This Thursday will mark another grim milestone for the family of May "Maya" Millete, whose 40th birthday was on Saturday: May 7 will be four months to the day since anyone saw the missing Chula Vista mom.
With the anniversary approaching, Millete's family held a rally Tuesday afternoon outside the headquarters of the Chula Vista Police Department in the 300 block of 4th Avenue.
Organizers said on social media that they were "seeking community support in the urgency to find May" and "will be coming together as a community to continue advocating for Maya."
"We miss Maya beyond words," organizers posted. "The ache of her absence does not go away. Countless questions remain unanswered. In the past several months, the focus of the media has turned as it should. We know Maya has not been forgotten, and the investigation into her disappearance is active and ongoing."
Organizers stressed that Tuesday's rally would be peaceful.
"We are her voice right now, and Maya needs to be heard loud and clear," the post continued. "So we are pleading for everyone who can attend the rally, please come stand beside us. We truly appreciate everyone, and feel extremely blessed to have so many supporting us and standing in agreement that with our prayers, we will indeed move mountains."
A news release posted sent out shortly before the rally, however, stuck a more vocal tone.
"We need the CITY OF CHULA VISTA COUNCIL to step up and advocate for the family," the press release stated. "If CVPD does not have the resources, then it's up to the CITY COUNCIL to provide the needed funding and resources to ENABLE The CVPD to be better equipped to support the ongoing investigation and search efforts. There is a MOUNTAIN OF EVIDENCE and there have been no arrests made. We fear for the emotional and psychological wellbeing of the children. Maya's family has not seen the children or had any contact with them since Maya went missing. Larry Millete is NOT willing to cooperate with the family and the authorities."
At the rally, family memebrs criticized the department's communication and transparency with the family and public.
"So we've been searching, and they have searched the area. We don't have to search the same area," Millete's sister Maricris Drouaillet said.
"[They haven't told us where they've searched] that's why we say it's a one-way communication with the Police department. We don't want to step on each other's feet. If you search In one area, please let us know. That way we don't have to waste our time," Drouaillet's husband Richard Drouaillet added.
Other participants marched with signs and chanted "Bring Maya home."
Shortly before the organizers' news release was disseminated, Chula Vista police sent out its bi-weekly update on the case, which had little new information regarding the investigation. However, officials did say that they had conducted one additional interview connected to the investigation, and stated that there had been "23 search warrants to include residences, vehicles, cellular and electronic devices, call detail records, financial records, social media and cloud data" had been written.
That's an increase of seven search warrants since April 21, the last time police sent out one of their regular update on the case. A court official said any warrants in the Millete case sought since April 21 were either sealed or not yet returned (warrants are returned after they are served. A spokesman for Chula Vista police said he could not "disclose the nature of the additional search warrants."
CVPD's updated did include a statement from Chief Roxana Kennedy that stated, in part, "We understand the frustration over limited public information about this case. We will not share any information publicly about this case that can in any way hinder or jeopardize the successful investigation and potential prosecution of anyone involved in her disappearance. Recently, we have begun working with the Cold Case Foundation to provide advocacy to May’s family in conjunction with our investigation."
Tuesday's rally wasn't the first time Millete's family has gathered at CVPD headquarters in an effort to keep her case prominent in the public mind: On Feb. 5, Kennedy, Chula Vista mayor Mary Salas and Millete's sister Maricris Drouaillet and her husband, Richard Drouaillet, all asked for anyone who knew any details about Millete's disappearance to come forward.
Police have never named Larry Millete as a suspect in the disappearance of his wife. Drouaillet told NBC 7 Larry was the last person to see her sister.
Maricris said on Feb. 5 that Larry and her sister had been "having marital issues" but nothing more than the “ups and downs” experienced by most couples.
According to Chula Vista police, Maya, 39, was last seen by her family at her home on Paseo Los Gatos at around 5 p.m. on Jan. 7. This was two days before the family was set to travel on a planned trip to Big Bear for her daughter’s birthday. Maya has three children, ages 4, 9, and 11. Investigators said Maya has not answered phone calls or text messages since Jan. 7.
Investigators described Maya as 5 feet, 2 inches tall and 105 pounds, with brown hair, brown eyes and freckles. Her family said she has a tattoo on her wrist.
Chula Vista police said last month that the San Diego District Attorney’s Office, the FBI and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) were all working on the investigation.
Maya's family said they had also created a new website with information on how to support their efforts and any future searches, as well as blog updates from her loved ones.
The criminal investigation into Millete's disappearance is ongoing. Police are urging anyone with information on her whereabouts to contact detectives at (619) 691-5139. Tips can be called in anonymously to Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.