A picture found by Chula Vista police when they searched Larry Millete’s phone may have opened up a can of worms for the husband of missing Chula Vista mom May "Maya" Millete.
Maya was last seen on Jan. 7, and since that time, a series of searches have been conducted in the very public missing-persons case, often led by Maya's sister, Maricris, and her husband, Richard Drouaillet, who have made efforts to keep the case in the spotlight.
The picture, taken in January 2020, shows the couple’s son standing on the kitchen table, surrounded by a cache of 16 firearms, several high-capacity magazines, hundreds of rounds of ammunition and four passports, according to court documents.
“The child had immediate access to the illegal assault weapons and the 14 other firearms and ammunition, creating a potential extreme danger to the child and those physically present at the home,” the document states.
According to the affidavit on file in the petition for a gun-violence restraining order against Larry, the photo was observed by Chula Vista Police on Jan. 23, 2021, three weeks after Millete’s wife vanished.
It’s not known why Chula Vista police waited more than three months after finding the photos to seek the restraining order.
Larry has told NBC 7 in the past that he had nothing to do with his wife’s disappearance. Chula Vista police say he is not a suspect in the missing-persons case, although he is refusing to cooperate further and has hired an attorney.
A San Diego Superior Court judge granted the temporary restraining order, which means Larry must surrender all firearms to the police. That’s what happened Friday evening, when Chula Vista police conducted a second search of the Millete home, retrieving what appeared to be several ammunition boxes, some long boxes that could contain long guns, and at least one gun bag.
Chula Vista police are not saying how many guns were taken from the house Friday or whether all of the firearms seen in the photo were recovered.
“We were kind of concerned -- after my sister’s disappearance -- about all his firearms, and we were concerned, actually, after the first search warrant, that they did way back in January,” said Maya's sister, Maricris Drouaillet. “We were surprised that they did not take all his firearms.”
Drouaillet told NBC 7 that Larry kept the guns in a locked safe, away from his three children. She also said she believes the search is a sign that the investigation is moving forward, and she and her family will soon get the answers they’ve been waiting for.
“We’ll have closure for the family and, hopefully, our nightmare is gonna end soon,” Drouaillet said.