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Maine Judge To Weigh Death Declaration For Missing Toddler

PORTLAND, Maine - A probate judge is convening a hearing on a woman's request that her toddler daughter be declared dead more than five years after her disappearance evolved into the largest criminal investigation in Maine history.
The mother of Ayla Reynolds is asking for a declaration so she can file a wrongful death lawsuit against the toddler's father. The hearing is set for Thursday in Portland.
Ayla, who was 20 months old, was staying with her father, Justin DiPietro, in Waterville when she disappeared in December 2011, triggering a massive search.
The father told police he believes his daughter was abducted. But investigators who found blood in the father's basement bedroom believe Ayla was killed. No one has been charged with a crime.