PORTLAND — The father of Ayla Reynolds, the Waterville toddler who police believe met with foul play, faces a charge of domestic violence after his arrest in Portland a week ago.

The alleged victim in the case is one of only three people who were home the night Reynolds disappeared.

Portland police say a lieutenant spotted Justin DiPietro, 26, in front of 88 Spring St. on July 6 at 11:15 p.m. He and a woman, a former girlfriend, were arguing when he grabbed and pushed her, a police statement said.

DiPietro was charged with domestic violence assault and is currently free on bail.

The 25-year-old Portland woman, is not Ayla Reynolds’ mother, Trista Reynolds.

Court records show DiPietro was ordered after his arrest to have no contact with Courtney Roberts as a condition of bail. Roberts, who has lived on Spring Street, was at the house the night Reynolds disappeared, along with DiPietro’s sister.


No one answered the door Monday at DiPietro’s mother, Phoebe DiPietro’s, house at 29 Violette Ave. in Waterville — the site from where Ayla Reynolds, 20 months old at the time, disappeared on Dec. 17, 2011.

Neighbors said Phoebe DiPietro works out of the home. While court papers show that Justin DiPietro lives at that address, reports are that he lives in Portland.

A sign next to a maple tree on the lawn bears Ayla’s photograph and the words, “Missing, Ayla Bell Reynolds, Please call 911.” A no trespassing sign hangs on the tree.

DiPietro has been at the center of one of the biggest investigations in Maine State Police history. Police initially tried to find the girl, then after declaring they believed she was no longer alive, continue to investigate her death.

DiPietro called police the morning she disappeared to report that she was not in her room. She had been last seen the night before, when she was put to bed.

Nobody has been charged, but police have said they do not believe DiPietro, Roberts and his sister, Elisha DiPietro, the third adult in the house that night, have told them everything they know.

Reynolds’ grandfather, Ronald Reynolds, 53, of Mona Road in Portland, was charged this spring with threatening a family member with a knife. When officers arrived at the home at 6 p.m. on May 31, Reynolds resisted and police used a Taser on him, police said.

Police said the incident had nothing to do with the missing child.

Staff writer Amy Calder contributed to this story.

Comments are no longer available on this story

filed under: