The mother of Ayla Reynolds, who went missing seven years ago and officially declared dead last year, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the toddler’s father.
Ayla’s father, Justine DiPietro, reported her missing on December 17, 2011, when she was staying with him, his sister and then girlfriend at their home in May. He told the police that she may have wandered away from home that night or been kidnapped. However, the police determined that the toddler’s disappearance was due to foul play.
Police said that the adults in the home were holding back information and revealed in January 2012 that they found a lot of Ayla’s blood in the basement of their home. Her body, however, has never been found.
DiPietro has left Maine and moved to California. However, no one knows his whereabouts, so he hasn’t been served with a notice of the lawsuit.
Ayla’a mother, Trista Reynolds, said that she holds DiPietro responsible for her death.
“As we hit Ayla’s anniversary, I wonder if this haunting you, Justin. I wonder if our daughter haunts your dreams or if you see her blue eyes when you close your eyes at night. I wonder if you even think about that night—that night that you murdered her,” Trista said.
Reynolds is asking for monetary damages in the lawsuit in addition to depositions from potentially guilty parties to find out what really happened to Ayla.
Trista has two young children and lights a pink candle in Ayla’s memory every December.
“We’ve been at this for seven years,” she said. “So I’ve got to have hope somewhere.”