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Entries in Missing Toddler (11)

Thursday
Mar292012

Ambert Alert Issued in Texas for Missing 2-Year-Old Boy

ABC News(HOUSTON) -- An Amber Alert has been issued for a missing 2-year-old boy in Liberty County, Texas.

Devin Davis disappeared around 3:30 p.m. Tuesday afternoon while his mother and sibling were taking a nap in a home they moved into last week.  When they woke up, Devin's mother found the front door open and Devin nowhere to be found.

Police did not know whether Devin simply wandered off or was abducted, according to ABC News affiliate KTRK in Houston.

A search party was concerned about thick underbrush nearby, as well as bodies of water containing alligators and difficult, muddy terrain.

"What we're worried about is the gators.  There's gators everywhere, and they're crawling real bad," Deborah Scott, a neighbor, told KTRK.  "We've got snakes out here too.  I can't believe this baby's missing."

"We've had grown people missing in these woods," Scott added.  "Man, it took four days to find them, and this is a 2-year-old."

More than 100 officials and volunteers were searching around the clock for Devin, according to KPRC in Houston.  The searchers included the Houston Police dive team and Texas EquuSearch, according to KTRK.

Devin has red hair, is 30 inches tall and weighs 40 pounds.  The last outfit he was seen wearing was a red-and-gray jersey T-shirt, jeans and Spiderman tennis shoes.

Physical evidence was found behind the house, but authorities were not immediately revealing what the evidence was.

Devin's parents were working with the FBI.

Several tips were called into the Liberty County Sheriff's Office, but none have resulted in any leads.  Those with information are encouraged to call 936-336-4500.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Mar092012

Arizona Mother Searches for Missing Toddler

BringAvaHome [dot] com(PHOENIX) -- An Arizona mother is desperately searching for her 2-year-old daughter, who, she says, has been missing since Feb. 22.

Athena Manuma, 22, said she dropped off her daughter, Ava Enlow, with the toddler's father, Brent Anderson, on Feb. 18 and was supposed to pick her up four days later.  Anderson, 31, never showed up, and Manuma said she has not seen or heard from him since.

"It was a normal drop-off," Manuma told ABC News.  "There were no words, no nothing.  Just, 'I'll see you on Wednesday, Ava,' but I didn't get her on Wednesday."

Manuma called Phoenix police, who officially listed Ava as missing.

Police are calling the incident a case of "custodial abduction" and have issued an arrest warrant for Anderson, who recently lost his job and is facing financial hardship.  His family and friends have been unable to reach him and do not know his intentions with Ava, according to Phoenix police.

"I don't know anything.  He did not want me to know anything," Anderson's mother, Melinda Barros, told ABC News.  "I know she is fine wherever she is at with my son."  Still, Barros said she has not spoken to her son since Feb. 14.

Manuma and Anderson went through years of court disputes before settling on a custody agreement, Barros said.  The two have shared custody of Ava.

"He should have never had to go through what he has gone through," Barros said.  "It has pushed him to the limit where he has to take off."

During past visits, Anderson took Ava to the park and to see animals, Barros said.  He did not tell her what he planned to do with Ava this time.

Anderson married on Feb. 11, Barros said. She and Manuma said they speculate that he could be on his honeymoon.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Jan292012

Missing Toddler: Parents Meet for First Time Since Disappearance

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WATERVILLE, Maine) -- The parents of missing Maine toddler Ayla Bell Reynolds met at a vigil Saturday for the first time since their daughter's disappearance, as police waited for test results for blood found in the toddler's father's home.

Blood was found in the Maine home from which the 20-month-old toddler disappeared on Dec. 17, according to her father, Justin DiPietro.

But DiPietro isn't talking.

"I'm not here to answer any questions, just to support Ayla," DePietro said at the vigil.

"Me and state police have the same questions and answers, you know what I mean, just…the answers to those questions…and I'm not the person for that. Those questions are for Justin, not me," said Trista Reynolds, the toddler's mother.

Police have not yet named DePietro a suspect, or even a person of interest, in the case. No one has been charged in the case, which has included law enforcement's aerial and foot searches of an icy river near DiPietro's home and the draining of a local stream.

The searches have yielded no clues. A $30,000 reward is being offered for information leading to Ayla.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Jan292012

Ayla Reynolds Case: Blood Found in Maine Home of Missing Baby

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WATERVILLE, Maine) -- Blood was found in the Maine home from which a 20-month-old toddler, according to her father, disappeared on Dec. 17, ABC affiliate WCVB reported.

Ayla Bell Reynolds' father, Justin DiPietro, told police in December that he believed his daughter was snatched from the bedroom of the Waterville home between her 8 p.m. bedtime and when he checked her bedroom in the morning.

Within days, however, what began as the search for a missing child turned into a criminal probe after investigators discovered blood in the basement of the home, a fact which is only now being made public.

Releasing that detail earlier "would have interfered with the investigation," said Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety.

Forensic investigators are still working to determine the source of the blood and how long it had been in the basement. Both DiPietro, 24, and Trista Reynolds, 23, Ayla's mother, who does not live in the home and was forced by Child Protective Services to place Ayla in DiPietro's full-time care when she checked into rehab, have taken police-administered lie-detector tests.

Reynolds told WCVB that the test administrator concluded that she could not complete the test because of a medical condition.

DiPietro said publicly that he passed the test, though Maine State Police would not comment on his claim.

Reynolds previously alleged that her daughter was bruised the last time she saw her, though DiPietro countered that those claims amounted to "accusation and insinuations."

"I would never do anything to hurt my child," he said.

"Daddy's Princess" was inscribed on the polka-dotted pajamas Ayla was wearing when she disappeared. Also, she wore a soft cast to protect a broken left arm.

No one has been charged in the case, which has included law enforcement's aerial and foot searches of an icy river near DiPietro's home and the draining of a local stream. The searches have yielded no clues. A $30,000 reward is being offered for information leading to Ayla.

"We remain hopeful that we will bring her back to her home," public safety spokesman McCausland said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Dec272011

Missing Toddler Ayla Reynolds: $30,000 Reward Offered

ABC News(WATERVILLE, Maine) -- A $30,000 reward is being offered in the case of missing Maine toddler Ayla Reynolds, the largest missing person reward in the state's history.

In announcing the reward, police said that they believe there is foul play in the disappearance of the 20-month-old girl who has been missing since Dec. 17.

"We are confident that Ayla did not let herself out of the house," Waterville Police Chief Joseph Massey said. "We believe that someone removed Ayla from the house, and that is where our investigation is focusing."

Massey and local attorney John Nale said that calls were pouring in from private citizens and businesses wishing to make donations for a reward, with the money adding up to $30,000.

"I am very hopeful that the offer of a large monetary reward may serve to spur someone to make the phone call we desperately want to receive, the call that will lead us to Ayla Reynolds," Massey said.

Investigators searched for the toddler through the holiday weekend. Police said they believe that additional leads that came in over the weekend were prompted by the coverage of the case on America's Most Wanted.

The leads, however, have not led to any suspects yet and authorities are conscious of the time that has passed since Ayla was last seen.

According to police, Ayla's father Justin DiPietro, 24, said he put the child to bed the night of Dec. 16 in his home, and awoke the next morning to find her missing. Police have said several other adults were in the home, including one non-relative. Reynolds was living with her father while the girl's mother, Trista Reynolds, 23, was in rehab for substance abuse.

Police have said both parents have been cooperative, but investigators still have no sense of what happened to Ayla.

Investigators are asking that anyone with information about Ayla please call the Waterville Police Department at 207-680-4700.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Dec212011

Missing Maine Toddler Ayla Reynolds Had Unstable Home Life

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WATERVILLE, Maine) -- Details of an unstable home life have emerged in the case of missing Maine toddler Ayla Reynolds, who vanished from her father's house Friday night.

Reynolds was reported missing Saturday morning by her father, Justin DiPietro, who told police he put the 20-month-old to bed on Friday night and found her missing the next morning.  The girl had been placed in his custody just weeks before by the Department of Health and Human Services because her mother, Trista Reynolds, had entered rehab for substance abuse, according to Trista Reynolds' relatives.

The toddler's grandmother, Becka Hanson, told the Morning Sentinel newspaper that she had been watching Ayla while her daughter, Trista, was in rehab, but that Ayla was taken by the DHS and placed with DiPietro.  Trista's other child, a 9-month-old, remained in the Reynolds' family custody.

Trista and her 9-month-old son are currently living in a motel in South Portland, according to Hanson.  Trista Reynolds had filed to regain custody of her daughter on Dec. 15, the day before the disappearance.  She told ABC News that DiPietro did not know she had filed the paperwork.

According to Trista's step-sister, the missing girl had recently broken her arm at her father's house and had begun showing bruises on her skin, the Morning Sentinel reported.

Waterville police chief Joseph Massey has said the girl broke her arm during an accidental fall.

Police are continuing their search for the girl after canvasses of a nearby river and aerial searches turned up nothing.  Massey said the police are following every lead that comes in from the public, and have not ruled out abduction.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Dec192011

Police Search for Maine Toddler Last Seen at Bedtime Friday

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WATERVILLE, Maine) -- Police in Maine turned to the public for help on Sunday after local, state and federal law enforcement officials came up empty in their search for a 20-month-old girl whose father told police he last saw her when he put her to bed at 8 p.m. Friday.

"It was imperative for us to bring together all the resources we could, as quickly as we could, to find her," Waterville Police Department Chief Joseph Massey said Sunday, adding that local fire officials have assisted in the search.

Ayla Bell Reynolds was wearing green polka-dotted pajamas with "Daddy's Princess" emblazoned across the front and a soft cast on her left arm when she was last seen, Massey said.

The broken arm, an injury Massy said she sustained about three weeks ago, also is in a sling, according to a "Find Ayla Reynolds…" Facebook page that's been set up.

Ayla is blonde, blue-eyed, 2'9" tall and weighs 30 pounds, according to a National Center for Missing & Exploited Children link on that Facebook site.

Massey said police have interviewed the girl's parents and other relatives and non-relatives who also were present Friday in the home where Ayla lives with her father, Justin DiPietro.

"They were, as far as we could see, very forthcoming with the information," the police chief said.

Massey said local and state police and FBI agents have scoured Ayla's neighborhood but found no sign of the toddler.

When she was reported missing at 8:50 a.m. Saturday, the department, following its protocols, delivered automated phone messages to every home within a mile radius of where Ayla reportedly disappeared, alerting them of the disappearance.

"We need more than just us. We need the help of the general public," Massey said. "I suspect that somebody out there may know where the little girl is....We'd like to get her back home."

Meanwhile, Ayla's mother, Trista Reynolds, revealed that she filed paperwork on Thursday to receive full custody of her daughter but said she had not told the girl's father.

"Her father had no idea.  He didn't know I went to file…he'll know now, but I never told him and no one told him," she said.

Trista Reynolds, who according to police has no permanent address, lives separately from DiPietro.  The two share custody of their daughter.  She says she has not spoken to him since their daughter disappeared.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Nov142011

Sky’s Father Says Disappearance Linked to Custody Dispute

ABC News(BELLEVUE, Wash.) -- The father of a Washington toddler missing for more than one week said Monday he believes the boy’s disappearance is related to a court decision granting him visitation rights.

Solomon Metalwala, the father of missing toddler Sky Metalwala, has previously said that he believes his wife Julia Birkyukova knows what happened to the 2-year-old boy.

Solomon and Biryukova have been locked in a bitter divorce, but in the week before Sky disappeared, the parents reached a tentative agreement that would allow Metalwala to have some visitation with the couple’s two children.

But two days later -- and two days before she reported her son missing -- Biryukova decided to pull out of the agreement, according to published reports.

In a letter sent by her attorney, Biryukova insisted that everyone at the mediation session had been against her and the settlement was unfair, according to Metalwala’s divorce attorney, D. Michael Tomkins.

“Sadly to say, yes,” Solomon Metalwala said today when asked on “GMA” if he believes Sky’s disappearance is related to the custody battle between him and his wife.
“She needs to help and I’m praying that she will,” he said.

“She has had Sky for the last 10 months so I believe that she does know something,” the husband said Monday on Good Morning America.

Sky Metalwala was last seen Nov. 6 while in the custody of Birkyukova. Biryukova told detectives in Bellevue, Wash., that she was driving her two children, Sky and the couple’s 4-year-old daughter, to Overlake Hospital Medical Center Sunday morning because Sky wasn’t feeling well.

She said she ran out of gas, so she left Sky in the car while she and her four-year-old daughter walked about a mile away to a gas station. When she returned to her silver Acura SUV, the child was gone, she told police.

A team of more than 150 local and state police and FBI agents have been working on the case for the past week, sorting through leads coming from hundreds of miles away, to no avail.

Both Metalwala and Biryukova were cited for reckless endangerment in a December 2009 incident in which a then 3-month-old Sky was left in the family’s SUV in a Target parking lot for 55 minutes on a 27-degree day, court records showed.

The case was dismissed earlier this year after the pair completed a year of probation, 40 hours of community service and a ten-week parenting class.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Nov112011

Missing Boy's Dad Suspects Wife's Involvement

ABC News(BELLEVUE, Wash.) -- The father of a missing two-year-old whose mother's story has come under scrutiny by police believes his estranged wife may have had something to do with Sky Metalwala's disappearance.

"I do believe that Julia has a, she's responsible …," Solomon Metalwala said Wednesday, speaking of Julia Biryukova, the boy's mother. "It's sad. Because if she can just cooperate, we can find where, where is our son."

He also talked about a strange dream his wife had.

"In this dream she, she was strangling Sky," he said. "And it was very alarming."

Biryukova has told detectives in Bellevue, Wash., that she was driving her two children to Overlake Hospital Medical Center Sunday morning because her youngest child, Sky, wasn't feeling well.

She said she ran out of gas, so she left Sky in the car while she and her 4-year-old daughter walked about a mile away to a gas station.

When she returned to her silver Acura SUV, the child was gone, she told police.

The boy hasn't been seen since.

Investigators have serious questions about Biryukova's story. They say her account doesn't add up, and also say it's remarkably similar to an episode of the TV series Law and Order.

The episode, which police say is "strikingly similar in nature" to Biryukova's story, centered on a mother who tries to cover up the death of her child by saying he was taken from her car.

According to police, Biryukova did walk to the Northtowne Chevron Service on Sunday, but she never bought gas there, police said. Instead, she spent time walking around a wealthy neighborhood where she reportedly didn't ask anyone for help, officials said.

When detectives checked to see how much gas was left in her car, they found enough for her to have continued driving.

Investigators plan to drive her car to see if it has any mechanical problems that would have forced her to leave it on the side of the road.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Nov102011

Missing Toddler: Mom's Story Mimics 'Law & Order: SVU'

ABC News(BELLEVUE, Wash.) -- The story told to police by the mother of a missing 2-year-old "doesn't add up,” police said.

Julia Biryukova, mother of the missing child, has declined to take a polygraph test.

Biryukova has told detectives in Bellevue, Wash., she was driving her two children to Overlake Hospital Medical Center Sunday morning because her youngest child, Sky Metalwala, wasn't feeling well.

She said she ran out of gas on 112th Avenue, so she and her 4-year-old daughter trekked about a mile to a nearby gas station, leaving Sky in the car. When she returned to her car, the child was gone, she told police.

Bellevue police Maj. Mike Johnson said police will continue their "mechanical inspection" of Biryukova's silver Acura which is housed in a secure vehicle lab.

Although Biryukova did walk to the Northtowne Chevron Service on Sunday she never bought gas there, police said. Instead, she spent time walking around a wealthy neighborhood where she reportedly didn't ask anyone for help, according to the cops.

When detectives checked to see how much gas was left in her car, they found enough for her to have continued driving. Investigators plan to drive her car, to see if it has any mechanical problems that would have forced her to leave it on the side of the road.

Police said that after Biryukova visited the gas station she called a friend who picked her up and took her back to her two-door silver Acura, where they allegedly discovered the boy was missing.

"The story doesn't add up, the whereabouts of Sky are unknown, the mother's story is falling apart, day to day," said Johnson Wednesday.

Her account bears a chilling resemblance to an episode of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit that aired last Saturday, the day before Sky vanished.

The episode, which police say is "strikingly similar in nature" to Biryukova's story, centered around a mother who tries to cover up the death of her child by saying he was taken from her car.

Sky's father Solomon Metalwala has agreed to take two polygraph tests, but Biryukova has refused to be tested, telling investigators that she has been too disturbed to participate.

"To be quite honest, that looks suspicious and we're puzzled by that," said Johnson.

Biryukova's lawyer declined to comment to ABC News.

Biryukova and her husband have been locked in a difficult custody battle. A judge recently denied Metalwala custody of the couple's 4-year-old but granted him limited supervised visits with his daughter.

Biryukova, however, is not permitted to have contact with her daughter who will remain in foster care until the next hearing on Dec. 5.

The couple's troubled history includes a citation for leaving Sky alone in a parked car at a Target parking lot in 2009, and angry accusations hurled at each other during their divorce proceedings.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio