What do we know to be 100% factual?
- Justin DiPietro lived in Portland where he had a sexual encounter with Trista Reynolds. They did not have a relationship other than a sexual one. Ayla was conceived as a result of that relationship.
- Justin started dating Courtney Roberts, a single mother of one. She was living in Portland as well at the time, coincidentally across the street from Justin's apartment on Pine St. with her sister.
- In October, Trista signed herself into a 10 day rehab program in Lewiston because she was given a choice by DHS to either clean up or lose Ayla and her young son. She left Ayla and her son in the care of her mother and sister in Lewiston.
- Justin was awarded custody of Ayla and with a police escort, went to Trista's sister's house to retrieve Ayla. He then moved to his mother's in Waterville because he felt the apartment in Portland was not a proper environment for Ayla.
- Trista claims that prior to her going to rehab, when Ayla went for visits with Justin she came home with injuries, whether it be pulled muscles or bruises. Justin called this claim ludicrous but it was supported by others in Trista's immediate family
- Trista claims that she tried numerous times to see and talk to Ayla and Justin either got angry with her or denied her requests ( we do not know if this is the truth, only what Trista claims)
- Justin claims that while carrying Ayla and groceries into the house, he tripped on the stairs and fell on top of Ayla, resulting in a broken arm. By his own admission, he did not bring her to the hospital to have it checked out until the next morning.
- Ayla had a doctor's appointment with a bone specialist scheduled for the 12th of December, Justin did not bring Ayla to that appointment, he has offered no explanation as to why to the media. I do know that when he was posed that question from someone who lived with him in Portland, he responded that he partied the night before and either was too tired or did not make it home in time. I only heard this through a second party and not from Justin himself so it is only speculation at this point.
- Trista filed for Parental Rights and Responsibilities regarding Ayla on the 15th. Ayla was reported missing the 17th of December.
- Justin was in Portland on the 15th of December, the day before Ayla went missing, cleaning the rest of his belongings out of the apartment in Portland. I know this to be absolute fact. I also know Ayla was not with him. Many have stated online that he was out collecting drug money at that time and that is false.
For starters, if Trista was concerned about Ayla coming home with unexplained injuries, EVERY time she went to visit him, why on earth would she not have went to the courts prior to her going to rehab to restrict Justin's visits with Ayla to a supervised setting? If she was genuinely worried for her daughter, I have a hard time understanding why she would allow Ayla to go there while she was in rehab and then allow her to remain there after she completed rehab in October. She had over a month and a half to go to the courts to regain custody of Ayla before Ayla went missing, that coupled with the her claims that Justin would not let her see or talk to Ayla would have been more reason to immediately go the the courthouse and file. Because of this, I believe there is more to this story and that DHS removed Ayla from her mother's custody and did award Justin sole custody. That would have had to of taken place in front of a judge as DHS does not have to the power to remove a child from a parent if the parent does not voluntarily sign over their rights. Under Maine Law, only the courts can order the removal of a child from their parental care even if there is suspected abuse or neglect. http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/ocfs/cw/handbook.html
Trista filed for Parental Rights and Responsibilities on the 15th of December, if there was no other court ordered agreement in place, under Maine Law, both parents have equal rights to the child and one parent does not trump the other. I would assume that Trista at any time prior to filing, could have went to DHS and requested that Ayla be put back into her care since she had completed rehab. There is much speculation that Phoebe DiPietro had a friend in DHS and that friend was pulling strings and that was what allowed Justin to take and retain custody of Ayla. I do not believe this to be the case as DHS continuously changes the workers assigned to each case and because Trista lived in Portland and Justin in Waterville, it is probable that both the offices in Augusta and Portland had a hand in this case.
I do not think that one DHS worker has the authority to make all the decisions, and as with most jobs, major decisions need to be run by a supervisor before they can be enacted. Trista's family made the first claims that Phoebe had a friend pulling strings for her in DHS.
There also been much discussion online about how Ayla's arm got broken, while I do believe that Justin is telling the truth about how it happened, the fact that he did not bring her to the emergency room at the first sign of swelling equals neglect in my book. I have a two year old and have tripped holding her and also had to juggle her while holding groceries, toys, laundry, etc. Any parent that denies that they have never had to juggle their child in one arm and something else in another is lying. At one time or another, you have no choice but to hold your child, sometimes more than one child and/or any number of other items to the car, into the house, etc. Your first instinct as a parent is to protect the child above all else, especially if that means a broken carton of eggs or a gallon of milk or that you take the brunt of the fall and not the precious baby you are holding. Justin being a relatively new parent, taking on full responsibilities, maybe did not have that instinct and Ayla paid the price for that. Accidents, however do happen and she should have been brought the emergency room. She would not have been able to bend her wrist, which they should have checked immediately, and also it would have become swollen relatively quickly and because their wrists are so small, I would bet you could probably tell by looking at it that it was broken. This in itself did not make me believe Ayla suffered a terrible fate in that house on the 16th of December. In fact, when this story first broke, I was still convinced that someone in Trista's family had taken Ayla because they were not convinced the court was going to return Ayla to her.
The most disturbing thing that happened prior to Ayla's disappearance was Justin being in Portland just hours before Ayla was "snatched" from her bed in the middle of the night. I will go into more detail in a later post as to why this bothers me so much. Justin going to Portland to clean out the apartment in itself without Ayla, under most circumstances, wouldn't be questionable. It bothers me because, where was Ayla? Was she in fact home with her aunt Elisha or daddy's girlfriend, Courtney Roberts or had the deed already been done?
If I have missed anything please let me know by posting your comments. I also am open to any discussions on why you agree or disagree with me. My next post will be what happened the night Ayla went missing and what Justin's friend, Angela Harry, claims happened according to Justin or Courtney as many suspect. Did Ayla really go missing on the 16th as they claim, or did she meet with foul play before then?