Trista hires (another) Lawyer…

by Grace4Ayla on March 18, 2017

Press release from Jeff Hanson, spokesperson for Trista Reynolds:

Trista Reynolds has retained William Childs Esq.of Childs, Rundlett, Fifield & Altshuler ( to petition the probate courts for a death certificate for her daughter Ayla Reynolds. Mr. Childs is a former probate judge and can answer any questions you may have about this procedure.

Ayla was reported missing from the home of her father Justin DiPietro and Grandmother Phoebe DiPietro in 2011 and has not been seen since. The Maine State Police have long said they believe Ayla is deceased, a victim of foul play.

Crime Watch will be re-airing parts of their May 2016 episode on Ayla Reynolds’ disappearance with new insights offered by Attorney Childs. The airing is tentatively scheduled for Monday, March 20.

Previously Trista had retained (pro bono and contingently) two other lawyers, Brian Hansen and Michael T. Bigos.

Mr. Hansen volunteered to help Trista pro bono (free) with her “claim” against the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) that they illegally removed Ayla from Trista’s sister and mother’s care to Justin DiPietro and promptly neglected to perform supposed promised welfare checks that she claimed led to Ayla’s abuse and disappearance. No suit was ever filed.

Next Trista sought the assistance of Mr. Bigos to file a wrongful death suit, but he dropped her for two reasons. The first was not enough evidence, and the second seemed to have something to do with money, as Mr. Bigos reported, “(they couldn’t) access insurance coverage.”

As far as I know, the only “insurance coverage” on Ayla to be had would be the policy Justin took out after she went to live with him. We do not know the type of policy Justin obtained, nor the amount of payoff. We do not know exactly when it became effective, and we do not know when or if Justin stopped paying or canceled the policy. Finally, we do not know who was named the beneficiary.

If Ayla is declared dead, and the manner of death is labeled “homicide”, because he is listed as a “person of interest”, it is highly doubtful any insurance company would make a payoff directly to Justin. However, if there were a second beneficiary, who obviously couldn’t have had anything to with Ayla’s death, there’s a good chance they could receive the funds.

I’m not exactly sure what Trista feels suing for wrongful death will accomplish. Outside of the modest family home, valued at $105K, and possibly a small pension, both owned by Phoebe DiPietro, none of the other concerned individuals, Justin, Ayla’s father, Elisha, Ayla’s aunt and Courtney Roberts, Justin’s ex-girlfriend, seem to have anything to sue for, except possibly future earnings, and even that doesn’t seem like it would amount to much.

The claim that filing a civil case will “open up a line of questioning that the attorney general’s office can use to further their case,” seems spurious at best. With no criminal case filed, any line of questioning put to the alleged perpetrators can be answered by asserting 5th Amendment rights. Trista and her lawyers have no access to any evidence, and even though the thresholds in civil courts are substantially lower, most of the evidence Trista might hold could possibly be labeled “hearsay” and would be inadmissible.

Not to mention, filing for a death certificate may start a toll that Trista may not be able to stop. According to Maine Statues §2-804(b). Actions for wrongful death: “An action under this section must be commenced within 2 years after the decedent’s death, except that if the decedent’s death is caused by a homicide, the action may be commenced within 6 years of the date the personal representative of the decedent discovers that there is a just cause of action against the person who caused the homicide.”

My take on this, and I am not a lawyer, it seems to mean that when Trista files for, and receives the death certificate, she would be “discovering” that there may be a cause of action, so she would then have only 6 more years to make her case. If Maine prosecutors fail to prosecute during that time, Trista will be in the same position she is in now, with not even the best liability lawyer available willing to help.

So what is Trista’s real motive for rolling forward at this time? If Justice for Ayla is what she is after, my advice would be to hire a good criminal lawyer, ask for immunity and give law enforcement what they need to bring charges against Justin DiPietro. She needs to be the first domino.





{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Dana B. March 18, 2017 at 1:49 am

Interesting. Grace I would agree.


Grace Wilson March 19, 2017 at 1:01 am

Thanks Dana!


mckeekitty March 25, 2017 at 3:11 pm

Just wanted to say hello Grace and Dana! Hope you are both well!


Dana B. March 26, 2017 at 2:14 pm

Hey McKee all is well good to hear from you.


Grace Wilson March 29, 2017 at 3:37 pm

Heya McKee! Good to hear from you. Hope you and yours are good too! Are yall still on chatzy?


mckeekitty April 2, 2017 at 7:41 pm

The room went silent AGES ago, Grace. With little or no movement in the case these past couple of years there was nothing to really discuss.

Glad to see you and Dana around…

Reply September 12, 2017 at 5:47 am

I have a feeling that that exact issue is something that has tainted this situation not only from the day Ayla Bell was reported missing, but from the moment Trista discovered she was pregnant.


Grace4Ayla September 27, 2017 at 7:14 pm

Which issue are you referring to? Sorry, this comment got lost in the spam folder.


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