Maine toddler Ayla Reynolds has been missing for five years, and her mother says she may have to wait even longer for answers in her daughter’s death.
Trista Reynolds tells necn that her family’s lawyer is no longer pursuing a civil case against Ayla’s father, Justin DiPietro, due to a lack of credible witnesses.
"I need someone to be honest so I can get the justice I’ve been fighting so hard for, for five years," said Trista.
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Ayla was first reported missing by her father on Dec. 17, 2011. DiPietro told police that she had been abducted, but investigators say they have ruled out that possibility. They say foul play was involved, that Ayla is no longer alive, and that the people inside DiPietro’s Waterville home know more than they are telling investigators.
No one has been charged with the 20-month-old’s disappearance and death.
"The work on this case has never stopped," said Maine State Police Lt. Jeff Love, who has been working the case for five years. "We are hopeful that the adult individuals inside of that house will be forthcoming."
The Reynold’s family retained a lawyer to pursue a civil case against the DiPietro’s, in the hopes that someone would say something the further the investigation.
"This was just to get the DiPietro’s and everyone involved in the court, and break their silence," said Jeff Hanson, Trista’s stepfather.
But according to the family, their lawyer, Michael Bigos, "came to believe that they could not successfully prosecute a wrongful death claim or access insurance coverage."
It is the largest criminal investigation in Maine state history, and the third largest in the country.
Trista, her father Ronald Reynolds, and her step-father Jeff Hanson, told necn that they need witnesses to come forward who may have observed Ayla in her father’s care in the weeks leading up to her disappearance.
Justin DiPietro has maintained his innocence, and could not be reached for comment for this story.