Waterville, ME (CBS) – Waterville Police say they have gotten more than 160 tips in the disappearance of Ayla Reynolds, but none of them has been the one that leads to the missing toddler.
Ayla’s father Justin DiPietro reported her missing Saturday morning. He said he last saw her when he put her to bed Friday night.
Wednesday, community members held a vigil in Ayla’s honor. Parents said they were holding their children a little tighter. “I can’t imagine him being gone and not being able to find him,” Michelle Wentworth said of her own son.
Wentworth held a candle and sang during the vigil. She believes prayer will help bring Ayla home. “It just tears me apart,” she said. “It’s like every time I go by I see these searches and I cry and right away I pray.”
WBZ-TV’s Lauren Leamancyzk reports.
Those searches have been a grim constant in Waterville. Investigators have combed Ayla’s neighborhood, looked through dumpsters and lowered a nearby river. Wednesday, they drained a small pond just a block from DiPietro’s home.
Police said those searches were not related to specific tips.
“We want to rule out every area that we can in our efforts to find Ayla. That’s our focus. That’s our goal. That’s our aim.”
The home where Ayla lived with her dad is empty and his family is not allowed back in. However, for the first time in five days it is not surrounded by squad cars and evidence trucks. Ppolice confirmed they have shifted away from the DiPietro house after searching it thoroughly and are now expanding to areas further into the community.
PAs days pass, many in Waterville admit the flicker of hope is dimming, but it’s not gone yet.
“Hopefully we can bring her home fro Christmas,” said Stacey Dixon.