Horrible stories that involve children being taken in the night from their beds almost inevitably come back to mom and dad somehow. Very rarely is the story exactly as it seems, but for now, it seems the terrifying story that Ayla Reynolds, a 20-month-old from Waterville, Maine really was taken from her home in the night.

It is the stuff of parental nightmares and it seemed, at first, like some were placing blame on the custody battle raging between mom and dad. But that seems to be secondary to whatever happened to Ayla. Police in Waterville have finally come forward and said that someone went into the home and took her from her bed.

There is a $30,000 reward offered for information leading to finding her, but every parent in the world has just guaranteed themselves a sleepless night after reading this.

Recently, my daughter had something happen to her on a school playground with a stranger. It was nothing as bad as what happened to Ayla, but it was scary and upsetting nonetheless and worse, it was a stranger.

Since it happened, I have had to reframe everything I thought I knew about the world because, statistically, strangers were just not my number one worry. I have also rarely even contemplated someone coming into my child's room and taking him or her in the night. Now I need to worry about that.

My heart breaks for little Ayla and it is hard to imagine why anyone might take her like that. But it is something parents need to consider. Even though 9 times out of 10 when we hear a child has been "taken from their bed" it is because they were actually hurt by a parent, there still are children to whom this happens and apparently, Ayla is one of them.

As far as it seems, both parents are cooperating. They are both just wanting to see their daughter returned and somehow, that makes it all the more terrifying.

If this could happen to her, it could happen to anyone. My thoughts are with this family and mostly for baby Ayla. After a week missing, it becomes less and less likely that this will end with good news, but there is always hope.

Does this story scare you?

 

Image via National Center for Missing & Exploited Children