Reporting Jim Armstrong
PORTLAND, MAINE (CBS) – It’s a birthday party with plenty of balloons, presents, even a cake. In fact, this party has everything, except the birthday girl herself.
April 4th is Ayla Reynolds’ second birthday. The toddler has been missing since the week before Christmas. She was last seen at her father’s house in Waterville, Maine. To date, there have been no arrests in connection with her disappearance.
“Happy birthday, wherever she is,” said Ayla’s mother, Trista Reynolds. “I hope she’s having a really good birthday and someone is celebrating it with her and she’s not celebrating it alone,” she continued, choking back tears.
“It’s really hard to have this birthday without her, especially just knowing that two years ago today I was welcoming her into this world and it was like the best day of my life.”
About a hundred people attended the public birthday party for Ayla, which was held in Portland’s Monument Square. Many identified themselves as family members or close friends, but plenty were just members of the community who wanted to come out to show their support. The event was organized by a missing persons group that’s helping Ayla’s family.
“We always advise families to always keep that hope because you just never know. Keep that hope going until, or if, you should find out differently,” explained Cynthia Caron, the President and Founder of the group called LostNMissing. “It’s really important that families do have hope because if they didn’t then what would they do?”