Ayla Reynolds Case: Blood Found in Home Belongs to Missing Girl

Blood is 'more than a small cut would produce,' investigators say.

January 30, 2012, 2:32 AM

Jan. 30, 2012— -- Blood discovered in the home of the father of missing Maine toddler Ayla Reynolds did come from the girl and was "more blood than a small cut would produce," the girl's family says investigators told them.

The family of the missing girl posted on the website set up to help find the 20-month-old on Sunday, sharing the details that investigators told them about the scene where the tot disappeared from her crib in December.

"What [police] were unwilling to confirm to the press, but left to our discretion, is that it has already been determined to be Ayla's blood," the statement said. "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."

Ayla Bell Reynolds' father, Justin DiPietro, told police last month that he believed his daughter was snatched from the bedroom of the Waterville, Maine home she shared with him between her 8 p.m. bed time on Dec. 17 and when he checked her bedroom in the morning.

Within days what began as the search for a missing child turned into a criminal probe, after investigators discovered blood in the basement of the home. The fact that blood was discovered in the home has only recently been revealed, as it "would have interfered with the investigation," said Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety.

DiPietro, 24, and Trista Reynolds, 23, Ayla's mother, who does not live in the home and was forced by Child Protective Services to place Ayla in DiPietro's full-time care when she checked into rehab, have taken police-administered lie-detector tests.

Reynolds told WCVB that the test administrator concluded that she could not complete the test because of a medical condition.

DiPietro has said publicly that he passed the test, though Maine State Police would not comment on his claim.

Reynolds previously alleged that her daughter was bruised the last time she saw her, though DiPietro countered that those claims amounted to "accusation and insinuations."

"I would never do anything to hurt my child," he said.

No one has been charged in the case, which has included law enforcement's aerial and foot searches of an icy river near DiPietro's home and the draining of a local stream. The searches have yielded no clues. A $30,000 reward is being offered for information leading to Ayla.

The girl's parents met for the first time since she vanished at a vigil on Saturday night. The girl's father is still not speaking to the media about his daughter's disappearance.

"I'm not here to answer any questions, just to support Ayla," DePietro said at the vigil.

"Me and state police have the same questions and answers, you know what I mean, just...the answers to those questions…and I'm not the person for that. Those questions are for Justin, not me," Trista Reynolds said.

Reynolds previously alleged that her daughter was bruised the last time she saw her, though DiPietro countered that those claims amounted to "accusation and insinuations."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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