When solving a puzzle, you must look at how all the pieces fit together to make sense of the bigger picture. You must use logic, you must use common sense.
The Pieces of the Puzzle:
Trista, her sister Jessica, and her mother all reported that when Ayla went to visit Justin she came home with bruises, Justin does not deny this allegation, we know this because he claims that Ayla got into a fight with another child in a nonexistent ball pit at Chuck E. Cheese. On another occasion Trista and her mother reported that Justin took Ayla and when she came back she was limping and they found out it was from a pulled leg muscle, Justin again does not deny this and his explanation was that they were "horsing around", many believe it was the result of a rough diaper change although there is no evidence to definitively prove that. Then Ayla goes to live with Justin and ends up with a broken arm. Ayla is not taken to the ER to have it checked for 24 hours.
In addition to the injuries that befell Ayla while in Justin's care, he also refused to allow her to have regular communication with her mother, the only person she had known since birth.
The night that Ayla went missing, it was reported that Justin, Courtney, and Courtney's son were all asleep in the basement bedroom while Ayla slept alone upstairs. Selena Johnson stated that she had slept downstairs in the basement before and you can't hear anything because of the noisy furnace, being winter and cold in Maine, it is reasonable to assume that the furnace kicked on quite a bit that night, there also was no baby monitor. Justin and Courtney could not hear Ayla. Ayla was not checked on for 12 hours. She was put down at 8pm and wasn't reported missing until almost 9am the next day.
We found out after Ayla was discovered missing that Justin's girlfriend, Courtney had a sister who was also her roommate in Portland. Brianna Roberts was arrested with quite an arsenal of prescription pain killers and cocaine when the apartment the two shared was busted by DEA agents. It is also safe to assume that Ayla, while in the care of Justin, had spent ample time at the Portland apartment while visiting his girlfriend, it is also safe to assume that there were drugs and/or drug use in the house at the same time Ayla was in the home.
When the pictures of Ayla were released by Ayla's maternal side of the family, we got the image of a vibrant, happy, beautiful little girl. She was smiling, uninterested in the camera and her eyes were bright taking in the world around her. There were no pacifying agents nearby. She looked confident and comfortable.
When the pictures of her in her father's care surfaced, that happy go lucky, vibrant little girl was no more. She appears wary of the camera, her eyes are not bright, she has her stuffed dog either clutched in her arms or nearby. She does not look comfortable nor does she look confident.
I know I am not the only person who has noticed the difference, nor am I the only one who reached the conclusion that Ayla was neglected and quite possibly abused by someone in her paternal family. Ayla's demeanor was not the only thing that was taken from the pictures that led me to that conclusion and it also was the pictures coupled with the evidence we already know that lead me to my final judgment. I have said that before but it apparently needs repeating. Just because a house is dirty, in disarray, not child proofed does not indicate neglect, but when someone from Child Protective Services goes into a home to make an assessment of neglect or abuse, they do look at those things.
When Child Protective Services CPS, are at a home during an assessment they will ask the parent certain questions, these questions are pretty standard and may vary slightly from state to state. At a Doctor's office, you fill out a questionnaire before your children's wellness visits, these questions and your responses are to give the medical practitioner insight into possible abuse and/or neglect.
There are four types of neglect, Physical, Educational, Emotional and Medical.
Physical neglectPhysical neglect accounts for the majority of cases of maltreatment. Physical neglect generally involves the parent or caregiver not providing the child with basic necessities (e.g., adequate food, clothing and shelter). Failure or refusal to provide these necessities endangers the child’s physical health, well-being, psychological growth and development. Physical neglect also includes child abandonment, inadequate supervision, rejection of a child leading to expulsion from the home and failure to adequately provide for the child’s safety and physical and emotional needs. Physical neglect can severely impact a child’s development by causing failure to thrive; malnutrition; serious illness; physical harm in the form of cuts, bruises, burns or other injuries due to the lack of supervision; and a lifetime of low self-esteem.
Educational neglect is not able to be acurately assessed in this case because Ayla was not of school age.
There also is no proof of emotional neglect although it is suspected. The only indication that we have proof of is that Justin isolated Ayla from her mother.
There is proof of medical neglect because Justin failed to bring Ayla to the ER after he had fallen on her. It was determined that Ayla suffered from a broken arm as a result of that incident.
If CPS were supposed to be involved in this case and Trista did report her concerns to DHS about possible abuse while in Justin's care, CPS and DHS should be held liable for Ayla's disappearance. There are too many indications of child abuse and/or neglect.
Why does a dirty or cluttered house matter?
Unintentional Injury is the leading cause of death in children under 14 years old with more than a third of those injuries happening in the home. 70% of children who die from household injuries are 3 and under. Ayla and Gabby are both under the age of three.
These accidents happen because baby gates are not installed properly or are not present, plastic bags are left out or large pillows, comforters, or clothes that can be a source for smothering. Small objects that a child can choke on, children are inquisitive. They will put almost anything in their mouth, pennies, batteries, marbles. The cords from blinds and electronic items can cause strangulation if a child is allowed to play near them unsupervised. Outlets with no covers are also extremely dangerous, children often mimic parents and try to plug in items or stick items into outlets. Death or injury by most househould accidents are silent. Parents will not hear the child struggling so having a baby monitor or checking on a child is crucial. It could mean the difference between life or death.
We do not know what happened to Ayla, was it an accident that went unreported and was covered up? After seeing the pictures released by the paternal family, I would say that is an extremely strong possibility. From judging by the facts that we already know coupled with the pictures and what they told us, am I comfortable saying that Ayla was neglected, absolutely. The people that do not see the evidence of this may just not be looking at how the pieces fit the puzzle as a whole, or you could argue that I am trying too hard to make the pieces fit. Like I said before, I fear I am beating a dead horse by posting this again.
Anyone with information leading to the whereabouts of Ayla Reynolds is asked to call 207-680-4700 or 207-624-7076. There is a $30,000 reward that is still unclaimed.
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