Police: Blood discovered at DiPietro home is Ayla’s
Investigators won’t confirm a statement by Ayla’s maternal relatives about the quantity of blood found.
By BEN McCANNA Morning Sentinel
WATERVILLE — Tests show that blood found by police at Ayla Reynolds’ home belongs to the missing toddler, and her maternal family says they were told the quantity was “more than a small cut would produce.”
“The testing has not been completed and more work remains, but we have found samples of Ayla’s blood,” Steve McCausland, spokesman for the state Department of Public Safety, said Sunday night. A day earlier, police had confirmed the discovery of the blood during a search of the home’s basement in December, shortly after Ayla disappeared.
McCausland’s statement followed the disclosure earlier Sunday on aylareynolds.com, a website maintained by Ayla’s maternal family in Portland, that the blood was Ayla’s. The site also said that Maine State Police told the family the quantity of blood was “more than a small cut would produce.”
McCausland wouldn’t comment Sunday night on the amount of blood discovered.
The family contended on the website that state police shared the blood test results with them, but planned to withhold the information from the media.
McCausland said police had initially decided not to report that the blood belonged to Ayla because police needed to perform tests on other samples.
“I prefer not to give out partial results, but (the Reynolds) family has released that tonight, and that information is correct,” he said.
Ayla was reported missing from the home at 29 Violette Ave. on the morning of Dec. 17. She was 20 months old at the time.
Justin DiPietro, Ayla’s father, declined to comment Sunday.
McCausland wouldn’t comment on whether any arrests are pending.
“At this point, we’re still working hard to locate Ayla. That’s our main priority,” he said.
The Reynolds family remains optimistic, according to the website. The site is maintained by Jeff Hanson, the husband of Ayla’s maternal grandmother, Becca Hanson.
“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. We urge anyone that has information about Ayla to come forward now and unburden yourself of the truth,” the site says.
Information about the blood test results came a day after McCausland said that investigators believe the three adults who were in the home the night before Ayla was reported missing are withholding information that could help investigators find her.
McCausland also said Saturday that state police took several hundred pieces of potential evidence from the home, including the blood, during a full-scale investigation in late December.
Also Saturday, Ayla’s mother, Trista Reynolds of South Portland, attended a vigil for the toddler in Castonguay Square in Waterville. Reynolds and DiPietro, who do not have a relationship and have not appeared publicly together since their daughter disappeared, talked at length privately at the event.