By this time, Trista’s relationship with Justin had broken down. And though the pair were no longer on speaking terms, Justin seemed determined to gain custody of his daughter. In fact, on October 17, 2011, he arrived at Jessica’s home ready to take Ayla away.
Justin had apparently persuaded an officer from the Department of Health and Human Services to authorize his custody of the child. Arriving with a police officer in tow, then, he removed Ayla from her aunt’s care and took her to his Waterville home.
Concerned, Trista left her rehab program to find out what had happened, and soon she was battling to regain custody of her daughter. The worried mom even alleged that Justin was reluctant to let her see Ayla at all. One night, Trista called to speak to the toddler – only to be told that she was watching a movie and couldn’t come to the phone.