Missing Baby Ayla Reynolds' Family Says She's Dead So Why Won't Cops?

Heartbreaking 30

Ayla ReynoldsWhen Ayla Reynolds, then 20 months old, went missing from her father's home in Maine in the middle of the night in December 2011, we all hoped the nightmare would be over quickly for her family. But now here we are, more than a year later, and not only has Ayla not back home, but her family's been delivered a staggering blow.

Ayla's step-grandfather has come out to say that his granddaughter is dead. What's more, he says his family has been forbidden from discussing how they know the little girl is gone.

Confused? It sounds like everyone is.

Police in Maine said late last year that it was "unlikely" that Ayla was still alive. Depressing but not definitive. There was at least a little room for hope there.

More from The Stir: Ayla Reynolds' Dad's Confession Complicates Missing Child's Case

But now Jeff Hanson, step-father of Ayla's mom, Trista Reynolds, is saying there is no hope. On the website the family has maintained for the little girl, Hanson said the state has "unequivocal" evidence that Ayla died a year ago, noting that a $30,000 reward once offered for the girl's return has been withdrawn. He says the family found this out last month when they met with the police.

The cops, on the other hand, won't talk. They won't comment on Hanson's statement, not even on his claims that the family has been forbidden from talking so they don't jeopardize the case.

Procedurally, it all makes sense. Police tend to tell families things that they don't want out because they realize the family needs answers.

But put yourself in the Reynolds/Hanson clan's shoes. They can't even talk about whether or not the little girl is really dead? How do you move on from that? How do you possibly get closure?

Either the child is dead or she's not. Is it really fair to force this family to keep pretending they don't know?

Have you been following Ayla's case?


Image via National Center for Missing & Exploited Children


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lobus lobus

They probably know the father killed her but dont have enough evidence yet and are trying to build a case against him. If they have any chance of putting him behind bars they will do as their told.

dirty... dirtymoon

I've thought since day 1 that father had something to do with it. Hopefully they build a case against him and put his sorry butt in jail til the day he dies.

nicol... nicolemead91

i always thought the father did it or had something to do with it..so whenever they have enough evidence against him to put his ass in prison..i reallyyy hope that something happens soon cuz that poor family has been through enough! i have a 3yr son and i could not even imagine if something happened too him! I LITERALLY WOULD BE RAISING HELL ON WHOEVER TOOK MY BABY AWAY FROM ME!!! prayers for that family !! =(

nonmember avatar Charlene

You can bet your butt that I would be looking for her until they could PROVE to me that she was gone. As a parent, a hairbrush or an item such as that doesn't mean they are gone, it just means that someone ditched the items. A mother's strength will not let her give up. Proving something to us is like trying to convince a jury.

Sandy Leger Dehn

The whole story sounds strange to me, all of it, was she visiting her father, was her Mother there with them, what a strange story????????????????

nonmember avatar Josi

This mother was a drug addicted junkie that lived in a pay by week motel 2 hours away from her child. She lived off state aid and had been investigated by DHS several times before they removed the child from her care. She has made a fortune off this case with book and movie deals as well as talk shows. The father has remained silent and depressed, his life ruined. The whole story is sad and disgusting. Its pains me that this has happened in nearly my backyard.

CPN322 CPN322

I'd much rather not know at the moment and have the prosection be able to convict who ever hurt her then to be selfishly nosey. The family can discuss what they've been told amongst themselves. I don't think it would be anymore therapeutic to share the information with the world then to just have the family know.

nonmember avatar Dawn

This isn't about preventing the family closure, it is about bringing about some form of justice for a helpless little girl. Why would anyone slam the police for doing their job. This is not a closed case. If this were my child, God forbid, I would do whatever I was asked to bring about justice.

JHH123 JHH123

Why has no one talked about this mother? She was a drug addicted junkie that had her child removed from her custody. Who lived in a pay by week motel, and had been investigated by DHS several times, and lived off state assistance.  This woman has made a MILLION DOLLARS on book and movie deals. The father remains silent, his life ruined, continuously helping the police, yet accused. This whole story is sick and sad. 

nonmember avatar J

Would you want to talk about it publically? I don't get this world's need to discuss every single detail in the most public way. They have their answers, they can discuss it amongst themselves, grieve in private and cling to family - the way it should be. Would you feel the need to go in front of cameras and have the world see your lowest of lows and most private of grieving times? Especially if it meant you could jeopardize the guilty from being caught?

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