PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — The mother of missing toddler appeared in court Thursday to ask a judge to formally declare her daughter dead.

It has been almost six years since Ayla Reynolds disappeared from a home in Waterville.

Ayla Reynolds

Trista Reynolds went before a probate court judge Thursday asking him to declare her daughter dead. 20-month-old Ayla was staying with her father, Justin DiPietro at his mother's home when she disappeared in December 2011.

Ayla's disappearance triggeried the largest search and investigation in Maine history.

Trista Reynolds wants her daughter declared legally dead so she can file a wrongful death lawsuit against DiPietro.

Police also believe Ayla is no longer alive.

They say if she were still alive their extensive investigation including federal, state, county and local law enforcement, would have turned up some sign of her.

Ayla's mother, Trista, requested to have Ayla declared legally dead on May 17.

The Cumberland County Probate Judge did not make a ruling Thursday. He is expected to make a decision within a few days.

Ayla's father, Justin DiPietro was served notice about Thursday's hearing but did not attend.

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