Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Days Before Ayla Went Missing

Many things happened prior to Ayla's disappearance and as law enforcement continues to investigate we are slowly learning more and more. There are also many conflicting stories, depending on which side of the family you ask.

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.
There are a few things here that I have questions about and would love clarification. I invite any member from Trista or Justin's party to elaborate on anything to give us a clearer picture, however, I would not want them to say anything that could hinder the investigation.
                                                                                  

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?

38 comments:

  1. I would like for the truth to come out about the exact role DHHS played in this. I believe an investigation should be done. I know that DHHS is top secret, but who is policing their actions? I wish the newspapers would start a full investigative procedure on this. If DHHS did nothing wrong they need to explain, so the rumors will stop. If anyone did anything that was not in the best interest of the child, then they need to be held accountable.

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    1. Amen!!! DHHS definitely needs to be held accountable for their actions.

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  2. I would like to know all the details surrounding the text messages that were supposedly sent to Trista from Justin indicating he thought someone might try and take Ayla (or something to that affect) I believe the ENTIRE conversation could shed light on this piece of the puzzle.

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    1. I don't know whether it's possible that Trista could be under some sort of gag order or not, but I think if she isn't, her best option at this point should be to lay it all on the table. Everything. Give the press copies of the texts, describe the nature of the blood found, speak clearly and loudly about any other detail so far not released.

      This might back someone into a corner, fast.

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  3. Wonderful idea on this blog. I like facts. You make a lot of sense.

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  4. I tried to get more info from DHS and their policies but if any more comes to light, it wont be through anyone associated with DHS. They will not even let you say the name Ayla Reynolds in their building, which leads me to think they have much to hide as far as this case and what they are responsible for.

    I also would like to know if there were in fact text messages sent to Trista from Justin. Hard to be sure since Trista first stated she had had no contact with Justin prior to Ayla's disappearance then came out and stated she had received a text stating he was afraid she would be taken. Justin has not confirmed he sent the message but did deny that they hadn't had contact and stated LE had copies of phone records. Definitely something to explore.

    I plan on adding the next blog tonight and focusing on what happened the night Ayla went missing. Thank you for the comments and encouragement

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    1. Well of course DHS is freaking out about Ayla; they placed her with a man who broke her arm and them "misplaced" her. Duh, they are about to get their butts handed to them, that is if there is any justice. But I've seen it time and again, social worker or family court makes a decision that people on one side of the family says is going to get a kid hurt or killed, and then it happens just the way they said. I'm quite sure they weren't psychic but clearly had a better grasp on the situation than the bonehead social workers & stupid judges. As with the appalling thing that happened in Washington state this past weekend, the grandparents were so afraid Josh Powell would do something but they would have been held in contempt & might have had the children removed from their care if they had done anything to try and block the visit. And now the kids are dead. We will see if anything good comes from the indirect role of that state/county agency in their murders. And if DHS in the county of Kennebec, or whatever office had this case doesn't like hearing Ayla's name, then maybe we should start calling them from all over the country and asking them why they neglected their duty to monitor Ayla's situation with her father. Something underhanded was going on, whether the family had someone who was helping them is a theory, not even that, just a rumor at this point, but surely an investigation is warranted, and in fact, let me amend my original idea that people from all over the U.S. call them, let's all call the governor's office instead. Elected officials hate it when you accuse one of their state's agencies of neglect causing the disappearance of a child they are supposed to be supervising. There are tons of questions. Did Phoebe's house get an inspection, was everyone in the house background checked and fingerprinted? Did anyone have a DUI but they put her in the house anyway? Most states are really strict about that particular offence, though I'm not sure why that particular one is the one that will disqualify you from getting custody or being a foster parent. When I was getting a child I was related to they put all of us through the ringer. They failed me the first time because one of my smoke detectors had a dead battery and I couldn't find a new one to replace it. Then I had to wait another two weeks for the inspector to come back. Talk about agony. I hope people lose their jobs, at the very least, and at the most never work again in anything to do with deciding the future of children because they suck at it. I hope they have to work at McDonalds for the rest of their miserable lives. Lord knows that's all they are qualified to do. They failed to protect Ayla. They need to be held accountable.

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    2. I posted here because I didn't know how to send a message to the moderator. I hope you get message notifying you that I posted here. I read a response that you had written defending yourself as people were trying to discredit you today. I didn't want to respond there for all to see and hope that maybe here, not everyone will read. I am and have posted with my name, Annie, I have also posted many Anon. I am 35, live in south Portland mom of two girls and finishing up my second degree.

      I read about your child. I just wanted to send empathy and compassion. The reason I started reading your blog because I saw the blurb that you had added by the picture that stated that you think about this case everyday. I think as a mom of little ones I too have found myself in this boat. My mom was diagnosed with C at X-mas. I can't even begin to imagine a child. I shed a little tear for you and your child. I will keep your family in my prayers.

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  5. Do you know if Justin has other children? Someone on the other blog said that but not sure if true. You should fb Trista, maybe she can answer some questions.

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    1. Thats interesting. What blog are you talking about?

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    2. I don't think so because he did clearly didn't want this one around anymore. I'm sure he learned his lesson and shelled out a few bucks for a box of condoms. It's a question people kept asking & now it's a rumour that's grown legs. I really hope not and if there is another one, I hope the mother RUNS as fast as she can out of the state of Maine, or has done so already but I don't think there is. The only reason he even knew about Ayla was because when Trista filed for state benefits she was required to name the father, so then Justin gets the letter in the mail, congrats it's a girl, pay up, I believe that was the beginning of the end for little Ayla. He was not about to pay money to some girl he hardly knew and didn't care about, for a kid he surely didn't want, for the next 18 years.

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    3. Please don't do that. Trista wouldn't know and wouldn't care, to say the least, about anymore Justin kids he wouldn't want around. Her baby has been missing for two months, why would you bother her with stupid questions like that? If you have any heart at all, please leave her be. The only reason any of us from the public should be contacting her is to offer support and hopeful prayers for her baby daughter to be found.

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  6. I have a question. Did LE check Justin's apartment for signs of foul play? Perhaps the hundreds of pieces of evidence were from his belongings that he moved on Dec. 15. Just speculation. They said the blood was in the basement, not exactly where it was in the basement. I will make an account so I can join your blog as soon as I have the time. Thank you

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    1. To my knowledge police did not search the apartment in Portland although the residents were more than willing to let them search. I believe it was because none of Justin's were there at that point.

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    2. But it makes little sense that they wouldn't have, unless of course they've been strictly "by the book" and operating ONLY under the premise she disappeared that night. Wouldn't they be remiss in not searching the apartment just in case the statements of the 3 adults in the house were just a cover-up for something that happened at an earlier date?

      My gut feeling is that they must (hopefully) have some evidence to support Ayla being alive and well the day he cleaned out his Portland apartment.

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    1. I heard that he and/or his brother Lance work/ed at the Midnight Blues Club in Waterville but I do not know this to be 100% true. I did read on a facebook page that he was in school for his CDL truck driving license also but again I don't know for sure.

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  8. If DHS took Ayla and placed her with Justin for this short (10 day) stint in rehab, what was done about the other child? If the other child was left in the care of her mom/sister, doesn't it seem strange that Ayla was removed?

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    1. Yes, I definitely find it strange. I pray Ayla is alive & well. Otherwise, DHHS dropped the ball on this one & has some explaining to do for their actions.

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    2. DHS did not remove the children because of neglect or abuse, they gave Trista a choice, Lose the alcohol or lose the kids. She immediately sought treatment and the children were kept in her custody with DHS likely scheduling follow up appointments. Justin stepped forward while Trista was in rehab and laid claim to Ayla, because Trista had never went to court to set out any custody arangements, by law Justin had equal rights to Ayla even though he hadn't played a role in her life until then. Justin had more rights to Ayla than Trista's sister and mother which is why DHS facilitated Justin in taking physical custody. The father of Trista's other child never stepped forward so he stayed with the sister and mother per Trista's wishes.

      If no one learns anything from this blog, please keep this in mind if you are a single mother with a dead beat for your child's father, even if the child lives with you and the father has nothing to do with the child, go to court and get a court order so if anything were ever to happen to you such as an accident and you have to remain in the hospital, etc. that you retain final say on where your child will go and the biological father cannot swoop in and take over like what happened in this case.

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    3. This equal rights thing is contrary to most states where the parents are unmarried at the time of the child's birth, and are never married after. In Ohio for instance, the father must go to court, claim paternity, and then they set up the custody/visitation arrangement and unless the mother is deeply unfit the father is usually the one to pay support. In the case of my niece and nephew, both of the whom have a child with a person they were never married to, that's what happened. My niece gets support and shares her son with his idiot father and my nephew pays support and shares his daughter with her nutty mother. Sorry, but if you knew the whole story you would understand, I'm not biased. When a boy of 3 comes homes calling his mother a bitch, there is something seriously wrong. Anyway, this idea that Justin automatically has rights to just go pick up Ayla on a whim is plain nuts. Just because he's the sperm donor doesn't make him fit to take her. I have lived in four states where that would not happen. Clearly if it hadn't been permitted in this case Ayla would still be well and unknown to any of us. At least I hope something good would come from this mess and from here on out I do hope they don't just hand a child over to some guy merely because he fathered the child.

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  9. I guess I didn't follow this blog good enough? Who is behind this blog? I question the credibilty of the person in charge she states she has direct knowledge of Justins activitys then states she read somewhere online he was going for a CDL. If you know him then why wouldn't you know small stuff like that and not rely on facebook posts?

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  10. I stated I DO NOT know Justin, I may have meet him a time or two to say hello but that was it. You obviously did not read the first post. I know the people who lived with him in Portland, one of them being my brother in law. I do not claim insider knowledge nor do I hint at it. My point was that once this story hit, I am sure many people found they knew someone related to the case, whether it was someone from Justin's side, Trista's side or a dectective working the case.

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  11. You need to correct your dates, Ayla was reported missing on Dec.17th not the 16th.

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  12. So noted and corrected. She has been missing since the 16th, reported missing the 17th. Sorry for the mistake. I am sure there will be many more mistakes/typos along the way.

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    1. That doesn't make sense either, tou're saying she's been missing since the 16th, which was Friday, and from all the reports she was there at home that night of the 16th, so please explain??

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  13. JusticeforAyla, there are so many contradictions and loose ends on this 'story' so far, it is impossible NOT to be confused about particulars!
    it would be great to make a linear timeline for reference, i am having trouble remembering details, maybe others are as well.
    i look forward to your next 'installment' and really like your chronological presentation. i have a bunch of questions about the events that come next.

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  14. I'm sorry, but you don't have the first clue. Social workers are weirdos, no matter which state you are in. They did take Ayla without a judge signing an order. If Ayla was in danger/being neglected, wasn't her little brother in the same house and situation? Why didn't they take him? You have obviously never dealt with a CPS or a DCFS, whatever they call themselves in each county/state. All it takes is one social worker to write one thing in the case file, they all get that narrative in their heads with regard to what should happen to a particular kid and boom, Trista was screwed and Ayla was doomed. Maybe the DiPietros didn't have their own private social worker handling the case, but that doesn't mean they didn't have someone with access to the file telling them what to do and interferring in the case. That theory should not be dismissed out of hand and I'll explain why shortly.

    I have felt for quite a long time that Justin premeditated Ayla's "kidnapping". He was done with child support, he was done with Trista and her family and he was done with that kid, a kid he didn't want to see born in the first place. He's a sociopath and he planned to get rid of her. Think I'm nuts? You do read the papers, right? Josh Powell. Need I say more? What is making this so much worse is the family helping to cover for him. I think Phoebe DiPietro raised a bunch of sociopaths. Is it true that DiPietro is her birth name and she has never married? Boy, if it is, unleash the psychiatrists because they could write a textbook on this family. Lance beating on people, Justin breaking his kid's arm and "losing" her in less than 2 months. And then there is Elisha. What part does she play in this psychopathic drama? Her kid is in that house too, why isn't DHHS making sure she is not in danger since her cousin of almost the same age went missing from there under suspicious circumstances? So please don't tell me that it makes no sense that Phoebe has some connections with this agency, whatever they may be. Clearly something is going on if they haven't opened a file on Elisha's kid.

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  15. Every child in a DHS case is given a lawyer. If the social worker and the lawyer thinks the child is in danger, that child can be removed right that second. It doesn't have to go through a court. It's called a 'safety plan', not custody or temp custody. I know because I'm the 'safety plan' for my granddaughter who lives with me. She was removed from her home and they gave no notice. We have to go to court to get actual custody. A judge decides that.

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    1. You are right, but the safety plan wasn't followed, according to Trista. No background checks, no fingerprinting, no home inspection. As far as I've heard, no follow-up visits to the DiPietro house. Now if someone has that information it would be good to make it known because as far as anyone knows they just put her in that house and forgot about her.

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    2. A parent does not have to follow a safety plan, they can tell DHS to get lost and if DHS wants to pursue it because they think there is child abuse or neglect going on in the home and the child is not safe then they have to petition the court to take the child, they cannot remove a child from a parent without either the parent's consent or a court order. DHS will also not provide a lawyer if they are going to pursue it in court, you are responsible for your own attorney and most people will then contact Pine Tree Legal for free representation. Laws and policies regarding DHS/CPS are different in every state but I am 100% positive this is how DHS works in Maine. I have done extensive research on this and you can call DHS at 1-800-452-1926 to verify this information

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    3. Ok, then how did they get Ayla away from Trista to begin with? And why, if SHE wasn't safe with Trista's relative's, wasn't her little son taken and put in foster care? None of this makes any sense. And why didn't they make a home visit after the broken arm business? Something's rotten in the state of Maine and I think it's DHS.

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    4. They got Ayla when Trista was in Rehab. Ayla was staying at Trista's sister's house in Lewiston and Justin had the police department assist him on taking custody of Ayla. The other child stayed where he was because he was safe and his father did not step forward to request he be put in his custody.

      DHS certainly should have been involved if Trista is telling the truth about reporting her suspicions about abuse or neglect of Ayla by Justin to DHS.

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    5. Ok, but the broken arm is a fact, so why didn't they investigate that? Why didn't they know she had another dr. appointment about the arm that was missed? It wasn't Trista in charge anymore, it was (supposedly), DHHS who took this kid and put her in that house. I would like to know why they didn't keep tabs on her new situation? There is something so wrong here that my stomach hurts each time I think of it, this case and the one in Washington state last weekend. When are the child protective services agencies in the country going to be held accountable for getting kids killed they are supposed to be protecting?

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  16. Just to clarify... When a child has 2 parents and neither have been given sole custody of the child thru a judge, then the law states that either parent has legal right. All Justin would have been required to do is ask for police assistance to go "retrieve" his daughter. They would have assisted. No Dhs involvement needed. But... When trista got out of rehab if Justin refused to give ayla back, then it becomes a civil matter and trista would be required to petition the court for a custody hearing.

    In another words, parents going thru a divore or one night stand parents... If there is NO court ordered custody on the child the other parent can take them and even run with them and there is nothing that can be legally done, until a custody hearing is determined. Sometimes police will assist and try to "presence scare" the other parent into returning the child to the other parent, but if the parent says no.. it becomes a civil matter for the court to decide and the child remains with the parent that took them until court.

    Since ayla was with trista family and not with trista it would have been very easy for Justin to take her with a police escort as a parent.

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  17. In addition, I believe it would have been possible for him to get a temporary custody order by stating that mom was in rehab. Especially if he went to Dhs in waterville. I have read that there was a meeting with Justin trista and Dhs stating that he was to return ayla to trista the day she completed rehab. But he refused. Can anyone confirm this? Dhs, they would have had no reason to investigate or follow up as thier involvement was only to assist the parent while the other parent was in rehab.

    I think it is being "understood" that ayla was removed by Dhs and placed with Justin. I don't believe that is the fact. I believe Justin used the laws of "no existing custody order" to excersize his rights and simply take ayla while trista was in rehab.

    There are many men that refuse to pay "that women" one red cent, and will fight for custody of a child they didn't want rather than have to pay "that women" any money. They rationalize that if they have to pay, they are taking the child.

    I still think grandma, courtney, or elisha are the ones LE need to pressure, lance and Justin "took care of it" to protect mommy or sister. I believe there is enough circumstantial evidence to press charges against all adults. Perhaps the threat of losing thier own children will be enuff to crack one of thier mouths open and spilling the truth.

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