Ayla Reynolds’ Family, Attorney Discuss Civil Suit On 7th Anniversary Of Girl’s Disappearance
The attorney representing the mother of Ayla Reynolds has announced the next steps the family plans to take in the case.
On Monday, the seventh anniversary of the 20-month-old Ayla's 2011 disappearance, William Childs, of the law firm Childs Rundlett Fifield & Altshuler, in Portland,and Ayla’s mother, Trista Reynolds, held a press conference in Portland to announce that a civil suit against Justin DiPietro, the girl's father, has been filed in the case.
Childs said the suit was more about finding the truth about what happened to the girl rather than a financial settlement. In fact, the suit filed in Superior Court does not seek a specific amount of damages.
Speaking outside the courthouse, Trista Reynolds said she is still "haunted" by her daughter's disappearance. "Did Ayla cry out for me, did she wonder where I was knowing I should have there to be there to protect her and save her?" she said.
She was also adamant that she did not believe DiPietro's story that Ayla was kidnapped.
"I wonder if this is haunting you Justin? I wonder if our daughter haunts your dreams...I wonder if you think of that night, the night that you murdered her," she said. "We both know that story of Ayla being abducted is not real, so why not be the voice for our daughter and tell the truth?"
"I love my children and will always be their voice, Reynolds continued, adding that she will continue to fight to get DiPietro to tell her what happened to Ayla. "One day you will have to face me and tell me the truth about what happened to Ayla. I'll live inside a courtroom until I get my justice for her.
DiPietro, reported her missing the morning of Dec. 17, 2011 telling police he last saw her when he put her to bed the night before.
As part of the legal process, a probate judge signed a document declaring Ayla dead in May 2017 to move the process forward and to appoint her mother as personal representative. The action also cleared the way for a potential wrongful death suit to be filed in the case.
According to previous reports, Ayla's mother's side of the family has discussed pursuing civil charges that would possibly include child endangerment and wrongful death against DiPietro; his girlfriend, his sister and Justin’s mother.
Ayla was 20 months old when she disappeared from the DiPietro home in Waterville. No charges have ever been filed in the case. But Maine State Police have said they do not believe Ayla is alive and the three adults in the house that night know more than they are saying.
Additionally, Childs said that a GoFundMe account has been established to help with expenses in the case. Details on that account can be found here.