WATERVILLE — The area being searched for a missing 20-month-old girl in Maine is being expanded to include trails and more today.

A stream has already been drained in the search for Ayla Reynolds, and Waterville Police Chief Joseph Massey said additional waterways will be checked as the area grows outward from the girl’s house. The Maine Marine Patrol is searching the Kennebec River.

Fifty trained volunteers from the Maine Search and Rescue Association were joining 75 to 80 law enforcement officers already participating in the search, which entered the fifth day today, he said.

Searchers have looked through trash bins and even lowered portions of Messalonskee Stream, looking for signs of Ayla. The FBI continued today to go door-to-door in a “knock and talk” campaign.

Massey spoke before a planned candlelight vigil for Ayla that was organized by a local group this evening. The girl’s mother, Trista Reynolds, was expected to attend.

The toddler was last seen Friday night when her father, Justin DiPietro, said he put her to bed wearing a green one-piece pajama set with polka dots and the words “Daddy’s Princess.”

DiPietro called police the next morning to say she wasn’t there. Several other adults were in the home at the time, but Massey declined to identify them.

Tuesday night, DiPietro addressed the public for the first time, saying in a statement he had “no idea what happened to Ayla, or who is responsible.”

DiPietro released the statement through the Waterville police, saying his family and friends will do “everything we can to assist in this investigation and get Ayla back home.”

Massey has refused to speculate on whether Ayla is alive, saying authorities are focused on finding her. The investigation remains a missing-person case, he said.

Facebook comments

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.