Analyzing The 911-Call Made By Justin DiPietro The Morning Ayla Reynolds Was Reported Missing

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With the 6th anniversary of missing toddler Ayla Reynolds just around the corner and Ayla’s mother Trista seeking accountability via the court, we take a look at the 911 call made by her father, Justin DiPietro the morning he reported her missing, December 17, 2011. 


A statement analyst, Peter Hyatt broke down the 911-call transcript and offered an interesting, professional view as to what was and what was not said by Justin DiPietro during that ever-so-important 911 call. 

Ayla Reynolds is still missing and no charges have been filed against any of the adults inside the home the evening/day, Ayla went ‘missing’. 

Here is the analysis :

The Scientific Content Analysis (SCAN) system was developed by Avinoam Sapir, and it is the basis for all Statement Analysis today. Mr. Sapir’s website is LSI and his work is applied to 911 calls in the same manner as it is applied to all statements.

All Analysis by Peter Hyatt

Ayla Reynolds vanished in Dec. of 2011 while at her father’s home. Justin DiPietro — her father — has notoriously been uncooperative with investigators as well as his mother, sister and girlfriend. Ayla’s maternal family wants to know what happened to Ayla.

Statement Analysis: Justin DiPietro’s 911 Call

The following is Statement Analysis of the 911 emergency call made by Justin DiPietro to report his child, Ayla Reynolds, missing, from his home.

We use the SCAN method of analysis, which sets up The “Expected” versus the “Unexpected”

Very simply this means that we begin by asking ourselves what we expect to hear from the father of a missing child.

The SCAN technique (Scientific Content Analysis) deals with not only the words spoken, but what words are missing from a statement.

When we find the “expected” words missing, we are left to deal with the “unexpected”, confronting the words and absence of words, to learn, in this case:

Are there signals present which indicate that the caller has guilty knowledge of what happened to his child?

Is Justin DiPietro a “guilty caller”, feigning a missing or kidnapped child report to police in order to cover criminal activity?

Justin DiPietro Ayla Reynolds Missing 911 Call Analyzed

Justin DiPietro, father of two children, while unemployed, took out a life insurance policy against one of his children, Ayla Reynolds, and not his other, weeks before making this call. Is this call a genuine call for help for Ayla, or is it a deceptive ruse to cover a crime?

Statement Analysis gets to the truth.

I.The expectations of a kidnapped child 911 call

II. The text and analysis

III. Analysis Conclusion

I. The Expected

What do we expect Justin DiPietro to say to the 911 operator about his daughter, Ayla Reynolds?

In a call to report a missing child, we expect the caller to seek help for the child, and express concern for the child/

We look for a complete social introduction indicative of a good relationship: “my daughter, Ayla” is a good sign, using her name, title, and the possessive pronoun.

We look for a sense of urgency. A child is in danger…imminent danger.

We look for a sense of need, since the child is incapable of self protection, and expressions of such. We think the parent might mention that she needs her “blankie” or her “binkie” or favorite toy, medicine, or food.

We look for a deep rooted panic and parental anxiety, protective instincts inflamed from the caller, with a sense of urgency, not for himself, but for his child.

We listen for a sense of impotency and utter frustration and fear, in a parent, left utterly bereft of strength to help his vulnerable child.

We listen for impatience, even rudeness, as the father cares only for his child, and not politeness, or worse, over-politeness, in a manner more consistent of guilt.

We expect to even hear foul language as the father of a missing child may become unhinged at the thought of terrors facing his beloved daughter.

Will he ask for help for Ayla?

How often will he use his daughter’s name while speaking of her?

Will he ask for help in finding her?

Will he offer tips to the police to assist them?

We do not expect a dull, scripted call, with a bare minimum of information given. We expect to hear a father filled with resolve in finding his daughter.

II. The transcript with Statement Analysis applied.

911: Where is your emergency?

In Enhanced 911 systems, this is unnecessary and the better question is, “What is your emergency?” which allows the caller to chose his own words and begin his response according to his own priority.

A: *** Waterville

911: “What’s going on there?”

Instead of “What is the emergency?”

JD: “Ah, I woke up this morning, my daughter is not here.”

Please note that the order of the call:

“I woke up this morning” is mentioned first. What is first said in an emergency often speaks to priority. To this caller, that he was asleep is first.

“my daughter is not here” is a truthful statement. He does not say she is “missing”, only that she is “not here.” To a deceptive caller, “missing” would not be truthful. Only that she is “not here” is reported.

People rarely lie directly, as lying causes internal stress. Most lies are by omission, or missing information.

Order speaks to priority. What is most important to the caller is that police believe he was asleep, by reporting first that he “woke up”

Please notice, however, the additional wording, “this morning”, which is not necessary. This should make investigators question whether or not he was asleep, since he does not say so, and he feels the necessity of adding that he woke up “this morning

Please note the name: “my daughter” is “not here”, and not, “my daughter, Ayla” or “my daughter, Ayla Bell…”

This is an incomplete social introduction (ISI) and may suggest a troubled relationship.

Commentary: This can be seen in light of the reports of physical abuse of Ayla at the hands of her father including a black eye, injured legs, and a verified broken arm, which timely medical intervention was not sought by Justin DiPietro.

911: Okay, how old is she?

JD: She is an infant she’s only twenty months years old.

Here is the mention of her young age. It is that she is “only” twenty months that means she is vulnerable and incapable of self protection. It is here we expect to hear something about her characteristics, particularly in regard to being so young.

Nothing more is reported, however. This is not expected.

911: She is how old?

JD: Twenty months old.

911: Twenty months old?

JD: She’s not even two- twenty months old.

911: Was there anybody else with you overnight?

The question is specifically to “overnight”

“Overnight” is when he would have been asleep if he woke up this morning. The answer should be in the past tense.

JD: My sister’s here, her daughter and my girlfriend and her son are here.

Note that he does not say if they were there overnight, but speaks in the present tense.

Note the order:


2.Her daughter girlfriend,

4.her son

.Please note the incomplete social introduction as he does not use his sister, Elisha’s name, nor does he use his girlfriend, Courtney Roberts’ name.

911: Hang on, I’m putting you through- this is in Waterville?

JD: Yes sir.

911: What number are you calling me from case I lose you?

JD: (sigh) ***-****

911: Okay, hang on, I’m putting you through, do not hang up.

(dial tone/telephone ringing)

WCC: Waterville Communications Center, what’s the address of emergency?

911: DPS Augusta. I’m putting through a report of a missing child from a residence at *******.

WCC: Okay.

911: Sir, go ahead.

WCC: Hello.

JD: Hello.

A greeting is not expected, though this is simply responding to the greeting, therefore, appropriate.

WCC: Hi, How long ago did you see your child?

JD: When I put her to-

Note interruption likely due to phone going dead.

AV: December 17, 2011


911: 911, where is your emergency?

JD: Yeah, I, I was just, I’d called, my phone just died and I have another cell phone now, so

Please note the stuttering on the pronoun, “I”, which shows increase in anxiety. Please note that the pronoun “I” is used millions of times and is not likely to be stuttered on since its focus is the person itself, unless the person is a stutterer. Note no other stuttering.

In Statement Analysis, this is called the “stuttering I of anxiety”, since humans are highly efficient at using this pronoun.

911: okay, where are you located?

JD: *******

911: ********, is this regarding the juvenile?

JD: It is, yes sir.

Note the respectful and short response. The respectful response is not expected during such an emergency, and neither is such short responses. An overly respectful 911 call may cause some to question whether the caller is trying to ‘make peace’ or ‘be friends’ with law enforcement, rather than the demanding of help for the child.

911: Hang on, I’ll put you back through Waterville Com.

(dial tone/telephone ringing),

WCC: Waterville Communication Center, what is the address of your emergency?

911: DPS, putting through

JD: Yes ma’am I was just on the phone with you and my cell phone died.

Note again that while his toddler is missing, he has the presence of mind to use respectful language. Those who know him best would be able to say whether or not this is his norm. This is not evidenced by his other statements. It is not his norm, according to his televised interviews.

That he would be very polite to police, while under such extreme circumstances, is indicative of one attempting to please police and be seen in a favorable light, rather than a frightened, urgent father.

WCC: Okay yep, I tried calling you back it went right to voicemail. What is your daughter’s name sir?


WCC: Waterville Communication Center, what is the address of your emergency?

911: DPS Augusta- putting through a report of a missing child from a residence at *****.

WCC: Okay.

911: Sir, go ahead.

WCC: Hello

JD: Hello

WCC: Hi, how long ago did you see your child?

The question is specific to Justin DiPietro: how long ago, which is time period, did you, Justin, see your child:

JD: When I put her to bed last night. My sister had checked on her. Um, woke up this morning, went to her room, and she’s not there.

Any information that goes past the boundary of the question is to be considered very important information.

1. He answers the question with: “when I put her to bed last night.” instead of saying “when I put her to bed”; he adds, “last night” which is not necessary. This unnecessary information, along with woke up “this morning” brings the time frame to the place of being considered “sensitive” information that may prove unreliable.

2. He went beyond the boundary of the question: “my sister had checked on her” and not “my sister, Elisha,” or “Elisha”;

3. “my sister had checked on her” using “had” to elongate time. This makes the time frame, again, sensitive. “My sister checked her” would have been sufficient.

4 “Woke up this morning” has dropped the pronoun “I” making it unreliable. He does not say that he woke up this morning, therefore, we cannot say it for him.

5 “Went to her room” also drops the pronoun, reducing commitment. He is unable or unwilling to say that he woke up, and he went to her room. We cannot say it for him. We cannot say that he went to her room which will cause readers to believe that Justin DiPietro is revealing that he knew she was not there to be found prior to entering her room.

6. “and she’s not there” is to speak in the present tense, and not the past tense. The test for reliability in language is the pronoun “I” connected to an event by a past tense verb. He violates this by dropping his pronouns, and switching to present tense verb.

This is a very strong indictor of deception in his speech.

WCC: Okay, how old is she?

JD: Twenty months old

WCC: Twenty months?

JD: Yes ma’am.

He stays very close to what now appears to be a ‘script’ giving very short answers with little additional information.

WCC: All right. So you saw her last sometime in the evening?

911 operators should avoid leading questions and specifically avoid introducing new language whenever possible. Training in Analytical Interviewing needed.

JD: Yeah, yeah, I put her to bed (inaudible) at 8:00.

The 911 operator gave him reason to agree. Note the repetition of “yeah” making it important to him.

WCC: Alright, hold on just one second while I get somebody started right over there okay, don’t hang up the line.,

(brief pause)

WCC: Sir./p>

JD: Yes ma’am.

WCC: Hi, I’ve got officers on the way over there. What is your name sir?

JD: ****** ********

WCC: ******* ********?

JD: Yes ma’am.

WCC: And you said ***** or ***** sir?

JD: ********

WCC: Alright. What was she wearing the last time you saw her?

JD: Um, she had some pajamas on, um, they were green pajamas.

Note the extra word “some” to describe the pajamas. The subject is initially vague and inconclusive in his description of the pajamas, then describes them as “green.” Why would the subject’s initial description of his missing daughter’s clothing, an important piece of information in locating her, be vague?

WCC: Green pajamas?

JD: Yeah

WCC: Okay, can you remember the exact time you saw her last or somebody saw her last in her crib?

(JD referes to Elisha in the background)

Please note that unless an inaudible portion in the transcript contained the word “crib”, we have not heard Justin DiPietro use this word. If so, the 911 operator should have followed the rule of not introducing language and should not have assumed she was in a crib

This is an error.

JD: Um, Elisha, when was the last, when is the last time you went in her room last night when you saw her?,

Note that rather than ask the question, he gives additional information which suggests scripting by agreement:

He could have simply entered the language of the operator and asked “when was the last you saw Ayla, Elisha?

Instead, he has not yet used Ayla’s name (outside being asked her name) and he uses the additional, “when you went into her room”; making this needless. Here is why:

If she was, really, in her room, and Elisha checked on her, there would be no other room to check her in. Yet, DiPietro feels the need to add the location which should have been presupposed.

This is indicative of scripting by Justin DiPietro.

EP: 10:00

JD: 10:00, 10:00

WCC: 10:00 okay.

(radio communication)

WCC: (inaudible) units responding, she was last seen her crib wearing green PJs approximately 2200 hours last night.

WCC: What’s a good phone number for you sir?

JD: ***-****

WCC: ******, okay. I’ve got officers on the way over there right now sir and well help you, okay?

(disconnect/return call)

WCC: What is the address of your emergency?

911: DPS, putting through

JD: Yes ma’am I was just on the phone with you and my cell phone died.

WCC: Okay yep, I tried calling you back it went right to voicemail. What is your daughter’s name sir?

JD: Ayla Reynolds

WCC: I’m sorry, Ava Reynolds?


WCC: E-Y-L-A, okay.

Thus far, he has not used his daughter’s name except when asked. This is distancing language and not at all expected from an innocent father.

WCC: Okay, and you’ve checked all through the house, is there any way she could have climbed out of her crib?

JD: No ma’am, she, there is no way she could a got, there’s no way she could.

Self censoring is when one stops himself from completing a sentence. What was he going to say here? “there is no way she could a got…”? Gotten out of the house? Out the door?

Note that he attempts to only answer the question by using the 911 operator’s words. This is not expected.

This is minimized responses.

An innocent parent will, when given an opportunity like this, not only use his child’s name, but will jump in and speak of her characteristics, how well she was walking, climbing, opening doors etc.

The lack of information here is unexpected from an innocent father.

It should also be considered that the caller self censored here because the child was not in a crib, as this may have been language introduced by the operator. If the child was not in a crib, it would be difficult for the caller to place her there in his mind and subsequently his language.

WCC: Okay.

WCC: Okay, the officer is there with you right now. I want you to go out and speak with her, okay?

JD: Okay.

WCC: Alright, Bye-bye.


III. Analysis Conclusion

Justin DiPietro said as little as possible and entered into the language of the 911 operator whenever he could.


There is no urgency in his words, no impatience for help.

He does not ask for help for Ayla, nor even for himself to find Ayla,

He gives no description of her abilities, character, nor even her needs. This is strongly indicative of distancing himself from the child.

He does not use Ayla’s name, other than to answer the direct question. This is strongly indicative of distancing language.

Not once does he express concern for the child. He does not speak of her being vulnerable, nor in danger. In fact, not once does he say anything that shows concern for the child.

We do not find complete social introduction indicative of a good relationship: “my daughter, Ayla” is a good sign, using her name, title, and the possessive pronoun. Instead, he says as little as possible.

We look for a sense of urgency. A child is in danger…imminent danger, and find none.

We look for a sense of need, since the child is incapable of self protection, and expressions of such. We think the parent might mention that she needs her “blankie” or her “binkie” or favorite toy, medicine, or food. Here, we find not a single mention of anything about Ayla.

We hear a man previously described as a prideful bully, fighting, getting arrested, assaulting others, speaking with hyper-respect to the 911 operator. This over politeness is indicative of one who is more concerned to appear to be cooperative, than concerned for his daughter. We expected impatience and even foul language, yet we found none.

He began his answer wanting the police to believe he was asleep overnight. This need, itself, told police that he was not asleep, nor was Ayla in her bedroom, nor in a crib, that fateful night.

He did not ask for help for Ayla.

He distanced himself from Ayla.

He did not offer tips to police, nor even suggest what might have happened, or who might have taken her.

He offered nothing other than direct answers.


This was a scripted call and it is deceptive and is designed to deceive police into believing that Ayla was fine that night and in bed, when she was not.

Statement Analysis indicates that Justin DiPietro has guilty knowledge of the fate of Ayla Reynolds, and his call was scripted and an attempt to deceive police.