AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — A judge declared Ayla Reynolds dead Wednesday opening the door for her mother Trisha Reynolds to move forward with her plan to sue Ayla’s father Justin DiPietro.
Reynolds went missing from DiPietro’s home in Waterville, where he lived with his mother and sister, back in 2011. It is the same house where investigators found traces of Ayla's blood in the basement.
NEWS CENTER went back to the home on Violette Avenue where his mother Phoebe DiPietro and his sister Elisha still live after the judge’s ruling Wednesday. Justin DiPietro has since moved to California.
Elisha DiPietro refused to comment on the case and asked our crews to leave her property before getting in her car and driving away.
Neighbors said the neighborhood has changed a lot since 2011. One neighbor who did not wish to be identified said she was friendly with the family, but added that they never discussed the case.
However, that neighbor admitted that she was not surprised by the judge’s ruling and does not believe that Justin DiPietro had anything do with Ayla’s disappearance.
“He took good care of her he always acted like really wanted to take care of her,” she said.
The neighbor shared that Justin DiPietro had helped her in the yard on numerous occasions and was always willing to lend a hand.
“I can't wrap my head around it. it's too much for me to comprehend,” the neighbor said.
Legal experts say that if the lawsuit against DiPietro is pursued, testimony could possibly present new details and open new leads in the case.