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Mother Of Missing Maine Toddler Considers Lawsuit Against State

By Jim Armstrong, WBZ-TV
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Trista Reynolds and her son.

Trista Reynolds and her son.

WBZ-TV's Jim Armstrong Jim Armstrong
Jim Armstrong is an Emmy-award winning reporter who joined WBZ-TV in...
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WATERVILLE, MAINE (CBS) – The mother of a missing Maine toddler says she is ready to take legal action.

Nearly two months after her daughter’s disappearance, Trista Reynolds now claims social service workers may be at fault.

Ayla Reynolds vanished last December from her father’s Waterville, Maine home.

WBZ-TV’s Jim Armstrong reports

As investigators piece together what happened, Ayla’s mom says Maine Health and Human Services officials could have done more.

“You have this system that’s supposed to protect children and what kind of protecting do they do when a child goes missing or something happens,” asks Reynolds.

She says she was in rehab for alcohol abuse when DHHS sent Ayla to live with her father, Justin DiPietro.

But she says, that agreement came with conditions, including background checks on everyone in DiPietro’s house as well as frequent well-child visits to check on Ayla.

“It was agreed on paper while I was in rehab,” says Reynolds, who says the agreement happened, “In front of two DHHA workers, the supervisor, doctors and an attorney. And you’re going to tell me you didn’t check on my daughter? Give me one good reason into why you didn’t check on my daughter.”

Reynolds says she called DHHS several times with concerns about her daughter — concerns she says were never investigated. And now, she plans to sue.

Trista says, “I’m going to go up against you and I’m going to fight you because I’m sitting here every single day wondering where Ayla is, what happened to her and why no one cared to check on her.”

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