Breaking Down ‘Trista and Justin’

by Grace4Ayla on November 5, 2012

Trying to figure out Trista Reynolds’ words and actions since her daughter, Ayla Bell Reynolds, disappeared on December 16, 2011 is like putting together a five hundred piece puzzle with no picture to guide you. I decided to go back to the beginning and look at the sequence of events through three separate lenses to see which premise fit. These are:

  1. Trista Did It – Trista Reynolds kidnapped Ayla and has her hidden;
  2. Justin Did It – Justin DiPietro murdered Ayla and hid her body; or
  3. Some Other Dude Did It – A third party kidnapped Ayla and is holding her captive.

Taking Another Look

We must begin by looking for clues as to Justin and Trista’s relationship before, during and after their daughter’s disappearance. We have heard through blogs and rumors that there was no relationship between Justin and Trista prior to Ayla’s conception. And we have also heard they were having a secret affair behind Courtney Roberts’ back for several months, which has also been cited as the reason Trista’s blood was found on sheets in Justin’s basement bedroom, along with her daughter’s blood.

LE stated that finding Ayla’s blood in the DiPietro’s house was “troubling.” I would think that finding Trista’s blood would be bizarre and beyond belief!

Trista’s first scheduled television appearance was on Good Morning America on Dec. 19, 2011. She described her relationship with Justin as “living separate but share custody of the toddler.” Trista further claimed, “he would help me out, he’d take care of her til I was on my feet, we’ve been unable to actually, um, get along the last few weeks and parent together.”

Trista Vs. Justin ; Secrets and Lies

Trista filed for Parental Rights and Responsibilities in Cumberland County on Dec. 15, 2011 and said “He didn’t know I went to file them. He’ll know now, but I never told him and no one told him.” Trista also claimed she had not spoken with Justin since Ayla disappeared. “I have had no contact with him, he has had no contact with me, like, all I know is he is the last man to see my daughter and all I want to know is where she is.”

In a later interview with talkshow host Nancy Grace, Trista reveals even more details about her decision to seek custody:

GRACE: I’m going to come back to Dr. Carter. But very quickly, Trista Reynolds is with us. This is Ayla’s mom. Trista, you went to court in secret just hours before Ayla goes missing, 20-month-old baby girl with a sling on her arm. Did you prevail? Did the judge suggest to you that you were going to get full custody?

REYNOLDS: I haven’t even gotten that far.  All I have done is file the paperwork, and that was it. I haven’t seen a judge. I haven’t talked to a lawyer. I have done nothing but file…

GRACE: So you went all on your own without even a lawyer to help you, trying to get custody. Why, Trista, were you trying to get full custody?

REYNOLDS: Because her father has never had anything to do with her up until I needed to go and get a little bit of help for myself. And then when I left my daughter with my sister, that’s when he decided, ‘You know what? I’m going to take Ayla.’

And I want to put it out there that every time my daughter has gone with Justin, she would always come back with bruises on her or she had come back with a pulled muscle. And in the 18 months that I had had my daughter, not once did she ever end up missing, did she ever end up with a broken bone, did she ever miss a doctor’s appointment. And since she’s been with Justin, she has missed four appointments for shots. And this past Friday, she missed her bone specialist appointment.

Here we clearly see Trista’s first assertion that she left her daughter with her sister and Justin “decided” to take Ayla. Justin promptly responds with his own official statement through Waterville Police on December 20, 2011 that “Ayla was in my sole custody…per agreement between her mother and I…”

So, was Trista lying? Or was Justin?

Throwing Punches and Casting Doubt

If we assume that Trista is telling the truth, we should assume everything she has said is true. Trista claims that she and Justin were having a secret affair before she went into rehab. Then he decided to take Ayla. This makes no sense to me. If he were secretly sleeping with Trista you would think he would have feelings for her. If he had feelings, why wouldn’t he just take care of Ayla while she got on her feet, as she claims he did, then return her?

At this point, we can see that Trista is placing blame on Justin. If we view these actions through the Trista Did It lens, this makes no sense. She would want law enforcement to continue looking everywhere but where there might be evidence leading back to her. If she took Ayla from that house on that night, there just might be some kind of DNA evidence left behind. Three days into the investigation neither Trista nor Justin have any idea what law enforcement has found. Yet Trista is focusing on Justin DiPietro and what happened in that house – not a very good strategy if she herself were responsible for the child’s disappearance.

Continuing with this premise, if Justin, at this point, thought Trista was responsible for Ayla’s disappearance, why not throw suspicion back on her? Why start out with “I have no idea what happened to Ayla or who is responsible” and go on to state he won’t make “accusations or insinuations?”

But insinuate is exactly what he does. Justin DiPietro clearly calls Trista out with his statement of “sole custody” as he knows that the law is on his side in this matter. However Justin ended up with custody of Ayla, it was with DHHS and LE approval. Subsequently, in her ill-fated interview, Justin’s mother Phoebe DiPietro also talks about people “casing the house” and “oddities” without naming anyone specifically, but this is as far as Justin and Co. have gone in their attempts to shift blame. He also shows Trista was lying about the “no contact” as well, citing “transcripts” in the hands of police.

So, was Trista Reynolds lying about everything at that point? Including not telling Justin about filing the paperwork? Statement analysis suggests deception in Trista’s words regarding this issue.

The Truth is Stranger Than Fiction

And if we view all events through the third lens, if Trista and Justin thought it was a stranger abduction, why weren’t they crying out to that person instead of focusing on each other?

The only scenario that makes sense to me is actually the most far-fetched theory out there. If you look at these statements and actions with the idea that perhaps they planned something together, something that didn’t go off as planned, they start to make sense. If Justin and Trista decided to kill Ayla for the insurance money, and Justin somehow botched the “accident” and therefore had to get rid of the body, I would imagine Trista would be upset. She thought Ayla would be gone on Friday which is why she filed her custody paperwork the day before. Maybe she didn’t trust Justin to keep his end of the bargain, or maybe she planned to double-cross him and try to get all the money for herself, but she clearly never expected Justin to find out about the filing the way he did.

If this was the plan, Trista expected to hear that Ayla was deceased by “accident” on Friday evening. Instead, she finds out Ayla had “disappeared” Saturday morning, while Trista was supposedly on her way to Machiasport.

Her immediate reaction is to blame Justin. Justin’s immediate reaction is to state he knows nothing, that he won’t speculate, but then proves Trista to be a liar. To me, I sense a subtle warning in the words of Justin’s first official statement.

Trista’s reaction? She continues to point her finger squarely at Justin DiPietro.

How does this fit my wild theory?

If the plan was for an accident, which the life insurance policy suggests, and Justin screwed up the plan, it makes sense that Trista would want the focus on Justin and not on her. If Ayla was gone before Dec. 15, as some theories suggest, this fits with Trista’s DHHS paperwork filing as well. Justin may have told her Wednesday night when he was in town that he botched the accident and was setting up a “kidnapping,” and Trista felt the court action would reflect well on her in the media. Either way, the December 15 paperwork was filed to benefit Trista somehow. If she were planning on kidnapping Ayla herself, filing the day before would only throw suspicion her way. It makes no sense she would kidnap her own daughter then try and frame Justin for the murder, unless she knew ahead of time Justin had purchased the life insurance policy.

More to Come…

My next post will continue exploring Trista and Justin’s words and actions in light of our theories and new evidence discovered during the police’s investigation of Justin’s family home.



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