Police release statement on missing toddler
The following is a press release on the disappearance of Ayla Reynolds:
POLICE CHIEF JOSEPH MASSEY STATES:
As the investigation into the disappearance of Ayla Reynolds nears the end of Day 12, the Maine Warden Service is completing the last of their large-scale search operations. Over the past 12 days, members of the Warden Service, Waterville and Winslow Fire and Rescue, members of the Maine Association of Search and Rescue (MASAR) and other public safety officials have conducted a large number of ground searches and water searches, to include numerous examinations of the rivers in Waterville by the Warden Service plane. Many of these searches, particularly near the residence of 29 Violette Avenue, have been repeated in order to make sure that no evidence of Ayla's disappearance would be missed. In addition to the area searches, Wardens have also conducted a large number of targeted searches based on tips received from the media and based on direction from investigators.
The Maine Warden Service will continue to be available to the Waterville Police and State Police as the investigation moves ahead. Colonel Joel Wilkinson and his agency have been an incredibly valuable resource and the Wardens conducting these searches have done some of the hardest work in this effort. Colonel Wilkinson assures us that his agency will continue to make his personnel available as necessary to execute future searches. Our gratitude for their assistance is immense.
As of this afternoon, our department has received a total of approximately 370 leads, which have been assigned to detectives for follow-up.
Because of our commitment to conduct this investigation in a way that will assure us the highest possible chance of successfully locating Ayla, the agencies involved have been exceedingly cautious about releasing investigative details to the public. Although we fully understand and appreciate the public's desire to "know what we know" about the case, we will continue to release only that information which is appropriate based on the direction of the investigation, and at a time when we are confident that such release will not compromise our progress.
This afternoon, Justin Dipietro provided our investigators with a second written statement that he requested we release to the media. Mr. Dipietro's statement is attached to this press release.