Missing Maine toddler’s mom clings to hope

Published 12:15 pm Tuesday, December 20, 2011

WATERVILLE, Maine — The mother of a 20-month-old girl who disappeared from her father’s home in Maine says she’s “hoping and praying” that she’s OK.

Trista Reynolds said Tuesday that not knowing where Ayla is has been tough, but that she’s trying to remain strong for an 8-month-old son who remains in her care. She said she has questions for the father, Justin DiPietro, but that he hasn’t returned her calls.

Searchers on Tuesday resumed looking for the youngster who was last seen Friday night when the father put her to bed. He called police to report her missing the following morning when he found her bed empty.

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Police sent an evidence-collection team into the Waterville house on Monday, but the disappearance is still classified as a missing person case.