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Police: Some blood found in missing toddler's home was Ayla's

By Susan Candiotti, CNN National Correspondent
updated 9:57 PM EST, Mon January 30, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Testing confirms some of the blood belongs to missing Ayla Reynolds
  • Police say some of that blood "was visible to the naked eye, some wasn't"
  • Three adults were in Ayla's home the night before she was reported missing
  • Their accounts don't "pass the 'straight-face' test," a Maine state spokesman says

(CNN) -- Testing on blood found in the home of a missing Maine toddler has determined that some of it belonged to the girl, police said Sunday.

"The state crime lab confirms some of the blood samples are Ayla's," said Stephen McCausland, a spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety, referring to young Ayla Reynolds.

The girl's mother, Trista Reynolds, learned of the news Saturday, McCausland said.

A website created by Ayla's family disclosed the police findings in a posting Sunday, saying investigators told them the blood found was "more ... than a small cut would produce."

Police declined to comment on the website posting beyond confirming that testing revealed some of the blood was Ayla's.

Earlier Sunday, McCausland said that while some of the blood found in the home's basement "was visible to the naked eye, some wasn't."

The blood was discovered in the Waterville, Maine, home soon after Ayla was reported missing December 17.

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Crime scene investigators used a chemical called Luminol to detect blood that can't otherwise be seen, according to McCausland. Investigators, who disclosed the existence of the blood Saturday, won't say how much of it was found in the residence, or exactly where.

At the same time, police are now publicly casting doubt on the accounts of the three adults -- the toddler's father, her aunt and the father's girlfriend -- who were in the home when the then-20-month old child was last seen -- saying they don't "pass the 'straight-face' test in Maine."

"We feel they know more than they're telling us," McCausland said Saturday. "We don't think we got the full story."

Justin DiPietro, Ayla's father, did not respond to calls from CNN this weekend requesting comment on the latest developments.

McCausland said Sunday that Ayla's father "is still talking to us when we ask him to."

"We've been trying to be diplomatic about his participation, and he talks with us when we ask him questions," the spokesman added.

Justin DiPietro sleeps in the basement of the home, which is owned by his mother, Phoebe DiPietro.

He told police that at 8 p.m. on December 16, he put his daughter to bed in her first-floor bedroom. He called police the next morning just before 9 a.m. to report her missing.

On Sunday, police outlined where everyone was sleeping that night inside the small, one-story home.

Ayla's aunt -- who also lives in the house -- slept with her own daughter in another first-floor bedroom, police said. That bedroom is across the hall from Ayla's room.

Phoebe DiPietro also has a bedroom directly across the hallway from Ayla, but police say she was not home that night.

Justin DiPietro slept in a basement room with his girlfriend and her son, according to McCausland.

Police said the adults told them "someone snuck into the house, went into the bedroom where Ayla was sleeping, and no one heard or saw anything." Yet "there is no evidence that we have found that would point to an abduction," said the state spokesman.

"We don't know what happened other than we know Ayla didn't walk out on her own, and we have grave doubts she was abducted because there were three adults in the home that night (and) it's a very small house," McCausland said.

On Saturday, Ayla's parents appeared together publicly for the first time since their daughter's disappearance to thank those who have tried to help locate Ayla, CNN affiliate WCSH reported.

Ayla's parents were asked about the discovery of blood in the basement. Justin DiPietro declined to answer, saying he only wanted to thank the public for their kindness, the television station reported.

Trista Reynolds reacted emotionally.

"I'm ready to go knocking at people's door myself because I want to know what happened to my daughter, and I want to know where she is and who took her or just whatever, like everybody else does," she said.

Reynolds told HLN's Nancy Grace last month that she raised Ayla for 18 months, and that DiPietro had become involved after she "needed to go and get a little bit of help for myself." She told HLN she entered rehab.

Justin DiPietro had sole custody of Ayla when she disappeared.

DiPietro has said he would never do anything to harm his daughter.

"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," he said in a statement last month.

No one has been arrested in the case, and police have not identified anyone else as a suspect.

"We're not ruling anyone in or anyone out," McCausland said.

McCausland said Saturday that authorities revealed the blood's discovery six weeks into the case because "we need information from the public, and we think this might help."

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