WATERVILLE — The police command center at City Hall still hummed Thursday, the 13th day of the search for Ayla Reynolds, but it was quieter than last week.

At 29 Violette Ave., where the toddler was last seen on the night of Dec. 16, passers-by slowed to glance at a growing shrine of stuffed animals and crime scene tape. But the police cars — stationed outside as recently as Wednesday — were gone.

Police confirmed Thursday that two vehicles that they seized from the driveway of the home on Dec. 19 have been returned to their owners. One is a Ford Explorer registered to Justin DiPietro, 24, Ayla’s father, and the other is a Hyundai registered to a Portland woman whose name is not being made public. Police did not say what they were looking for in the vehicles.

A $30,000 reward offered Monday for information leading authorities to the missing girl remains unclaimed, police said. There have been no arrests, and Ayla, who was last seen in polka-dot pajamas with her left arm in a cast, has not been found.

“There have been some searches this week, but they have dropped off in numbers and size and the number of folks searching,” Waterville Police Chief Joseph Massey said Thursday. “We have gotten to the point where any other searches will be based on information.”

The Maine Warden Service, which had coordinated an estimated 100 public safety and volunteer search teams in woods and streams since Dec. 17, has returned to its regular duties and will be called on only if needed.

Waterville detectives and Maine State Police investigators were still busy Thursday following up on hundreds of tips on the girl’s disappearance.

Police say DiPietro reported his daughter missing just before 9 a.m. on Dec. 17, some 10 to 12 hours after she was put to bed. They say she was taken from the home by someone, though they have stopped short of calling it a kidnapping.

DiPietro said in a written statement Wednesday that he played no role in his daughter’s disappearance. He begged whoever took Ayla to return her home.

Ayla’s mother, Trista Reynolds, 23, appeared on NBC’s “Today” show Thursday morning and said she has questions that only DiPietro can answer because he was the last person to see the girl. Reynolds said she has tried to call DiPietro but he hasn’t called back.

Ayla was turned over to DiPietro in October by the state Department of Health and Human Services. Reynolds’ family members have said she was in rehabilitation for substance abuse.

Reynolds filed for sole custody of Ayla on Dec. 15, a day before the girl disappeared.

Massey said both parents have been interviewed by police and have been cooperative. Details of the investigation have not been released by police.

Reynolds did not return a phone message for comment Thursday. DiPietro has told police he will comment only through written statements so that he doesn’t hinder the investigation.

Morning Sentinel Staff Writer Doug Harlow can be contacted at 612-2367 or at:

[email protected]

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