By GLENN ADAMSAssociated Press
WATERVILLE, Maine (AP) - A $30,000 reward for information leading to missing toddler Ayla Reynolds is about to expire, and police said Friday that it appears the money will go unclaimed, with no sign of the child and questions lingering over what happened to her.
Ayla was reported missing from her Waterville home on Dec. 17. Since then, investigators have received 1,200 leads, including many from psychics, state police spokesman Steve McCausland said. But none of those tips or searches of fields, woods, backyards, trash containers, streams and rivers in this central Maine city of 16,000 residents have led to Ayla, who was 20 months old when she disappeared.
"The reward is ending, but the investigation is not," McCausland said. "The case continues and will not close until we find her. It's still a priority and still being worked on daily."
The case is also being kept alive by residents, including about 15 people who held a candlelight prayer vigil Thursday night in front of Ayla's home, where the front lawn remains marked by a growing collection of stuffed toys.
A month ago, police said for the first time that they didn't believe Ayla was alive. They also said the $30,000 reward that was donated from area businesses and individuals would be withdrawn as of Saturday. Police appealed for anyone with information leading to Ayla's whereabouts to contact police.
No one has been charged, but police have raised doubts about whether the last people to see the child - her father, Justin DiPietro, his sister, Elisha DiPietro, and his girlfriend, Courtney Roberts - have told them everything they know. A lawyer representing the family, Steve Bourget, has said those at home are telling the truth.
Ron Reynolds, father of Ayla's mother Trista Reynolds, hopes whoever is responsible comes forward.
"It's a shame. Six months - I don't know. It's so hard every day. It's so hard not knowing where she is and knowing that (those responsible) are still out there walking around. There's no justice, there's nothing. ... It never should've happened. Someone needs to come out and say something."
Justin DiPietro reported Ayla missing, saying she was last wearing polka dot pajamas with the words "Daddy's Princess" on them. She had a cast on her broken left arm.
Justin DiPietro wasn't home when a reporter visited Friday, and he didn't answer his phone. Elisha DiPietro, who answered the door, said there would be no comment from the family.
Calls to other family members, including Trista Reynolds of Portland, weren't immediately returned Friday.
After Ayla disappeared, investigators scoured the DiPietro home for evidence and found Ayla's blood inside. Authorities have since said that foul play was involved in Ayla's disappearance.
Police had no new information on their investigation Friday, but they stressed that they aren't giving up.
"We certainly haven't heard that any of those leads we have gathered and forwarded to state police would lead to any breakthrough," Deputy Chief Charles Rumsey said Friday. "Although the reward has ended, the case is not going away. Everyone is working to find Ayla."
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