Ayla Reynolds’ mother and maternal grandparents waited in the Portland area Sunday for any news about the girl.

“It’s just so hard for me to sit back and not do anything,” said Ronald Reynolds of Portland, Ayla’s grandfather. “I’m crawling out of my skin right now. She’s the apple of my eye.”

The 20-month-old lived in Portland with her mother and grandmother until mid October, said Becca Hanson, her grandmother. Hanson and Ronald Reynolds said Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services removed the girl from her mother’s care in October. The maternal grandparents criticized the agency, although no details about the action were available Sunday.

Hanson was staying with Ayla’s mother, Trista Reynolds, in a South Portland motel as the search continued in Waterville.

“This is the worst thing of all because she doesn’t know where her daughter is at,” Hanson said. “I’m hoping that they call us soon and say they found her.”

Hanson said Trista Reynolds was not able to talk to the media. Trista Reynolds also has a 9-month-old son who is living with her in South Portland, she said.

Her grandparents describved Ayla as a bright, happy girl.

“Ayla started walking when she was 10 months old,” Hanson said. “She’s a really outgoing child. She always had smile on her face.”

Ayla loves her little brother, she said. “She tries to give him his bottle and his binky. They’re like two peas in a pod.”

Ronald Reynolds, her grandfather, said police asked him to stay in Portland rather than go to Waterville and try to help. He said he hasn’t been able to eat or sleep since police came to his home with the news yesterday.

“She is so friendly, loveable, smart,” he said. “I don’t know where she is. I don’t if she’s in a car, if she’s in a gutter somewhere…. I want my granddaughter found. I want here home safe.”

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