PORTLAND (AP) — A Maine girl who has been missing for more than five years has been declared dead by a judge.

WABI-TV reports a Cumberland County probate judge declared Ayla Reynolds dead May 17 and appointed her mother, Portland resident Trista Reynolds, as the representative of her estate.

Ayla was 20 months old when she was reporting missing in December 2011. She was staying with her father, Justin DiPietro, in Waterville at the time. DiPietro told authorities that he tucked Ayla in the night before and the next morning she was gone.

DiPietro said he believes she was abducted. Court documents say he now lives in California. No charges were ever filed in the disappearance.

State police launched a search for Ayla, but later said they believed she was dead.

 This undated file photo provided by Trista Reynolds shows Ayla Reynolds, her 2-year-old daughter, who went missing in December 2011 from her father’s home in Waterville, Maine. It’s been nearly three years since 20-month-old Ayla Reynolds disappeared from her home, but Maine State Police Sgt. Jeff Love, the lead investigator in the case, vows to never give up the search. (AP Photo/Trista Reynolds, File)


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