The DHHS Team Meeting

by Grace4Ayla on July 12, 2012

In our never-ending search for the truth, Justice For Ayla believes it is important to keep going over all the information put forth by all members of Ayla Bell Reynolds’ family. As many have long suspected, there is a lot more to Ayla’s story than meets the eye and a logical, factual timeline of the events leading up to her disappearance will be crucial to solving this case.

After looking over all my notes, I would once again like to point out the all too familiar litany of lies that Trista Reynolds and Jeff Hanson have told about the Reynolds family’s involvement with DHHS.


Here is the original story, from the timeline provided by Trista Reynolds and Jeff Hanson:

October 12, 2011 – Trista, becoming increasingly dependent on alcohol relating to her personal life and the stresses of being a single mom with two babies, had an altercation with her sister Jessica, resulting in the police being called. No charges were filed and The Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) was notified.

October 13, 2011 – DHHS gave Trista two choices: kick the alcohol, or lose the kids. Realizing the adverse affect alcohol was having on herself and her children she admitted herself into a substance abuse treatment facility in Lewiston that afternoon. Justin was never given sole custody of Ayla. No complaints were filed with any courts or agencies. Trista never went to court and never saw a judge. DHHS had put Ayla in the joint care of Becca and Jessica while she was undergoing treatment.

It is difficult to believe this version of events when you consider that, very early in the investigation, police clearly state that the parents agreed Justin DiPietro would have custody while Trista went to rehabilitation, and that there was an intermediate step where Jessica Reynolds and Becca Hanson had custody of Ayla.

This is on the same day that police also announce they believe there was foul play involved in the disappearance of Ayla Bell Reynolds.

Why would Maine State Police confirm something that makes Justin look good on the same day that they announce foul play? Was this perhaps a message to Trista Reynolds that LE was not buying her b.s.?


Let’s examine the logic of this scenario, then compare it to the illogical story Ayla Reynolds’ maternal family is now trying to feed us.

This timeline states that no charges were filed, but DHHS was called. Why would DHHS be called in this situation? Because Trista was drunk and fighting with her sister? It makes no sense to me. They would have taken Ayla right then if the risk was high enough. Was the altercation with Jessica over the kids? Trista later reported that this was the night she last slept with Justin. This makes it seem as if the police were agreeable to leaving Ayla with Jessica as long as Trista left. The threat was severe enough that DHHS gave Trista the ultimatum the very next day, and it was very severe considering the circumstance. Kick the alcohol, or lose the kids. Her words, not mine.

This suggests to me, that there may have been earlier dealings between DHHS and Trista Reynolds. Removal of the child to a safer family member is exactly what seems to have happened on Oct. 17th and was apparently re-affirmed on Oct. 20th with some additional provisions, such as Justin’s move to Waterville. Trista claims this was because of the atmosphere of Justin’s “bachelor pad,” but it sounds more to me like they wanted Ayla away from Trista.

This is why Justin felt confident going on national television and stating he had sole custody of Ayla when she disappeared. Because he did. Law enforcement did not refute this, but rather confirmed it with the above statement to the media.

Trista did not attend a 30 day rehab stint after detox. There were also outpatient treatments that were available, but I have seen no mention of Trista attending anything of the sort as her reason for not recovering Ayla immediately after detox. She only claims she was stonewalled by DHHS.


  • What reasons could DHHS have given for not returning Ayla to Trista?
  • Was it because she wasn’t welcome back in Jessica’s apartment, nor any other immediate family members’ homes?
  • Was it because she lived at the Maine Motel?
  • Was it because she was not following a treatment program, and may, in fact, not have been sober?

When DHHS investigated Ayla’s pulled leg muscle (and I will bet you dollars to donuts they did, because they will listen to doctors’ concerns), did they perhaps believe Justin’s story and doubt Trista’s? Remember, the appointment was on Sept. 29th, this was only two weeks before she went to detox. If she was drinking heavily enough for police to call DHHS to protect Ayla, maybe she was responsible for Ayla’s injuries? I don’t believe so, I’m just putting myself in the DHHS workers’ shoes. A woman with an injured child claims the father did it, yet two weeks later CPS is called by the police? If there were previous dealings with Trista, as I suspect, this may have been the straw to break the camel’s back.

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