista Reynolds, has said she will file a wrongful-death lawsuit to get justice. Reynolds blames the father for the toddler’s death.