Toddler who disappeared in 2011 is declared dead

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A Maine girl who has been missing for more than five years has been declared dead by a judge.

WABI-TV reports a Cumberland County probate judge declared Ayla Reynolds dead on May 17 and appointed her mother, Portland resident Trista Reynolds, as the representative of her estate.

Ayla was 20 months old when she was reporting missing in December 2011. She was staying with her father, Justin DiPietro, in Waterville at the time. DiPietro told authorities that he tucked Ayla in the night before and the next morning she was gone.

DiPietro said he believes she was abducted. Court documents say he now lives in California. No charges were ever filed in the disappearance.

State police launched a search for Ayla, but later said they believed she was dead.

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