Somewhere Over The Rainbow – Part Two: Waking Up In Oz

by Grace4Ayla on November 27, 2012

Welcome to Part Two of my newest series, Somewhere Over the Rainbow, in which we explore both the hidden messages being exchanged in the media by Trista Reynolds and Justin DiPietro and my newest theories as to what these messages reveal about what really happened to Ayla Bell Reynolds.

In Part One, I laid out the beginning of my current theory by telling the story of Ayla’s short life as I believe it may have happened.  Now let’s explore what happened next.

Not in Kansas Anymore: A Theory Continued

Once the reality of what he had done to Ayla set in, Justin DiPietro began to panic. I believe he then called his mother and his girlfriend for help and advice. He placed Ayla’s lifeless body in his garage/shed, and commenced to cleaning up the crime scene. It is questionable whether or not he told the women in his life the truth about Ayla, but I find it far more likely that whatever happened was described as another accident (like the broken arm), which effectually left him unable to collect the proceeds of the life insurance policy.

As she was no stranger to criminal deception, it makes sense to me that Phoebe DiPietro assisted her son by making plans to dispose of the body with an accomplice, who also would conveniently provide her with an airtight alibi for the night in question. Justin’s girlfriend, Courtney Roberts, then agreed to be Justin’s alibi (along with Elisha), and headed to Waterville with her young son. Once Courtney and son arrived, Justin went with his mother to hide Ayla, leaving them at home in the basement to wait for his return.

We know from the earliest information leaked in the investigation that a neighbor heard loud noises at the DiPietro home, like a party, and unfamiliar vehicles arriving and leaving during the night, around 3:30am, in particular. I believe this was the time Trista Reynolds arrived at the house to find out what happened to Ayla. She had been expecting a phone call from Justin to deliver the tragic news of Ayla’s “accident,” but the call never came. She then immediately enlisted the help of her friend and former step-father Jeff Hanson, and the two drove to Waterville to confront Justin.

What they found at the DiPietro residence was only Courtney Roberts and Elisha DiPietro with their children, and no Ayla or Justin in sight. There may have been a fight of some kind (which might explain why Trista’s and others’ blood was also found in the home), but ultimately Trista demanded to speak with Justin, who had been ignoring their calls on his cell phone, and Courtney finally relented. Justin told Trista the same story he may have told his mother and Courtney, pointing out that because of the nature of the “accident” they would need to wait until Ayla’s body was more decomposed to avoid detection. He would do this, claim she was kidnapped, and when “the time is right,” he would put the body where it could be found, and they could collect not only any reward that might be offered, but the life insurance proceeds as well. Sounds like a win-win, right?

Follow the Yellow Brick Road

But how would they communicate? Justin told them he would figure out a way, and he did. The Media.

Justin’s first statement was made through the Waterville Police Department, as he claimed to be “emotionally incapable” of confronting the media at that time. (Note: Bold added for emphasis)

First, I’d like to thank everyone involved for their continued support in finding our daughter, Ayla.

I have no idea what happened to Ayla, or who is responsible. I will not make accusations or insinuations towards anyone until the police have been able to prove who’s responsible for this.

Ayla was in my sole custody at the time of her disappearance per agreement between her mother and I because she was temporarily unable to care for Ayla. I have shared every piece of information possible with the police. Contrary to some statements floating around out there, I have been in communication with Ayla’s mother over the last couple of weeks. The Waterville police have the transcripts from my phone for verification of those communications.

It has always been my intention to have a shared parenting arrangement with Ayla’s mother and I will continue to work towards that when Ayla is returned to us.

My family and friends will continue to do everything we can to assist in this investigation and to get Ayla back home.

We appreciate the media respecting our privacy at this time. If anyone has any information that might be helpful, please contact Waterville police at 207-680-4700.

This was in response to Trista putting pressure on Justin by her interviews early in the investigation. She accused Justin of not communicating with her, and of taking Ayla illegally with DHHS’s assistance. He calls her a liar here, but gives her a hint.

His next statement was made on Dec. 28, 2011, and was again in response to Trista’s unrelenting and vicious attacks on him in the media.

First of all, I’d like to thank everyone who’s been involved in their continued efforts in finding my daughter, Ayla. A special thanks to the residents of Waterville that came together to offer a reward for information leading to Ayla’s return. I am pleased with the amount of resources being expended from all departments of law enforcement. Until now, I have not participated in any interviews for I don’t want to in any way hinder the investigation.

However, it is important that the public hear it from me personally that I have no idea what happened to Ayla and that I am not hiding. I have been in full cooperation with everyone in this effort, including not adding additional media hype.

I would never do anything to hurt my child. The questions of Ayla’s arm or bruises or anything else being said are simply ludicrous. I would never want anyone to spend even a minute in my shoes. No one should ever have to experience this. It has affected me in more ways than anyone can imagine.

I have to believe that Ayla is with somebody and I just want that person to find the courage to do the right thing and find a way to return her safely. Even if that means, dropping her off at a church, or hospital, or some safe place …

Again, Thank you to everyone in trying to help and thank you to everyone showing your support! Please don’t give up or lose hope, because that is easy to do. Please be grateful for what you have. I know what I don’t have.

The truth is the truth and when the case is solved, it will be out there. Until then, please try to remain positive and hopeful as I remain confident the Ayla will return safely.

Again we see Justin defending himself against Trista’s accusations, while letting her know that he doesn’t have Ayla’s body anymore. It is now “out there,” and he wants her to be more positive. For a while, she was.

Then, in January, the blood evidence was leaked on the same day Trista and Justin met at the balloon vigil. The two parents seemed very cozy that day. Some felt that Trista was just buddying up to Justin to get more information about Ayla, but I find his response to her question about the blood – “Don’t worry about that” – to be very telling indeed. Instead of defending himself, or making an explanation, Justin only tells Trista, the supposed grieving mother of a missing child who had disappeared on his watch, not to worry about the blood. You don’t have to take my word for it, watch for yourself: (the original video was taken down, this is the only video I could find about the vigil)



Liars and Bloggers and Blood, Oh My!

More shocking than Justin’s dismissal of the blood evidence found in his own bedroom, is Trista’s reaction: she finishes hugging Justin, smiles at him and the cameras, then looks down at her feet. If that doesn’t suggest complicity, I don’t know what would. If you were the innocent mother of a missing child who had just been told a cupful of your baby’s blood had been found in the father’s home, would this be your reaction? Personally, I would be kicking and screaming and clawing his eyes out, demanding to know what happened to my baby and where that blood came from, myself. I’m sorry, but her behavior is simply beyond belief.

Remember, it was revealed to us later on her own website that Trista had found out about the blood from Maine State Police just before she left Portland for the vigil. Are we supposed to believe that after hearing that her daughter’s blood was found in Justin DiPietro’s bedroom, and the amount was more than a cupful, that she still believed someone took Ayla? Again, unbelievable.

Unsatisfied with Justin’s answers, I believe Jeff Hanson sought a new way to pressure Justin DiPietro by creating a new blog, separate from the “official website,” called Answers For Ayla, which he used to continue to leak information damaging to the DiPietro clan. Justin countered with his own blog, run by a supposedly anonymous and unconnected blogger called Just Stop The Lies. Not only did these blogs serve the purpose of disseminating information about the case, they were also used to control the public’s perception, using fake names, posting comments, editing or deleting anything that did not fit their agenda.

Also around this time, a third blog was opened by DiPietro associate Tori Gifford, at It was public knowledge that Mrs. Gifford’s brother-in-law was one of Justin’s long-time roommates in Portland, but the blog itself began as a decidedly anti-DiPietro website, clearly honing in on Justin as a suspect. The Just Start The Lies blogger wasted no time in attacking Tori and her blog.

This is where I came in.

More Ahead

Join us tomorrow for the next exciting installment Part Three: The Wicked Witch of the West.

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