Think Again – Part Nine – What was Phoebe DiPietro’s Involvement:
This post will once again delve into the direct and/or indirect involvement of Phoebe in the disappearance of Ayla Bell. Could it be possible that she is directly involved (she harmed Ayla), indirectly involved (lied and assisted in the cover-up of evidence) or is it that she is not involved in any way shape or form? Before I begin however, I will admit that there are few new facts concerning Phoebe since previously discussed, but with new and refreshed eyes it is possible something missed previously will come to light.
What we know concerning Phoebe DiPietro
- Phoebe is the mother of Justin and Elisha, two of the three adults reported to have been present when Ayla was reportedly last seen.
- Phoebe is the owner of the property at 29 Violette Ave which is where Ayla was reported missing from.
- When Ayla was reported missing, it was discussed that Phoebe was at work for the State of Maine in some capacity.
- That evening it has been verified by MSP that Phoebe was not at the Violette Avenue home.
- It is not known to my recollection that a polygraph test was performed on Phoebe.
- It is known that Phoebe retained counsel to represent herself and her daughter Elisha, but not her son Justin.
As Dee stated in her previous post, there have been many reported cases of immediate family members having harmed and/or slain other family members in the home. These cases are too numerous to cite but I do believe we have become familiar with several of them since the time Ayla was reported missing.
Was Phoebe even at the house that night?
CNN Interview 1/7/12
SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In her first television interview, the missing child’s grandmother, Phoebe DiPietro, says she’s living a nightmare.
PHOEBE DIPIETRO, GRANDMOTHER OF AYLA: You’re waiting for a phone call, hoping to police have your granddaughter.
CANDIOTTI: But so far, that phone call hasn’t come. Not a single word about what happened to Ayla Reynolds.
CANDIOTTI: The toddler, who now would be 21 months old, seen in this home video shot last fall, disappeared in the middle of the night a week before Christmas.
DIPIETRO: She’s quiet, very sweet. Her eyes — she’s got the bluest eyes and the longest eyelashes.
CANDIOTTI: Dipietro says her father put her to bed around 8:00. The next morning before 9:00 a.m., he called police to report her gone.
(on camera): There’s no accident that could have happened that night?
CANDIOTTI: Among anyone here?
CANDIOTTI: You? Justin?
CANDIOTTI: The other people that were here?
DIPIETRO: No. No.
CANDIOTTI: Something covered up?
DIPIETRO: No, no.
CANDIOTTI (voice-over): What other adults were there, exactly what happened that night or whether anyone checked on Ayla, police won’t say, nor will Dipietro. She says investigators warned her against jeopardizing the case.
DIPIETRO: I can tell you there was not a party here at the house.
CANDIOTTI (on camera): People had dinner, watched television, eventually went to bed?
DIPIETRO: Pretty much, yes. I really have to avoid that question.
CANDIOTTI: You didn’t hear any noise?
DIPIETRO: I did not hear anything.
CANDIOTTI (voice-over): Steps away from Phoebe Dipietro’s living room, seen here, is Ayla’s bedroom, she shared with her cousin, who was untouched that night. Her face is blurred.
Justin told his mother Ayla was missing.
(on camera): When you found out that she wasn’t there, what did you think?
DIPIETRO: I thought that I didn’t want my son to go get any of his friends and go kicking in doors looking for her.
CNN Interview 1/9/12
Susan joins us now. There are obviously been a lot of questions raised about this family. Why and did she on Friday tell you one thing, that she was — or implied that she was in the house and didn’t hear anything and then later admit she wasn’t in the house or say she wasn’t in the house.
CANDIOTTI: She said that she didn’t mean to do it. I had interviewed her late at night. The next morning, I went over to see her and her son, Justin.
She took me in and said, I have to tell you something. I have to tell you the truth. I made a mistake. I told you the wrong thing.
But she said, I was trying to be so careful to follow the police’s instructions about not saying anything about what happened that night that I screwed up.
She was really upset. You know, I felt sorry for her. I give her credit for telling the truth.
Tori G – July 27, 2013 at 12:13 AM
I vaguely recall what you are talking about but remember it as a comment on a blog article about someone here whose house was broken into while they were all sleeping and no one knew someone was in the house, I will look though comments and see what I can find but I do vaguely recall reading that.
I can say that I was told by a reputable source who heard it directly from Chief Massey that Phoebe was definitely not in Waterville that night but was in Augusta and her alibi checked out. I do not know if she stopped back in the house but doubt she would make a round trip from Augusta to Waterville to check on anyone since it is 30 min one way. She also would have no reason to not think her kids had things under control since they are the parents and are both adults. JMO. I agree Phoebe coming back or being there that night makes no sense to me.
The first statement definitely leaves open the possibility to infer that Phoebe was at the house the night of 16 December. But there is no direct statement that she was or wasn’t. If not for the prodding of Susan, I do believe that Phoebe would not have implied anything in this fashion.
The second statement “Definitely not in Waterville that night” can mean many things as we have been told, and as we have seen too often concerning Ayla Bell. I do believe that Phoebe spent the “night” out as reported over and over. But because she is silent For Ayla, we do not know if she might have gone home after work, ate dinner and watched a program while waiting to go to her date. She would not have had to spend the night, just long enough to see Justin put Ayla to bed at 8 PM, maybe. Maybe her friend works second shift and got off at 11 PM in Augusta and Phoebe left at 10 PM after checking on Ayla to get the hotel room before the date got off work. There is nothing known because of the silence by Phoebe, For Ayla. So though I agree she did not “spend the night at 29 Violette Avenue”, I do not agree that we can assume she was not at 29 Violette at some point that Friday night.
Though I can’t say Phoebe told a direct lie, I can definitely say she has been deceptive. I know some will say that is the same thing as lying but I do believe she was trying to do what LE asked, just very poorly. A simple open statement would have clarified so many points that distracted, early on, from the public’s focus on Ayla. Simply saying when she last saw Ayla, that she was not in the home after such and such a time, or that she can’t state anything as fact because she was not there so there may have been a party that night or any other non-investigative detail would have allowed the public focus on Ayla instead of trying to figure out why a grandmother would be withholding information concerning her missing grandchild.
Steve Bourget, a general practice attorney in Augusta, said Phoebe DiPietro, 47, and Elisha DiPietro, 23, retained his services in early January, a few weeks after Ayla was reported missing from their home at 29 Violette Ave. The DiPietros approached him to serve as “a buffer between the press and their personal lives,” Bourget said during a phone interview with the Morning Sentinel.
Elisha DiPietro was one of three adults at the home on Dec. 16, the night before 20-month-old Ayla was reported missing. The other adults were Ayla’s father, Justin DiPietro, 24, and his girlfriend, Courtney Roberts, 24, of Portland.
Police have said the three adults aren’t telling the full story, but Bourget said otherwise. “That’s not true,” he said. “As far as Elisha is concerned, she has been honest, open and told the whole truth.”
So Phoebe had both a daughter and a son in the house the night Ayla disappeared. MSP has stated repeatedly that those in the house have not been forthcoming concerning the night Ayla disappeared. She opts however to retain a lawyer for herself and her daughter. Why did she not also retain him to represent Justin and act as a buffer with the media for him as well?
Notice that Bourget will only say that Elisha “has been honest, open and told the whole truth.” I understand that Bourget does not represent Justin but he does represent Phoebe as well and excludes her from this comment. What is it that Phoebe was not open and honest about that prevented Bourget from including her in the comment?
Or is it possible that Bourget was not retained as a buffer with the local media. Could it be that the two clients received the 30 day standard advance notice of subpoena to appear in front of a grand jury in early February? The timing is spot on for this and if the reports are correct, it would also explain why Bourget was not representing Justin as well.
Ayla Reynolds Grand Jury Met in February
A grand jury convened Feb. 9 to hear testimony on Ayla Reynolds’ disappearance, an anonymous source close to the case revealed Wednesday. The grand jury list may offer insight into the direction the prosecution is taking in the case.
The source, who was not a grand jury witness, confirmed members of both Ayla’s maternal and paternal families were subpoenaed to present testimony at the courthouse in Augusta. Those family members include Ayla’s paternal grandmother Phoebe DiPietro, aunt Elisha DiPietro, and uncle Lance DiPietro as well as Ayla’s mother Trista Reynolds and maternal grandfather Ron Reynolds Sr. A subpoena also was issued to Courtney Roberts, a girlfriend of Justin DiPietro who slept at the DiPietro house Dec. 16, the night Ayla allegedly disappeared.
Ayla’s father Justin DiPietro was absent. The source expressed belief the purpose of the proceeding was to determine whether there was sufficient evidence to make a case against Justin DiPietro.
Investigators met with Reynolds on Jan. 3 for a review of the investigation into the toddler’s disappearance, McCausland said. Reynolds did not respond to a request for comment, but in December she said investigators were planning to show her evidence that had been gathered, including items that were recovered during searches near the Lockwood Dam.
A similar meeting took place in October, when investigators met with members of Ayla’s paternal family from Waterville: father, Justin DiPietro, aunt, Elisha DiPietro and grandmother, Phoebe DiPietro.
Steve Bourget, an attorney for Phoebe and Elisha DiPietro, has said the October meeting included an update of the investigation and a review of the physical evidence that has been collected. The family was told that DNA discovered in the basement of the Violette Avenue home belonged to Ayla, but it wasn’t necessarily blood, Bourget said.
Okay, the most frustrating thing of all of this is Phoebe’s complete and total silence of late. I have not found a single comment, article, quote or statement from Phoebe since being quoted by her lawyer as having been show the “unequivocal evidence” in October of 2012. Could it be that the evidence shown was the piece of straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back?
If the DNA found and shown to Phoebe and Elisha was Ayla’s DNA as Bourget states, and there were additional DNA sources other than blood, also as Bourget hints at saying, then I shudder to think of the implications. If I shudder, than how did Phoebe react when shown the pictures of the blood evidence? We must keep in mind that there are few elements that could contain DNA other than blood; saliva, skin cells and tissue. I exclude feces and vomit here because it has been determined that both of these elements degrade and destroy DNA due to the acidity contained within those elements. This is so very disturbing to me and yet Phoebe’s lawyer seems to think that this revelation limits the impact of the discovery which MSP referred to as “troubling.”
Poll Question #8 was the original question of Phoebe’s involvement. The results showed that 75% of voters believe Phoebe has lied, while only 16% believed she did not. The clean-up and disposal of evidence was balance throughout. Here are the results from then;
1.) How do you think Phoebe is involved in Ayla’s disappearance?
Phoebe is not involved in any way, and was not lying to protect her family. 13%
Phoebe is lying to protect her family, but is not involved in any other way. 24%
Phoebe is involved in the clean up, disposal of evidence and she’s lying. 27%
She is involved in the clean up and she’s lying. 18%
She is involved in the disposal of evidence and she’s lying. 6%
She harmed Ayla and helped with the clean up and disposal of evidence. 3%
She harmed Ayla and helped with the clean up. 0%
She harmed Ayla and helped with the disposal of evidence. 0%
Not sure at this time. 0%
None of the above, I think Ayla is still alive. 9%
So the question now is does Phoebe’s reaction to the showing of evidence now change your perspective?
What was Elisha DiPietros’ involvement in Aylas’ disappearance?
I don’t think Elisha is involved in any way. 5%
I think Elisha is lying but is involved in no other way. 5%
I think Elisha harmed Ayla and is involved in the cleaning and/or disposal of evidence. 15%
Elisha is lying and involved in the cover up but she didn’t help with the clean up or disposal of evidence. 20%
I don’t think Elisha harmed Ayla, but she is lying and is involved in the cleaning and/or disposal of evidence. 55%
None of the above I think Ayla is alive. 0%
I am saddened that we did not have a single vote this poll question for “I think Ayla is alive.” I pray this was just a case of some forgetting to vote on this poll. The overwhelming majority however, still believe and even more so that Elisha is involved in what befell Ayla that sad day.