Police: Unlikely Ayla Is Alive – $30,000 Reward Expires In 30 Days

Rob Poindexter

Updated 2 years ago

It’s been 166 days since Ayla Reynolds was reported missing from her father’s home in Waterville.Thursday, police confirmed the news many people were afraid of. “We think it’s highly unlikely that Ayla Reynolds will be found alive,” Department of Public Safety Spokesman Steve McCausland told reporters.A few hours before police made that sobering announcement, they contacted both of Ayla’s parents. “I can characterize that Trista [Reynolds, Ayla’s mother] was understanding, as she has been throughout this entire ordeal,” McCausland said. “She was thankful for the call. Justin [DiPietro, Ayla’s father] was also thankful for the call. His reaction was no reaction.”In Portland, Reynolds reacted to the news. “I think the news that I just found out, I would never want any parent to find out,” said Reynolds. “I think my worst nightmare has really come true and what hurts the most is I don’t even know where she’s at.”Waterville attorney John Nale, who helped raise a $30,000 reward for information about Ayla’s whereabouts, announced that reward will expire June 30. Everyone is hoping someone comes forward before then. “They’re going to take the money away and my daughter is just going to still be out there somewhere, but I’ll probably never know,” Said Trista Reynolds. “There’s no hope. I have no hope today.”Nale also had a message for the person responsible for whatever happened to Ayla. “Accept responsibility for what you have done. Show us that you are human and relieve yourself, Ayla’s family, and this community of this burden.”Many unanswered questions remain. McCausland would not comment on items found in the Kennebec River over the past few weeks, items that may or may not be connected to the case. “We have not detailed what they are, and we’re not going to today,” he said when asked about those items by reporters.Despite the fact police found Ayla’s blood in the Violette Avenue home where she disappeared, and that they now believe she’s dead, police say the three adults in the house that night, Ayla’s father Justin DiPietro, his sister Elisha DiPietro, and his girlfriend Courtney Roberts, are still not being truthful about what happened that night. As of now, none of the three have been charged with a crime. “It’s way premature to start speculating on charging anyone,” McCausland said. “Our focus in this case is on finding Ayla and therefore we will take the case where it leads us.”After receiving nearly 1200 leads and six months of exhaustive searching, police are rejecting the notion that this case has turned cold. “This isn’t CSI where everything is solved in 60 minutes,” McCausland said. “Some cases take a great deal of time and effort.”Police are vowing to keep up their efforts until Ayla is found. “There will be more searches, more dives, more interviews, and we are in this for the long haul,” said McCausland. “This case will never close until Ayla is found.”


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