Disappearance of Ayla Bell Reynolds
In the early hours of December 16th, 2011, Ayla’s father, Justin DiPietro, put her to bed at their house on Violette Avenue in Waterville, Maine. It seems that she disappeared overnight and was never seen again. At 8:50 the following morning, her father made a 911 call.
On the night Ayla vanished, Justin, his sister, his girlfriend, and the woman’s two children stayed at the house all night. Law enforcement officials claim the baby’s father has not been forthcoming with information and that the individuals who were present that night are concealing evidence.
Justin, his fiancée, and her baby’s blood were all found around the house, including in the basement bedroom where Justin had spent the night. On the ground floor, he shared a bedroom with his sister and her baby. Overall, there was enough blood to fill a cup, and there were signs that someone had attempted to remove the stains.
Trista Reynolds, Ayla’s mother, had been at a drug rehabilitation centre for ten days when her daughter vanished. Trista had applied for exclusive custody the day before Ayla went missing. Two months before her abduction, Ayla had been placed with her father by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). The fact that Trista was seeking custody was kept from Justin. There are pictures of Trista and Justin included in this case report.
About a mile from DiPietro’s house, in the Kennebec River, behind the Hathaway Creative Center in April 2012, investigators discovered some suspicious things. About six months after Ayla disappeared, in May 2012, authorities publicly announced they believed she was dead but did not believe she had been abducted.
In 2017, the court officially pronounced Ayla deceased after finding evidence that she had passed away around the time she went missing. Trista’s wrongful death action against Justin was launched in December 2018, seven years after her disappearance. She claimed that finding out what happened to Ayla and bringing her body home were more important to her than any monetary damages, which are left open in the lawsuit.
When asked about his kid, Justin insisted he had no idea where she was. Justin denied any wrongdoing in Ayla’s disappearance and blamed the blood in his home on the one time she was sick in his response to Trista’s file.
In 2022, both Justin’s mother Phoebe and sister Elisha were included as defendants in the wrongful death claim. Trista claims the women were complicit in Ayla’s murder and subsequent coverup, based on fresh evidence she has not revealed.
The disappearance of Ayla has not resulted in the identification of any suspects. The mystery of what happened to her has not been resolved.
- Waterville Police Department 207-872-5551
- Maine State Police 207-624-7076