Mother Of Missing Maine Toddler Considers Lawsuit Against State

By Jim Armstrong, WBZ-TV

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.”

Comments

One Comment

  1. gramps says:

    Trista, you’re in ‘no’ position to cast stones!

    Where would ‘Little Alya’ be now if ‘your lifestyle’ had not put you in ‘REHAB’!

    Or was that the States fault TOO!

    gramps

  2. ginny2 says:

    I’m with you gramps. When I saw the headline of the story the first thing I thought was, this woman should not be placing blame on others when she was not being the kind of mother she should have been from day 1.

  3. Mamapicozzi says:

    The comments are saddening to me. Have you all read what you’ve typed? Stop projecting your feelings onto her and the situation. You don’t know what you would do had you walked a mile in her shoes. If she were in rehab then she was being responsible. Not seeking help for alcohol abuse is the irresponsible choice. If the agreement what made that the state would be checking up on her daughter and running necessary background checks, then that is exactly what they should have done. We will have to wait and see if all procedures and protocols were followed. In the meantime, stop chastising this young woman. Don’t you think her life sucks enough right now?

    1. gramps says:

      Mama, I read your comment twice…..The 2nd time with my ‘VIOLIN’.

      You’re wasting your ‘mothers milk’ on this one!

      gramps

  4. Jennifer says:

    The small child on her lap is her son. Two children both under 2 1/2 with 2 “baby daddys” and an alcoholic. This is a very damaged person. I’m not surprised she sueing the state. She chose to have Ayla with this man now she blaming the state for not running backround checks. Maybe she should run checks on the men she lets enter her body. Look folks, the taxpayers are going to pay this “woman’s” bills atleast till her last spawn turns 18. Her judgement is so “off”, it’s only been 2 months since her daughter went missing and she thinks it’s appropriate to sue.

  5. Jennifer says:

    The small child on her lap is her son. Two children both under 2 1/2 with 2 “baby daddys” and an alcoholic. This is a very damaged person. I’m not surprised she sueing the state. She chose to have Alya with this man now she blaming the state for not running backround checks. Maybe she should run checks on the men she lets enter her body. Look folks, the taxpayers are going to pay this “woman’s” bills atleast till her last spawn turns 18. Her judgement is so “off”, it’s only been 2 months since her daughter went missing and she thinks it’s appropriate to sue.

  6. Michelle Fuller Fitzgerald says:

    Jennifer and Gramps, thanks for calling it like you see it. It’s nice to hear the voice of reason! She is looking for a payday, nothing more!

  7. decol says:

    The mother is responsible for taking care of her children,not the State.If she
    kept her head out of the bottle,she might be able to do that.Of course then we have bottom-feeding lawyers who would do anything for a buck! She’s looking
    for some easy money!!

  8. sloopjohnB2 says:

    The sad part of this is that some wacko judge may award her some money. What a mother she is.

  9. Mamapicozzi says:

    And still you all continue to chastise her. I hope you live perfect lives, because God forbid if anything ever happens and your life is in the spot light, it will be interesting to see what people say about you.

    1. gramps says:

      Mama, you must be @ the ‘public trough’ also, let us know what else you’d like us to pay for…

      gramps

    2. blackbear1 says:

      Mama, don’t play the “judgemental” card. Maybe you are the one who is judgemental besides being unrealistic and naive. There are so many questions about this case and these parents and an apparent lack of truthfulness, who could support her legalistic accusations…

      1. Mamapicozzi says:

        Blackbear1 – I am the least judgemental person you’ll ever meet. I don’t believe in judging others, I believe in helping them if I can. A kind word goes a long way. Naive, I am not. However, I choose to live my life fulfilling it with peace and love instead of anger and hate for my fellow man.

  10. response says:

    “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.

    Ms. Reynolds…you are a mother…a mother is suppose to protect her children, not leave it for someone else to do…..shame on you for leaving your children in the first place

    1. DEZZ says:

      Fathers are suppose to protect there children as much as the mothers so dont go pointing fingers at just her….FATHER HAD HER WHY DID HE NOT PROTECT HER.

  11. Cis says:

    look who’s calling the kettle black – sorry cannot take her seriously nor have any sympathy. trista failed to do her job as a parent, she didn’t care about ayla’s welfare instead chosing to be a drunk. what a hypocrit for claiming the state failed. she’s also making claim dad took out ins policy on ayla just before her disappearance. further implying it’s not normal to take a policy out on your own kid. yeah may be for the likes of her where you expect the state to pay funeral costs in the event of death.

  12. mommabear says:

    you all are horrible at least she realized she needed help and did the right thing she placed the kids with family that is not abandoning them and if the safety plan called for background checks and they weren’t done they were suppose to check on the baby they didn’t then ya you bet i would spout off how they should pay its not like she marched straight to the courthouse hell she doesn’t even have a lawyer and bet some lawyer would take the case for a cut of the money nothing up front while she might not be mother of the year at least she didn’t sit around messed up around her kids no she got help that takes guts and she did before her kids were hurt kudoos trista

    1. gramps says:

      I ‘low life’ defending a ‘LOWER LIFE!

      How about some …..,,,, & a few ‘Upper Cases’, next time!

      You’re a tribute to the American Public School System!

      gramps

      1. mommabear says:

        I never went to a public school before college and correcting my punctuation wouldn’t be so laughable if I hadn’t notice your own errors and over use of quotation marks. I would rather see a parent get help then their children suffer in silence. I realize this is not a perfect world and it only takes one drink for some to become alcoholics. Persecuting those that seek help only encourages the problem to be hidden till something tragic happens . Addiction affects every class and just because I recognize the value of treatment does not make me a lowlife. However it does make you a grumpy old man bashing a woman in obvious grief, who probably has enough guilt already.

  13. JillM says:

    Gramps, So just because the mom it less than perfect, doesn’t mean she shouldn’t be a voice for her child. If the system put the child in harms way and failed to do their job then someone needs to say something. I think we all have some skeleton in our closets that we wish we could change but it doesn’t change the responsibility of child protective service. I agree if it were my kid I would be screaming my head off. I think I would be so crazy with grief I would lash out at anyone and everyone that could have changed it and didn’t. Then again I probably be in jail trying to make someone in that house started telling the whole truth.

    1. gramps says:

      Two bleeding hearts….reminds me of a movie.

      Liberals, the State will fix it or it’s the States fault!

      The failure can be found in ‘Trista’s Mirror’!

      gramps

  14. JillM says:

    Hardly a liberal, but I expect that any agency that has the power to strip parents of their children also has a duty to protect those children. If the “state” hadn’t stepped in and forced her to agree to their little plan, the child would be safe at grandpa’s with mommy, She likely was told it was the only she could keep legal custody and she only agreed after they assured her they would make she her little girl would be safe and they would check and make sure that happened. So ya since the state stepped in they should be accountable. If they hadn’t be involved in her placement then I would say she was just placing blame. She has very legal just reasons to have expected them to their jobs.

    1. gramps says:

      The child has a name, ‘Remember Alya?’……or

      “Is it all about dirt ball Tri$ta”?

      1. JillM says:

        This is about every child that faces this situation. This story plays out across America in every part of society. Rich, poor, religious, every race and in the homes you would least expect. But I suspect with you its only about bashing mommy. I remember as a kid being told if you can’t say anything nice then do not say anything at all. I think you are a bully Gramps. You are doing Ayla no favors by only blasting her mother.

  15. mommabear says:

    Jill: I wish there were a like button.

  16. Mamapicozzi says:

    So many hateful, spiteful people eager to stone this woman in the town square. Matthew 7:1-6 If you are Christian you will know what this means and perhaps remember how you are supposed to behave.

    1. gramps says:

      Let me refer you to gramps 2:16….

      “Tri$ta is a LEACH”!

  17. Mamapicozzi says:

    And that really isn’t your place to determine. Do you know her personally? You are only seeing what little the media offers to show us. Unless you know her, have walked in her shoes, you cannot judge her. She didn’t murder her child. She is a victim as well. A victim of substance abuse and bad influences. Seems to me she was trying to do the right thing in order to become a better mother to her children.

  18. Mamapicozzi says:

    Two wrongs don’t make a right. I like to believe she is seeking the truth and trying to discover what happened to her precious child. If anything ever happened to my children I would want a full investigation as well. In my opinion, a lawsuit won’t solve anything but all the news article stated was that she was “considering” filing a lawsuit.

    1. gramps says:

      Would you be interested in purchasing a ‘BRIDGE’?

  19. Mamapicozzi says:

    No, I prefer my soapbox. Thank you for asking though.

  20. Mamapicozzi says:

    Isn’t it lovely and frustrating that we have such an enormous difference of opinion?

  21. Nicole says:

    The poor baby Ayla should have been with her loving grandparent while her mother got help for herself. The State, trying to be all PC, decided that the baby should go live with a boy (he is NOT a man) in a cramped apartment with other people and other children. Did anyone investigate this girlfriend of his, who had her son staying there? Why was her son allowed to sleep nearby, and Ayla was upstairs in a room, not being checked on? Why supposed child protection agency place a baby in a home with random people, when she had a safe stable place with her grandparent? Oh yeah, because a fathers rights now are more important than common sense. Look at what happened in the Powell case in Washington. Just like out there, that little shack in Maine should never have been deemed appropriate.

    1. Mamapicozzi says:

      Nicole, I agree with your comment. It’s an ache in your heart for Ayla. Pain and sadness for a small child you wish you could have protected and kept safe. If you are on facebook there is a page called War Against Child Abuse (WACA) and their goal is to educate people. Please “like” their page if you can.

      Ayla should have been taken from her father’s home after they discovered her injured arm.

  22. GMANDMAN says:

    Oh My Mama… Why take this child away from her daddy? Maybe he is just in need of help poor man.

    “You don’t know what you would do had you walked a mile in HIS shoes”
    “Don’t you think HIS life sucks enough right now?”

    “And that really isn’t your place to determine. Do you know HIM personally? You are only seeing what little the media offers to show us. Unless you know HIM, have walked in HIS shoes, you cannot judge her ooops HIM.”

    Sounds a little crazy HUH? These are YOUR quotes with ONE word changed….

    1. Mamapicozzi says:

      My quotes were intended for the mother who is currently being chastised for getting herself cleaned up. The father, the man who was supposed to be caring for Ayla, is a different story. Did he need help? Yes, it seems as though he did. Should he have asked for this help? Yes, he should have. Instead, he allowed a horrible situation to continue which resulted in possible injuries to Ayla’s arm. At which point, he should not have continued to care for her. In fact, any child with questionable injuries should have their living environment investigated. That was my point, GMANDMAN.

  23. mommabear says:

    You really need some compassion old man. Dad has Ayla’s blood in his room. Dad admits he cause the arm fracture. Dad lives in mommy’s basement (he is really stable – sarcasm dripping). Daddy fails polygraph. Dad lost Ayla. Daddy’s family and friends keep getting arrested for drugs and violence. Yet you beat up beat up on a grieving mom that got help. You make me sick. Heaven forbid something happen to your family, you would all just clam up, like in the baby Lisa case then let the dirty laundry be aired. You too will have judgement one-day.

    1. gramps says:

      & it appears that because of her ‘chosen life style’, Tri$ta has…..
      ‘Alya’s blood on her hands!

      The likes of you & others are ‘enabelors’ for Tri$ta…

      gramps

      1. DEZZ says:

        WELL ALYAS DAD HAS HER BLOOD IN HIS BASEMENT…..SO WHAT ABOUT THAT?????? I THINK SOMEONE IN THAT HOUSE KILLED HER FOR MONEY FLAT OUT

  24. guest says:

    I never gave her a drink and I did not enabler her. But I will defend the right to get treatment and encourage it. I will demand that social services do their job. Being nasty and mean to mom is not going to change a thing, what is done is done. I bet she would change it if she could and I have yet to hear that she said she has no blame. Just that she expected her child would be taken care of after they forced her to agree to it. I bet she feels guilty but she still has a duty to be her child voice and a right to answers and accountability. Now stop bashing her and anyone that doesn’t share your opinion.

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