Thursday, Dec. 15
Trista Reynolds files for full custody of her daughter, Ayla Reynolds, in Cumberland County District Court. Ayla had been in the care of her father, Justin DiPietro, since October, when Reynolds went into a drug rehabilitation program.

Friday, Dec. 16, 10 p.m.
Justin DiPietro tells police this is the last time he saw his daughter, lying in her bed in their home at 29 Violette Ave. in Waterville. She is wearing one-piece pajamas bearing the words “Daddy’s Princess.” Her left arm, broken in an accidental fall three weeks earlier, is in a soft splint and a sling.

Saturday, Dec. 17, 8:51 a.m.
DiPietro calls 911 to report Ayla is missing after finding her bed empty. Police say she could have been abducted or walked away, but the 20-month-old child couldn’t have gone far. Waterville police and firefighters search the neighborhood. State game wardens join the search, which includes use of an airplane. Waterville and Maine State Police detectives look for forensic evidence in DiPietro’s house.

Sunday, Dec. 18
FBI agents, two police dogs, neighbors and other volunteers join the house-to-house and neighborhood searches. Game wardens scour the banks of nearby Messalonskee Stream. Police say they’ve interviewed several adults who were in DiPietro’s house when Ayla was put to bed Friday night.

Monday, Dec. 19
Police seize two vehicles, one of them registered to DiPietro and the other registered to his girlfriend, Courtney Roberts, of Portland. Police say the parents are cooperating with the investigation. The search swells to 70 law enforcement agents, including game wardens looking at Messalonskee Stream with an airboat and circling the area in an airplane.

Dec. 20-22
Investigators drain a section of Messalonskee Stream to look for clues; and they examine trash bins, garages, backyards, ball fields and wooded areas near the home. The search expands across Waterville with help from 50 members of the Maine Association for Search and Rescue. Nearly 100 people attend a candlelight vigil at a local church. Investigators put crime scene tape around DiPietro’s house and intensify the search for clues. Two of the state’s top homicide prosecutors visit the house.

Monday, Dec. 26
Ten days into the investigation, police say they believe someone took Ayla from her home, saying for the first time that they don’t believe she left the house on her own. Community members offer a $30,000 reward for evidence leading investigators to Ayla.
Friday, Dec. 30
Police announce foul play is suspected in what is now a criminal case. Maine State Police Major Crimes Unit takes the lead in the investigation.

Saturday, Dec. 31
State police release the house back to the occupants at 29 Violette Ave.

Tuesday, Jan. 10
Dive teams from the state police and warden service search portions of the Kennebec River and Messalonskee Stream for any signs of Ayla. Investigators say they have received more than 600 tips, but they still need more.

Saturday, Jan. 28
Police say they doubt Ayla was abducted from her home, adding it doesn’t pass the “straight-face test.”
Earlier that day, police announce that blood was found at 29 Violette Ave., during the search in December, but say they don’t know whose blood it is. Shortly after the announcement, DiPietro and Trista Reynolds appear together at a third vigil in Waterville. It is the first time they have seen each other since Ayla disappeared.

Sunday, Jan 29
Police confirm that the blood found in the Violette Avenue home is Ayla’s.

Friday, Feb. 3
Dive teams from the state police and the warden service return to parts of the Kennebec River and Messalonskee Stream and continue their search for clues.

Tuesday, Feb. 28
DiPietro and his supporters, the Tudela family, grant an interview with the Morning Sentinel. They contend that a kidnapping is plausible, despite contrary claims by state police. DiPietro said there are good reasons to believe Ayla was kidnapped but stopped short of explaining those reasons.

Saturday, March 24
After a week of unseasonably warm weather, 100 searchers scour areas of Waterville, Oakland, Fairfield and Norridgewock. Searchers discover the remains of Steven C. Brandon of Waterville, who had been missing since February 2004, but they find no clues to Ayla’s whereabouts.
Police also say communication between Ayla’s paternal family and investigators has “basically stopped.”

Wednesday, March 28
Justin, Elisha and Phoebe DiPietro tell the Morning Sentinel that communication has stopped because investigators won’t answer their questions.

Wednesday, April 4
Ayla’s maternal family calls for people across Maine and beyond to search their property for the missing girl, whose second birthday is today.

—  From staff reports

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