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Father of missing girl argues against expanding death suit

March 4, 2022 GMT

WATERVILLE, Maine (AP) — The father of a Maine toddler who went missing more than a decade ago and was later declared dead has attempted to reject an effort to expand a wrongful death lawsuit, claiming that the statute of limitations for the new allegations has expired.

Last month, Trista Reynolds, the mother of Ayla Reynolds, requested to expand the 2018 lawsuit against the toddler’s father, Justin DiPietro, with additional claims that a decade ago, DiPietro and his family allegedly tried to “clean up” Ayla’s blood and hid her body, The Morning Sentinel reported.

In a court filing on Thursday, DiPietro’s lawyer, Michael Waxman requested that the judge throw out the new allegations and also asked that DiPietro’s sister and mother not be included in the lawsuit.

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However, Reynolds’ attorney, William Childs, stated in the complaint that an expert who reviewed the police evidence reported that there was a “distribution of bloodstains of Ayla’s blood” in the Waterville home where she lived.

Waxman said he saw the expert report and argued that the DiPietro’s family cannot be added to the lawsuit since it would violate a two-year statute of limitation for a wrongful death complaint.

Ayla disappeared in 2011 when she was living with her father in Waterville. She was declared dead in 2017.

No charges have been filed after the largest and most expensive criminal investigation in state history. Maine State Police have said the case is still open and active.