WATERVILLE, Maine – A $30,000 reward was offered Monday for information leading to missing Maine toddler Ayla Reynolds as police confirmed they do not believe the 20-month-old child could have left her home alone.
Ayla was last seen asleep at her father's home in Waterville, Maine, at about 10:00pm local time on Dec. 16. He reported the child missing just before 9:00am the next day when he said he found her bed empty.
"Work to find Ayla continued over the weekend," Waterville Police Chief Joseph Massey said in a statement Monday. "Investigators sorted through leads as they came in. Some of those leads, we believe, were prompted by coverage of this case that aired on a segment of the TV show 'America's Most Wanted' over the weekend."
Massey also said that "at this point in the investigation, we are very confident that Ayla did not let herself out of the house ... We believe that someone removed Ayla from the house, and that is where our investigation is focusing."
"I don't want to speculate beyond that, because we do not know who took Ayla out of that house and under what circumstances she was removed," he said, adding that police were increasingly concerned for the toddler's safety the longer the investigation goes on.
The missing girl reportedly had lived in Portland with her mother and grandmother until mid-October, when Maine's Department of Health and Human Services removed Ayla from her mother's care.
She was in the custody of her father, 24-year-old Justin DiPietro at the time of her disappearance.
Her mother, 23-year-old Trista Reynolds, revealed she had filed for full custody of Ayla just a day before she went missing.