WATERVILLE — A candlelight vigil for missing 20-month-old Ayla Reynolds will be at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday on the front steps of First Congregational Church, UCC, on Eustis Parkway.

The “Vigil Of Hope For Ayla Reynolds” is being organized by the group Mainely Moms & Dads.

Participants are asked to bring a safe-burning candle and to dress warm. A prayer and a moment of silence will be given to honor Ayla and her rescuers. All are welcome to attend and speak out.

Mainely Moms & Dads founder and mother of two little girls, Dana Bushee Hernandez, said she needed to do something to help Ayla and all the families in the community.

“We’re all so consumed by this story and our heart just aches for Ayla,” she said this morning. “We just had to do something.”

Mainely Moms & Dads was founded in 2007 as a support and social organization for parents in the Waterville and Augusta areas. They can be found on Facebook and online at MyMaineReason.com.

Hernandez said the vigil is open to all members of the community, regardless of religious preference.

“We all just want answers,” Hernandez said. “We all just want to feel like we are doing something positive to help Ayla and all the people who are working so hard to find her. That unites us all.”

Ayla was last seen Friday night sleeping in her bed at her father’s home on Violette Avenue in Waterville, police said. She was reported missing at 8:50 a.m. the next morning when her father, Justin DiPietro, found her bed empty.

Waterville police, game wardens, state police, the FBI and civilian volunteers have conducted a massive search for the missing child since Saturday morning.

This report has been corrected to change the day of the vigil to Wednesday.


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