There's finally news about the family of Ayla Reynolds, the toddler who went missing in Maine in December 2011. But it's not good news. The little girl's father, Justin DiPietro, has been arrested on domestic assault charges.
DiPietro, for those who haven't followed the case, was the last person to see Ayla alive. The little girl was staying at her father's home in Waterville, Maine, the night she disappeared, and he's lived under a cloud of suspicion ever since, fueled in no small part by statements that he wasn't very cooperative with police during the investigation.
DiPietro's latest trouble seems to be unrelated to the disappearance of his child. A police officer arrested the 26-year-old after reportedly seeing him grab and push a woman on the street. Although the woman, reportedly an ex-girlfriend, was not injured, DiPietro was placed under arrest and charged with domestic violence assault.
He's now out on bail, but the media spotlight is back on him, and with it comes questions about his daughter's disappearance.
Could Justin DiPietro have been involved? Does he know what happened to Ayla?
It's not the first time people have made these allegations. His ex-girlfriend (and Ayla's mother) Trista Reynolds has made allegations that DiPietro wasn't being completely honest about what happened in the last few days of Ayla's life before her disappearance. And police have questioned DiPietro's claim that Ayla had a cast on her arm because he accidentally fell with her while carrying groceries. Not to mention blood was found in DiPietro's home.
None of that was good for the father of the missing girl, and neither is his current circumstance.
Although it may be a leap to tie this arrest to Ayla's disappearance -- they appear unrelated on the outside -- there are some certain commonalities that can't be ignored. An assault charge points to a predilection for violence and a hot temper.
Blood? A missing child? They point to violence and the possibility that someone with enough anger to hurt a child did something to Ayla.
Of course, it could just be a coincidence. He could just be a concerned dad who has had a rough go of it over the last few years who is now wrapped up in something entirely different.
Perhaps the real question now is whether this arrest will stir up enough renewed interest in the case to help police get to the bottom of Ayla's disappearance.
What have you thought of Justin DiPietro's actions since his daughter went missing?
Image via Cumberland County Jail