Protective Mothers' Alliance International

family court abuse/corruption

Ayla Reynolds’ mom may try to sue social services agency/HLN

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The mother of a missing Maine toddler said in a new interview that she is considering a lawsuit against the social services agency that was supposed to be overseeing her daughter’s care.

Trista Reynolds told the Portland Daily Sun that the Maine Department of Health and Human Services should have investigated 20-month-old Ayla Reynolds’ living conditions while the girl was staying with her father and performed background checks on his family members. Ayla was reportedly last seen at father Justin DiPietro’s home on the night of Dec. 16, 2011. He claimed she was gone the next morning.

“I think if they checked up on Ayla, we wouldn’t be where we are today,” Reynolds said, according to the Sun.

Reynolds claimed DiPietro took custody of the girl with DHHS support while she was in rehab last October, and she said the agency did not properly monitor Ayla after that.

Citing strict confidentiality policies, DHHS has refused to comment about the case to HLN or other news outlets. A spokesperson told the Sun they could not even confirm whether they were involved with Ayla’s case at all.

An attorney representing DiPietro’s sister and mother is also now speaking out. In an interview with the Morning Sentinel, Steve Bourget said Elisha and Phoebe DiPietro are cooperating with police and have told them everything they know.

Elisha, 23, was in the house on Dec. 16, along with Justin’s girlfriend and two other young children, and police have suggested that three adults are holding back information about what happened that night.

“As far as Elisha is concerned, she has been honest, open and told the whole truth,” Bourget said.

Phoebe DiPietro, Elisha and Justin’s mother and the owner of the house,has told CNN she was not home on the night of Dec. 16 when Ayla allegedly vanished. Speaking to WLBZ, Bourget denied rumors that there was a party there that night and said Phoebe would not have allowed drugs or alcohol in the house.

Waterville police announced Tuesday that charges have been filed in a vandalism incident at that house earlier this month. On the night of Feb. 3, Phoebe DiPietro called 911 because someone was breaking her windows. In a press release, police said 19-year-old Jeremy Hanson has confessed and was summoned for criminal mischief and violating the conditions of release.

The second charge stems from a previous unrelated case involving alleged driving to endanger, criminal mischief and reckless conduct with a weapon, according to police. Police do not know if he had any connection to DiPietro’s family.

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