Behavioral Analysis of Missing Children Cases

by Grace4Ayla on May 13, 2013

Recently, an online statement analysis® “expert” wrote an interesting blog article on the expected behavior of the parents of missing children. Because this blogger failed to include Trista Reynolds, mother of missing toddler Ayla Bell Reynolds, in his study, I thought I would compare her activity with the checklist to see where she falls.

Does Trista Reynolds’ score indicate that she is an innocent mother, or does she follow in the footsteps of Billie Dunn, Melinda Duckett or Casey Anthony? Let’s take another look at the “7 simple Expectations” and see how Trista’s words and behavior line up.

Great Expectations

1. You react swiftly.

Like a parent who’s child has wandered off at the grocery store, you will call out immediately to your missing child.

It is hard to determine how swiftly Trista Reynolds responded to the news of her daughter’s disappearance because she has repeatedly changed her story and the timeline of the morning Ayla was reported missing.

First, Trista claimed she was sleeping so soundly she didn’t hear her phone ringing, so her father had to call Robert Fortier to wake her. Fortier was allegedly driving Trista past Waterville to Machiasport at that time for a visit with his son (and Trista’s fiance), Ray Fortier. This story later changed to Ron Reynolds contacting Robert Fortier and instructing him NOT to wake Trista, but instead to continue driving towards Machiasport. Shortly thereafter, Ron called back and the pair turned around. The original story had them drive all the way back to Portland, only to turn around and head to Waterville, with even later versions claiming that they went straight to the Waterville police department instead.

Physical reaction aside, more important to this blogger’s assessment is the time it takes a parent to address the media. Let’s take a look at that, shall we? Trista Reynolds’ first statement was made to ABC on Dec. 18, 2011. In this all-important first interview, Trista spoke about the relationship between her and Justin DiPietro, why Ayla was with Justin, and the status of their relationship currently, but she did not specifically “call out” to Ayla, nor did she use Ayla’s name. This is not the expected.

2. You do anything asked of you.

Like John Walsh says, the innocent parent immediately clears himself with the polygraph, demanding it to be administered immediately.

Did Trista Reynolds demand a polygraph at the beginning? She didn’t mention it until January 17, 2012 with Bangor Daily News, but in this interview again, seemed more interested in apprising media of the state of her communications with Justin DiPietro. It is interesting to note that when asked the reason for such a late scheduling of a polygraph for the mother, MSP responded that those were “investigative details” they refused to get into. This does not sound like the expected wording towards an innocent parent. I would have expected them to say, “We just want to eliminate as many people as we can in order to better focus our investigation” or something similar.

It is also interesting to note the language used by law enforcement when discussing Trista Reynolds’ failure to pass the polygraph. If Trista had a medical condition, it should have been “disclosed” during the lengthy questionnaire you are required to fill out prior to any polygraph. Police stating an “undisclosed” medical condition tells us that Trista LIED on the questionnaire by withholding information. Is this to be considered doing everything asked of you? Not in my book.

3. Early on in the investigation, you are not satisfied with the police efforts because your child is NOT found. When a parent begins to “thank” or even “commend” unsuccessful police, it is a signal of trying to make ‘nice-nice’ when there is no reason to thank them.  This is, in context, early on, when the frustration of the innocent parent is through the roof.  Of course, later on, as sadness and acceptance begin its ugly descent, there is almost a fatalistic thanking of police and searchers, especially as hope fades.

By May 25, 2012, five days before the press conference where MSP stated that Ayla was likely deceased, Trista Reynolds reported to WMTV that she was losing hope. But on May 31, Trista was furious not with the police, but with Justin DiPietro. In fact, Trista Reynolds did not publicly voice any displeasure with law enforcement until December of 2012, when she learned that investigators had shared information with the DiPietro family that had not been shared with her.

How about it, readers? Does Trista Reynolds’ behavior line up with our bloggers standards on this issue? My vote is no.

4. You don’t care what anyone says about you. You only care for what your child is going through.

People like Billie Dunn and Justin DiPietro love to talk about what they are going through, but not about what the child is going through because it is not a concern:  there is no connection in the brain because it did not happen.

Trista seemed concerned for her daughter at first, but after a few short months, she began to give up. In March 2012 Trista said:

“I’m tired of wondering and I’m tired of worrying.”
“What’s really on my mind on a daily basis is I’m wondering every day whether my daughter is dead or alive. That’s what I want to know. Is she alive or is she dead? At least tell me that little bit.”

The first statement reminds me of Jeremy Irwin leaving an interview because he was “too tired” to continue. Note the order. She “wonders” and “worries.” Wouldn’t worry be first if your daughter is missing?

The second paragraph shows us she is not concerned with how Ayla is, only with whether or not she is dead or alive. Note the order, then the change in order. She is “wondering” about whether Ayla is dead first, then alive. But then she asks, “Is she alive or is she dead?” So, when Trista is wondering (internal thoughts) the order is dead first, but when she “wants to know” (external) it’s alive first, then dead. According to Statement Analysis® principles, what you are closest to, or favor more, is usually listed first. What you are trying to distance yourself from comes later, or last. I would think that in her private thoughts worry and alive would come first, as she would secretly be hoping against hope that Ayla was alive, and worried to death about what is happening to her, not merely “wondering” if she was even alive. I am not sure, barely four months in, if I would be able to even speak the word “dead.” I would expect something more like “Is she ok? That’s what I want to know.” Obviously, if she were dead, it would be tragic, but at least she would be at peace.

I also note she uses “daily basis” instead of “constant.” She then repeats, “every day.” This shows sensitivity. Why? I would think Ayla would always be on her mind. She further weakens this whole statement with the word “really.” Is this really what is on her mind every day? I’m betting not. Again, this is not the expected.

5. You tell the truth

The innocent parent tells the truth, takes and passes the polygraph and doesn’t care if someone doesn’t believe her. “I didn’t cause her disappaerance. I told the truth,” which, when said, puts doubts to rest. Even journalists can hear the confidence in these words, given so plainly and without any attempt to persuade. There may be some embarrassing chapters of your life about to come out, including drug use, divorce, custody battle, accusations, and so on, but they all fade away in the worry for the child, herself. Nothing else matters and you tell the truth. You interview truthfully and you pass the polygraph. You don’t “smoke” the polygraph, you passed it because you told the truth.

I think we have clearly shown that Trista Reynolds has lied repeatedly about many things regarding the disappearance of her daughter Ayla Bell Reynolds.

6. You pester police.

This means lots of calls to police when you think of this, or that, and don’t even care if you insult friends you now suspect:  all you care about is your missing child.

On December 10, 2012 Trista Reynolds stated she “rarely hears from investigators anymore.” She did not say they were not returning her daily phone calls. Why is she waiting to hear from them? I would call them everyday. This, too, is not the expected.

Mark Redwine, Melinda Duckett, Baby Sabrina’s parents, Billie Dunn, Shawn Adkins, Deborah Bradley, Sergio and Becky Celis, and so many others, all have these “unexpected” behaviors and words, in common.

John Walsh, Elaine Redwine, Desiree Young, Kaine Horman, Clint Dunn, Josh Duckett, and others, all have consistent behavior and wording in their cases.

Our “expert” blogger can’t count apparently, because there was no seventh point.

Expected or Unexpected?

I ask you, in which group does mother Trista Reynolds, by words and action, belong? I believe Trista’s behavior to be “unexpected” and certainly not “consistent.”

Despite the obvious deception in her words and the inconsistency in her behavior, many people still dismiss the idea of Trista’s involvement simply because Ayla was with Justin at the time of her disappearance. I understand. The conundrum is this: although Trista may not have killed Ayla herself, she was complicit in the murder-for-profit scheme, and her actions directly led to Justin DiPietro murdering their child. Just because Justin didn’t dispose of Ayla the way they planned, doesn’t negate Trista’s ultimate responsibility.

Justin DiPietro and Trista Reynolds planned to murder Ayla for the life insurance proceeds. When Trista changed her mind, Justin killed Ayla anyway and is now hiding her body from Trista. Perhaps Trista changed her mind about the murder plot because of the abuse Ayla was suffering, but it was too little, too late. She filed for custody on Thursday, December 15 and made plans to “abduct” Ayla. Somehow word got back to Justin, prompting Justin’s abduction fear text messages. Unfortunately however, when Trista finally arrived in Waterville around 3:30am December 17, 2011, Ayla was already gone.

Did Justin tell Trista that Ayla succumbed to another accident, and he only needed to hide her body for a bit? Just until COD couldn’t be determined? Perhaps he said she overdosed, because Trista was sure thrown for a loop when she heard about Ayla’s blood found in Justin’s bedroom. Whatever happened that early morning, we know that Trista’s blood was also shed. Did she and Justin fight? Was she the cause of Justin’s swollen face?

Neither parent is talking in the media now, yet Maine State Police continue their investigative efforts with unyielding determination.

Maine State Police Spokesman, Steve McCausland – April 4, 2013

“The case continues to be open and active, but there are no new developments.”

“Any birthday of a child is a milestone, usually filled with joy and hope. Today is a sad reminder this is not the case in Waterville, and that on Ayla’s third birthday we still do not have the complete story of what happened inside that Violette Avenue home from those who know what occurred. Ayla deserves better.”

The inclusive language in this latest statement is very telling. No longer are Steve McCausland and Maine State Police accusing only those inside the house. The complete details of the conspiracy between Trista Reynolds and Justin DiPietro may never be fully revealed to the public, but I am confident that law enforcement is on the right track, and that true Justice For Ayla will be found, even if other bloggers choose to remain blind.

(Statement Analysis® is a registered trademark of Mark McClish.)

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