When a child goes missing, you can't blame members of the kid's family for jumping on TV to beg for their safe return. Who wouldn't want to explore every avenue? But in a strange twist in an even stranger case, Phoebe DiPietro, grandmother of missing Maine toddler Ayla Reynolds, just lost the sympathy vote over a CNN interview she gave late last week.
It turns out the grieving granny made it all up. ALL of it. So much for trying to help her granddaughter.
DiPietro's son Justin DiPietro is Ayla's father, and he's said to have put his daughter to bed at 8 p.m. on the night of December 16, only to enter her room the next morning at 9 a.m. and find an empty crib. In part because he was the last person to see the little girl alive, he's naturally been getting a lot of flack from people who wonder if he was somehow involved in the girl's disappearance (the fact that he has been refusing to talk to the girl's mom, Trista Reynolds, hasn't exactly helped either).
When his mom got on CNN to clear up the suspicions that her son was somehow involved in the disappearance of her granddaughter, and set the record straight on the rumors of a party at their house on that fateful night, she sounded like a good mother and good grandmother both. She spun a tale of a quiet get-together among friends that happened the night of Ayla's disappearance and cast her son as a loving father while she cried about the loss of her little angel. She even told CNN she "didn't hear anything" in the hours when Ayla is thought to have gone missing.
And now we know why she didn't hear anything! Because Phoebe DiPietro has just admitted she wasn't even home that night. Everything she presented as personal details of her night was hearsay, stuff she'd heard from someone else, and she's admitted it.
It's one of the worst cases of armchair quarterbacking in history. DiPietro tried to clear up suspicions about her family by casting herself an expert on things she knew nothing about. And what has she done? She's made us more suspicious of her family than we were to begin with! If they were innocent, why would she need to lie? If the night went down like she said it did, why couldn't she admit that "so and so told me ... "?
It sounds like Phoebe DiPietro cares about her son. She'll even lie to make him sound good. But what about her granddaughter?
Did Ayla Reynolds' grandmother make things worse with this interview?