CRIME

Ayla Reynolds Update: Grandfather Questions Missing Toddler's Father Justin DiPietro

02/17/2012 03:55 pm ET

The grandfather of a child who went missing exactly two months ago claims the girl's father didn't do enough to protect her.

“That eats me up every day,” Ron Reynolds maternal grandfather of Ayla Reynolds, told the Associated Press on Thursday. “Why didn’t they protect her? Why didn’t he protect her? He was responsible for her safety and welfare.”

Reynolds' father Justin DiPietro reported the 20-month-old girl missing just before 9 a.m., on Dec. 17, 2011. DiPietro told authorities in Waterville, Maine that he found an empty bed when he went to wake the child. Police say DiPietro, his girlfriend and his sister were all at the home on the night of the disappearance.

The elder Reynolds also says his family is being torn apart because key people in the case, including DiPietro, have not been forthcoming in the ongoing police investigation.

Earlier this week, the girl's mother, Trista Reynolds, told media outlets that she intended to sue the Maine State Department of Health and Human Services for failing to complete mandatory background checks and visits to the home where her child stayed. At the time, Trista Reynolds was completing a rehabilitation program.

Local authorities as well as investigators with the Maine State Police are continuing search efforts for the child. Earlier this month, dive teams returned to waters near Reynolds' home to search for her body. Billboards are also being posted on the toddler's behalf throughout the greater-New Englad region.

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Ayla Reynolds
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