Staff Writer

Today marks the 200th day since Ayla Reynolds was reported missing and her mother is hoping to keep the toddler in the public’s mind.

At 4 p.m. Saturday, Ayla’s mother, Trista Reynolds of Portland, is holding “A Benefit Walk For Ayla,” an hour-long event in Portland that will take participants from Monument Square to Deering Park.

The walk route traces a familiar path for Reynolds.

“I want to share with everybody the walk that Ayla and I used to do pretty much every day,” she said.

The walk ends at a wading pool that was a favorite spot for Ayla last summer.

Ayla was reported missing from her Waterville home on Dec. 17 by her father, Justin DiPietro.

DiPietro contends that Ayla was abducted. Investigators, however, say a kidnapping did not happen and they believe the three adults who saw her last — her father, aunt Elisha DiPietro and Courtney Roberts — are withholding information in the case.

Investigators also believe Ayla is likely dead. No one has been charged.

Department of Public Safety Spokesman Steve McCausland couldn’t be reached Thursday afternoon for an update.

Reynolds said she spoke to investigators about two weeks ago, but they offered her no new information.

“Nothing,” she said. “We’re in the same place where we’ve been. They still believe that they’re not going to find Ayla alive, and they’re not giving up. They’re still investigating and they’re still going through evidence.”

Reynolds said she’s not giving up, either. At the event, her family will sell T-shirts, hats and bracelets with Ayla’s image on them, and the proceeds will be used to print items for future events to continue raising awareness, she said.

“Whatever we can do, we’ll keep doing,” she said. “Ayla will not be forgotten.”

Despite investigators’ belief that Ayla is dead, Reynolds said she tries to remain hopeful.

“I keep hoping that she’ll be home by Saturday and we’ll be able to walk together and have everyone join us, but we all know that probably won’t happen,” she said.

The free event is open to the public. For information, visit

Ben McCanna — 861-9239

[email protected]

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