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article imageSearch ramped up to find missing Maine toddler

By Arthur Weinreb     Dec 21, 2011 in World
Waterville - Local police and the FBI have increased their search for 20-month-old Ayla Reynolds who was reported missing from her father's home in Waterville, Maine last Saturday.
As CBS News is reporting, the FBI has increased its efforts to locate the missing child. Authorities, both local and federal, have drained a stream, looked in dumpsters and trash bins, and searched garages and wooded areas in attempts to find the little girl.
Ayla, whose mother, Trista Reynolds, 23, lives in Portland, was staying at her father's home in Waterville last week. He last saw her Friday night and reported her missing the next morning. According to police, there were other adults present in the home but the authorities are being tight-lipped about those people.
Yesterday, the toddler's father, Justin DiPietro, 24, made his first public statement about Ayla's disappearance.The statement was released by the Waterville Police Department and he was quoted as saying, I will not make accusations or insinuations towards anyone until the police have been able to prove who is responsible for this.
DiPietro added, Ayla was in my sole custody at the time of her disappearance per agreement between her mother and I, because she was unable to care for Ayla.
Ayla's grandmother, Becka Hanson, told the media, she was looking after Ayla and when the Department of Health and Human Services (DHS) took Ayla out of her home and placed her with DiPietro. At the time, Trista was undergoing rehab for substance abuse. Trista also has a 9-month-old who is now living with her in Portland.
Trista told CNN's Nancy Grace that she had filed for sole custody for Ayla last Thursday, the day before the toddler was last seen. When Ayla went missing, her arm was in a sling. According to Trista, DiPietro had told her he fell on the stairs while carrying the baby and fell on her, breaking her arm. He then waited 24 hours before seeking medical assistance.
DiPietro told police he last saw his daughter when he put her to bed at 8 p.m. Friday night and found her missing at 8:15 a.m. Saturday morning. Trista told Grace her daughter has never slept that long and wakes up several times during the night.
According to the Waterville Police, Ayla is two feet, nine inches tall and weighs about 30 pounds. She has short, thin, blonde hair and blue eyes. When she was last seen, she was wearing green pajamas with polka-dots and the words "Daddy's Princess" printed on them.
The Waterville Police, game wardens, the FBI, and other law enforcement officials are continuing their search.
More about ayla reynolds, trista reynolds, justin dipietro, waterville maine, Missing toddler
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