Hundreds of leads in case of missing Maine girl

Authorities in Waterville on Monday offered a $30,000 reward for information that would lead investigators to Ayla Reynolds.

Story highlights

  • 20-month-old Ayla Reynolds was last reported seen more than a week ago
  • Her father said he doesn't know what happened to her
  • Ayla was at his home when she was last seen December 16
Police said Wednesday they have received 370 leads in the disappearance of a 20-month-old Maine girl, whose father reiterated he doesn't know what happened to her.
"It is important the public hear it from me personally that I have no idea what happened to Ayla (Reynolds) and that I am not hiding," Justin Dipietro said in a statement.
Authorities in Waterville on Monday offered a $30,000 reward for information that would lead investigators to find the girl.
Police Chief Joseph Massey said the last reported sighting of the toddler was on December 16, when her father said he put her to bed. Police are confident that someone took Ayla from the house, the chief said.
Ayla is described as having blond hair, being about 2 feet, 9 inches tall, and weighing 30 pounds. She was last seen wearing green pajamas with white polka dots and the words "Daddy's Princess" across the front. When she disappeared, the girl had her arm in a soft cast.
The toddler's mother, Trista Reynolds, told HLN's Nancy Grace last week that Dipietro waited almost 24 hours to take Ayla to the emergency room after the girl broke her arm several weeks ago. Reynolds also said her daughter often would return with bruises after visits with Dipietro.
Dipietro, 24, said he would never do anything to hurt Ayla, who was in his sole custody when she disappeared.
"The questions of Ayla's arm or bruises or anything else being said are simply ludicrous," Dipietro said in his statement. "I would never want anyone to spend even a minute in my shoes. No one should ever have to experience this."
Police searched Dipietro's home with his permission.
Reynolds, 23, on December 15, the day before Ayla went missing, filed a complaint seeking sole custody.
She told HLN she didn't tell Dipietro she was going to court because he was "vindictive" and "verbally abusive."
"Now, me and him had had the discussion within that week that he told me himself that he was going to file the custody papers against me," Reynolds said. "So I decided to go and file against him."
The mother told Grace that she had raised Ayla for 18 months and Dipietro became involved only after "I needed to go and get a little bit of help for myself." She told HLN she underwent rehab.
Police do not have anyone connected to the case in custody.
Dipietro, who released his first statement last week, Wednesday thanked those who are aiding the effort to find his daughter.
"I have to believe that Ayla is with somebody and I just want that person to find the courage to do the right thing and find a way to return her safely," the father said. "The truth is the truth and when the case is solved it will be out there. Until then, please try to remain positive and hopeful as I remain confident that Ayla will return safely."