- Associated Press - Monday, January 30, 2012

WATERVILLE, Maine — Family members of a missing toddler in Maine were told by police that the amount of the girl’s blood found in the basement where her father slept was “more than a small cut would produce” but police declined on Monday to say how much blood was discovered.

Police confirmed Sunday night that blood was found in the Waterville home and that some of it came from the missing girl, Ayla Reynolds.

Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety, on Monday would not confirm or deny the statement about blood that relatives posted on a family-run website. Tests on the blood are ongoing, McCausland said.

The father, Justin DiPietro, reported Ayla missing on Dec. 17. He’d put her to bed the night before and said she wasn’t there the next morning.

Six weeks later, detectives believe DiPietro and two other adults in the home on the night Ayla was last seen are not giving a full account of what happened, McCausland said. He said the idea that someone sneaked into the small house and took Ayla without awakening any of the adults “doesn’t pass the straight-face test.”

“We’ve followed every conceivable piece of evidence that would follow their version of events, and we have found not one piece of evidence that supports an abduction,” McCausland said.

Ayla was 20 months old when she disappeared. She had been staying with her father at the time in the house where DiPietro lives with his mother. Her mother, Trista Reynolds, lives in Portland.

On the night Ayla was last seen, DiPietro was in the home with his girlfriend, Courtney Roberts, and they slept with Roberts’ child in the partially finished basement where the blood was found, McCausland said. DiPietro’s sister was sleeping with her young child on the main level of the one-story home, and Ayla was in a bedroom by herself in the main level, McCausland said Monday. DiPietro’s mother was not home that night.

Trista Reynolds’ father said the family was told late Saturday by McCausland that blood found in the home was determined to be Ayla‘s.

“It was a surprise,” Ronald Reynolds said.

He said police did not give any indication what the discovery means.

Ronald Reynolds said he is convinced the adults in DiPietro’s house have more information than they have shared.

“Every day, it gets hotter and hotter,” he said. “I hope they pull them back in, set them down and give them the opportunity to say something.”

The family-run website issued an appeal for anyone with information about Ayla to come forward.

“Even in light of this evidence we are more determined than ever to find out what has happened to Ayla and we still cling to the hope that she is alive and will be returned to us,” the website said. “We urge anyone that has information about Ayla to come forward now and unburden yourself of the truth.”

Copyright © 2016 The Washington Times, LLC.

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