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

First Posted: 02/17/2012 3:55 pm Updated: 02/17/2012 3:55 pm

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.

Also on HuffPost:

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  • Ayla Reynolds

    Investigators are searching for Ayla Reynolds, a 20-month-old Maine girl believed to have vanished from her bed while her family slept. Reynolds' father, Justin DiPietro, told investigators he last saw the child at around 8 p.m. on Dec. 16, 2011, when he put her to sleep in her own bedroom. The following morning, at around 8:50 a.m., he called police to say her bed was empty. This photograph was posted on <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Help.Find.Ayla" target="_hplink">a Facebook page dedicated to the missing toddler</a>.

  • Ayla Reynolds

    Police in Waterville, Maine, started searching for Reynolds on the morning of Dec. 17. They later called in outside agencies for assistance. This photograph of Reynolds was posted on <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Help.Find.Ayla" target="_hplink">a Facebook page dedicated to the missing toddler</a>.

  • Ayla Reynolds

    Reynolds is described as 2 feet, 9 inches tall, about 30 pounds, with short blonde hair and blue eyes. This photograph was posted on <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Help.Find.Ayla" target="_hplink">a Facebook page dedicated to the missing toddler</a>.

  • Ayla Reynolds

    Reynolds was wearing green pajamas with polka dots at the time of her disappearance. She also had a soft cast on her left arm. This photograph was posted on <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Help.Find.Ayla" target="_hplink">a Facebook page dedicated to the missing toddler</a>.

  • Ayla Reynolds

    Reynolds was living with her father in Waterville. Her mother lives in Portland. This photograph was posted on <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Help.Find.Ayla" target="_hplink">a Facebook page dedicated to the missing toddler</a>.

  • The Search

    Maine wardens search a field on Monday, Dec. 19, 2011, two blocks from the home where 20-month-old Ayla Reynolds vanished from her bed sometime late Friday or early Saturday in Waterville, Maine. The Maine Warden Service, the FBI and Maine State Police have assisted Waterville police in the search. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

  • The Search

    A state trooper walks to his cruiser on Monday, Dec. 19, 2011, in front of the home where 20-month-old Ayla Reynolds vanished from her bed sometime late Friday or early Saturday. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

  • The Search

    A Waterville police cruiser idles on Monday, Dec. 19, 2011, across the street from the home where 20-month-old Ayla Reynolds vanished from her bed sometime late Friday or early Saturday in Waterville, Maine. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

  • Ayla Reynolds

    A billboard alerts passersby about missing toddler Ayla Reynolds.

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Filed by Steven Hoffer  |