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Back to the Blood

on April 21, 2012

If you list all the “evidence” in Ayla’s disappearance, it’s easy to come to the conclusion that she wasn’t kidnapped. This of course requires that you include the blood evidence, the life insurance policy, social media posts and comments, etc.

I’m curious how much of the evidence needs to be disregarded before someone can come up with alternative conclusions.

If you include the allegations of child abuse by Justin or someone in Justin’s immediate family or social circle, the life insurance policy, the blood evidence that police are not denying, the logical answer is that Justin or someone close to him did Ayla harm. Harm is a euphemism in this case, because 1/4 to 1/5 of a toddler’s blood volume doesn’t exactly bode well. Neither does the fact that she has yet to be found. In this scenario, she is most likely deceased.

Why can’t we discount the blood evidence and the comments being said about it? Simple. Because if Maine State Police knew that this information was completely false, they most likely would have had a press conference denying it by now. They have been quick to shoot down other things that they disagreed with. Why not this too? If they know that what Jeff Hanson is putting out there on the web to be misleading, false, exaggerated, they would need to put a stop to it and clarify it because this case is still in the process of being built. They can’t have a jury pool contaminated with evidence that isn’t truly evidence. This would not allow for anyone to have a fair trial if that is what this comes down to. And, to imagine that state police are deliberately allowing only false information to circulate that implicates Justin is hard to believe. I would think that this would open them up to all kinds of lawsuits.

If  you remove the blood, everything potentially changes.

Scenarios that include kidnapping, keeping the child hidden, and others become plausible. With no blood evidence, even the subject of the life insurance policy can be explained away. Sometimes people make unnecessary purchases when being pressured by friends. I know that even when I’ve been broke in the past, I felt guilted into buying things that my friends were selling. I have bought makeup when I was fully stocked. I have bought tupperware when I ate out every night. I even once bought a car when I already had two. Stupid purchases, I agree. And the only person it hurt in the long run was myself. A lot of us can say the same thing. How many times have you bought something that you didn’t necessarily need for the sake of a friend?

What does the blood mean?

There are a couple of ways of looking at this.

If we take into consideration ONLY what law enforcement has released as fact, we are looking at an unidentified amount of blood. Some of which was detected visually, some of which was only able to be seen using Luminol. I have scoured the web for quotes from McCausland that confirm he actually told the press it was “more than a small cut would produce,” but can’t find anything. If you have a direct quote where he says this, let me know. The other statement he did make was that the discovery of blood was “troubling.”

Since we don’t know how much blood was found, can we assume that any discovery of blood would be troubling?

No, not likely. But maybe? I’m really conflicted about this actually.

Common household accidents, especially minor ones wouldn’t appear troubling to a seasoned team of forensic scientists (presumably?).  A tiny speck of blood tracked across a floor stemming from a small cut would hopefully have looked like just that. I have cut my foot countless times and think that if the cut was just barely bleeding, and someone walked, it would leave a distinct pattern. It would be obvious the person was mobile. It would look like a regular old cut.

Even a cut that caused dripping blood would have distinct characteristics. And that’s what the police would have been looking for with the luminol. Not just the presence of it, but the pattern. In this case, a dripping blood cut would have had a small puddle of blood, some drips probably, splatters. And there would be evidence of a cleanup. Luminol can show cleanup patterns. The cleanup for this type of wound would have been pretty average looking. Contained to a small area and easily explainable.

Luminol is typically used at crime scenes where no blood is visible. It can detect hemoglobin, a key component of blood, even if it has been diluted hundreds of thousands of times. (http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/1994-10-28/news/9410270757_1_blood-crime-scene-david-baer)

I guess that what I keep going back to is Heidi Tudela’s statement that she had seen about three tiny specks of blood circled on the basement floor, about the size of pen tips. If this was all the visible blood, what on earth did they find with Luminol that was so troubling?

If Luminol did in fact suggest that more than a cup of blood was present in that basement, there had to be extensive evidence of cleanup. Blood smears. When you add water to it, it spreads out and looks twice as bad as it did originally. The more water you add, the wider the area of cleanup ends up being. How do I know this? I had a puppy many years ago that was bitten by a larger dog. By the time we realized she was hurt, she had dribbled blood over every square foot of carpet. When we picked her up it was just a tiny wound, maybe like 2mm. But she had bled all over the place. She actually died because of it. Had we been in the dining room we might have saved her, but we were doing something in the living room and were used to her exploring by herself. I don’t know if she bled out, or if it was bleeding inside her skull from the pressure of the other dogs bite. When we cleaned it up we had to rent a carpet cleaner and just those little drops colored the tank red after a few swipes. It also turned the color of the carpet from light blue to orangey-brown. It took hours to get back to normal. And I really don’t think that she bled over a cup of blood as she didn’t even weigh but two pounds when she was injured.

Where is this leading? Well, I’m trying to think of someway that I could discount the blood evidence. The only way I can do this is to take into consideration that Luminol will often interact with things other than blood and create false positives. Items that do this include household cleaners, urine from a person with a slight urinary tract infection (I need to research this further as I read it on a random site), other body fluids (vomit, saliva?). This study refutes Luminol a lot of the information available on false positives. Even at a 5% bleach solution, Luminol didn’t react to it. It doesn’t address urine, but this book does. It says that blood in urine can be detected by Luminol. Blood in the urine is possible if the person were suffering a UTI or some other pathology of the urinary tract.

This is the first quantitative study to determine the effect on the luminol test when bloodstained tiles are cleaned with a known interfering catalyst (bleach). It is shown that cleaning a glazed tile surface with bleachbased cleaners produced levels of luminol CL indistinguishable from that of haemoglobin, thus compromising the evidentiary value of the bloodstain. It is noted, however, that bleach interference dissipates after ~ 8 h. (http://www.iapsonline.com/sites/default/files/Attempted%20Cleaning%20of%20Bloodstains%20and%20its%20effect%20on%20the%20forensic%20luminol%20test.pdf)

But another study says 1-2 days for complete evaporation of the cleaning chemicals. (here) In this case, I guess that it’s possible that cleaning done early in the day on the 16th might have produced Luminol false positives if they were done on the 17th. But it’s a big if.

Playing the Devil’s advocate, let’s assume that it’s just an unfortunate coincidence that Ayla’s blood happened to be found in the exact same area that the Luminol detected presence of blood. What do I mean by that? According to the above article, if there had been a fresh bleaching within 8 hours (1-2 days according to site 2) of Luminol testing, the area bleached would glow even if there was no blood there to begin with. If police saw the glow, then swabbed the area to confirm that it was blood, but it was actually mostly bleach, and the swabs just happened to be from where Ayla had reportedly cut her foot, is it possible that this is all just a misunderstanding?

Most likely not. Because this would have meant that someone would have had to bleach the floor of the basement after midnight on the 17th. If it was a normal night, and they’d all gone to bed, are we to assume the cleaning fairy magically appeared in the middle of the night? I’m adding this because on one of these Ayla sites I read someone saying that the Luminol reacted with cleaning fluids and that the cleaning fluids were present because the house had recently been cleaned in anticipation of Courtney’s arrival. As far as I can tell, Courtney arrived earlier than midnight, so the cleaning in question would have had to been completed much earlier on the 16th for Luminol to have detected it the following morning (or possibly later as I’m not entirely certain when the Luminol was used on the DiPietro house).

Ifs are awful things, really.

How does this all fit together?

Scenario/s 1 – Ayla wasn’t mortally wounded in that basement. They had just cleaned it up really well because Courtney was coming over. The reason Ayla’s blood was found was because the areas police sampled were coincidentally the same exact areas Ayla bled on when she cut her foot. If there was a large area of Luminol reaction, then it could have been from Ayla urinating while suffering from a UTI or similar issue. Police are either exaggerating the amount of blood when discussing it with the Reynold’s family, or they are reading false positives as true positives. Or, police are deliberately feeding false information to the public using the Reynold’s family as their conduit in an attempt to get the DiPietro’s/Roberts’ to talk.

Scenario 2 – There was only a tiny bit of visible blood because the early morning hours had been anything but normal at Phoebe’s house. Instead of sleeping, people were cleaning their butts off. The blood discovered by Luminol was unexpected because who would have guessed that it can detect blood that has been diluted hundreds of times over. Woopsie. Fire the cleaning lady!

Anyone else have a scenario they want to contribute?



One response to “Back to the Blood

  1. […] Back to the Blood « aylatheories […]

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