The mother of Ayla Reynolds, the Maine toddler who went missing seven years ago and was declared legally dead last year, has brought a wrongful death lawsuit against the girl’s father and asked for the public’s help finding him.
Ayla Reynolds was a 20-month-old girl from Waterville, Maine, who disappeared on December 16, 2011. She was last seen at 9:00 p.m. that night in her bed by a family member but was not there when her father checked the next morning. The search for Ayla was the largest search for a missing person in the state's history, and the third-largest in United States history.
The announcement came on the seventh anniversary of the date 20-month-old Ayla Reynolds was reported missing by her father in Waterville.
Trista Reynolds has blamed the father, Justin DiPietro, for the toddler's death. Ayla's body has never been found, and no charges have been filed.
Reynolds spoke haltingly as she delivered a message directly to Justin DiPietro, who reported the toddler missing on this date seven years ago.
“I wonder if this is haunting you, Justin,” she said. “I wonder if our daughter haunts your dreams or if you see her blue eyes when you close your eyes at night.”
DiPietro has not been charged with a crime for the death of his daughter, but police have said they found Ayla’s blood in his home and that he’s withholding information in the case.
Maine State Police spokesman Steve McCausland said Monday that the investigation is "active" and that police "remain as committed today as we were seven years ago" to solving it.
Trista Reynolds said she lights a pink candle every December in Ayla's name.