WATERVILLE, ME (CBS) – Police in Waterville, Maine are turning calling the case of a missing toddler a “criminal investigation” and have turned over the lead in their investigation to Maine State Police Major Crimes Unit.
Deputy Chief Charles J. Rumsey, IV issued a statement Friday night saying evidence gathered during the investigation points toward a crime.
“At this point, we believe that foul play has occurred in connection with Ayla’s disappearance,” Dept. Chief Rumsey said.
Crews from Maine’s State Police Forensics Team returned on Friday to the house where Ayla Reynolds was last reported to be seen.
Her father, Justin DiPietro reported her missing after he says he put her to bed nearly two weeks ago.
DiPietro has said he has no idea what happened to her.
On Friday, investigators taped off an area around a shed in the backyard of the house.
According to the CBS affiliate in Bangor, members of the State Police, wearing gloves and boots, were in and out of the house and at one point they removed a paper bag from the house. There’s no indication of what may have been in that bag or whether it was of any significance.
Dept. Chief Rumsey said his department will continue to assist in the investigation.
“Our commitment to finding Ayla and explaining the circumstances surrounding her disappearance is as strong as it was on December 17th,” he said. “Every investigator involved in this case shares the hope of Ayla’s family and the public that Ayla will be located soon.”