An unemployed father of two children, from two different mothers, takes out a large life insurance policy against, not for, one of those children.
He texts the mother his concern about this child being taken. He does not express concern about the other child, the one of whom he did not take a life insurance policy against.
Weeks later, the child of whom he took out a life insurance policy against is reported "taken"; and he has "no idea" what happened. Shortly later, he had an "idea" and said that someone who did not agree with his parenting, kidnapped her. This narrowed down the list of suspects from infinity to a handful.
Police find no evidence of an intruder, but do find the baby's blood throughout the house.
The father's statement shows deception.
Police state publicly that the father, along with his girlfriend and his sister, are all withholding information about what happened to the baby that night.
The father "smoked" his polygraph.
Yet, no consequences have fallen upon the father.
[Editor’s note: This letter, dated March 24, 2014, was mailed to the Morning Sentinel, 31 Front St., Waterville, as a Letter to the Editor by Trista Reynolds, now of Biddeford, Maine. It was not edited for content, though misspellings were corrected.]
I am Trista Reynolds, the mother of Ayla Reynolds. Ayla went missing from her father's home on December 17, 2011. She was only 20 months old when she went missing.
I have had to accept that my daughter, in the words of the Maine State Police, will likely not be found alive. What I cannot accept is that her father has not been prosecuted. At the time of her disappearance she was staying with her father, Justin DiPietro on Violette Avenue in Waterville. There was so much of Ayla's blood found at the time that it is obvious a crime was committed there. My daughters blood was found on the car seat in Justin’s vehicle, on Ayla’s slipper, on a sofa upstairs, on her doll, on a fan cord downstairs in the basement, on a plastic tote, on a blanket found inside the tote (the Maine State Police said the blanket was used to clean-up the blood), inside Justin’s sneakers, a “fist size stain” on Justin's mattress and sheets, on the cement floor and wall beside Justin's bed (the MSP blood analysts determined that the blood splatters were created by intense projectile vomiting and/or blunt force trauma) and on a wood pallet in the basement. My daughter suffered and suffered greatly while in the care of her father yet he has not been held accountable.
I want to know, why hasn’t Justin been charged with Endangering the Welfare of a Child? According to 17-A M.R.S.A S.554, a person is guilty of endangering the welfare of a child if being the parent, or having the care and custody of the child, cruelly treats that child by abuse, neglect or extreme punishment; being the parent of the child, knowingly deprives the child of necessary health care, with the result that the child is placed in danger of serious harm; or recklessly endangers the health, safety or welfare of a child by violating the duty of care. Endangering the Welfare of a Child is a Class D crime. However, Endangering the Welfare of a Child is a Class C crime when a parent recklessly fails to take reasonable measures to protect the child from the risk of further bodily injury after knowing that the child had, in fact, sustained bodily injury under circumstances posing a substantial risk of serious bodily injury or such bodily injury was, in fact, caused by the unlawful use of physical force by another person. You don't need a body to prosecute this crime; there is enough blood evidence to prove this crime was committed.
Maeghan Maloney, as the District Attorney for Kennebec County, you have a duty to prosecute crimes that occur within your jurisdiction. An incredibly heinous crime occurred on your watch yet Justin is allowed to walk free. You may not have the authority to prosecute Justin for murder but you do have the authority, and the obligation, to prosecute him for other crimes. The statute of limitations to prosecute Justin and others on the lesser Class D crime expires in less than 9 months.
Who can argue that Ayla was not a victim of heinous abuse? Her father had a duty to protect her and he did not and for that he needs to be prosecuted. I call upon Maeghan Maloney to begin the prosecution of Justin DiPietro before time runs out.