Judge OK's sale of May ‘Maya' Millete's Chula Vista home, cars

Chula Vista mother of three Maya Millete was last seen at her home on Paseo Los Gatos on Jan. 7, 2021

Maya Millete missing poster
Joe Little

"It is believed that the proposed conservatee, May T. Millete, also known as Maya Millete ("MAYA"), was murdered in January of 2021. A conservator is urgently needed to address pressing financial issues regarding her estate, including pending foreclosure proceedings regarding her personal residence" — court ruling filed last week

What to Know

  • May "Maya" Millete, a Chula Vista mother of three, was last seen alive on Jan. 7, 2021
  • In October 2021, police arrested her husband, Larry Millete on a first-degree murder charge
  • No body has ever been recovered

Two and a half years after Chula Vista mother of three Maya Millete was last seen at her home on Paseo Los Gatos, a judge has appointed a conservator for her estate and granted that fiduciary permission to sell her home, as well as her vehicles and other property.

Judge Olga Alvarez appointed Kaitlyn Welling of Foster Thornton Welling as conservator on Aug. 10, 2023, having been petitioned to do so in April by Maya's sister, Maricris Drouaillet.

The latest development in the case follows news last month that Maya's accused murderer and husband, Larry Millete, was struggling with money and did not have enough to pay his defense attorney. Larry's trial is scheduled in January 2024, almost three years to the date, Jan. 7, that Maya disappeared.

Larry has been in custody since October 2021, approximately nine months after Maya disappeared. Prior to the time she was last seen, the couple had marital problems; she wanted out, but testimony in the preliminary hearing in January showed that Larry would have none of it. He tried everything to keep her from leaving him, including hiring so-called "spell-casters" in the hopes that they could use magic to get her to stay with him.

Last week, Judge Alvarez ruled that she found "by clear and convincing evidence under Probate Code 1804 that Ms. May T. Millete is a missing person and whose whereabouts are unknown since January 2021, hence, a conservatorship is appropriate."

Court papers also stated that the decision was made, in part, because foreclosure proceedings have begun due to missed mortgage payments.

"Sufficient funds to not exist to continue making payments on the mortgage and maintain the house. Renting the property is not advisable from a financial standpoint given that the petitioner has not belief that it will be needed by MAYA as a residence in the future," the documents state.

The two-story, five-bedroom detached residence has a value of $1.24 million, according to Zillow, which also shows, apparently, that the Milletes and their three children moved into the home back in 2013. That figure tracks with the estimated value of $600,000 listed in the court documents filed regarding the conservatorship.

Last week's conservatorship ruling is an attempt by Drouaillet to preserve the value of Maya's estate, presumably to aid her children in the future or, potentially, provide financial assistance to their current caregivers, Larry's parents. By granting the powers to the conservator Welling that she did, Alvarez ruled, she was seeking to "reduce the strain on judicial resources" that would result if Welling had to repeatedly get input from the interested parties in all stages of the transactions connected to the estate's liquidation.

Larry's defense team asked a judge in July to delay his trial until next year because he didn't have enough money on hand to fund his defense.

While last week's conservator ruling permits the sale of the elements of Maya's estate, it's not clear yet when — or if — Larry will be able to utilize any proceeds to fund his defense.

In July, Larry's attorney Bonita Martinez argued before the court that he needed money to hire expert witnesses and investigators to support his defense. She also said she's hoping a hearing to appoint a conservator to handle the couple's shared assets will result in her client getting some funding to pay for his defense.

However, on Thursday, the court ruled that all "funds from the sales proceeds shall be placed into a blocked account given the uncertainty as to what portion of the funds belong to the conservatee," with Maya being the conservatee.

Maya's disappearance occurred two days before the family was set to travel on a planned trip to Big Bear for her daughter’s birthday. Two days later, Drouaillet called Chula Vista police to report that her 39-year-old sister was missing. Maya’s car was still at her home but phone calls went straight to her voicemail after her disappearance. Since then, the residence was visited by police on multiple occasions, dozens of search parties have been held to locate Maya, and, in October 2021, Larry was arrested and charged with murder in the first degree as well as a weapons charge connected to a gun found during one of the searches.

Larry's murder trial is scheduled to begin Jan. 16.

Meanwhile, all the parties involved in last week's conservatorship hearing are due back in court Sept. 1 to discuss the sale of the property and "the housing plan for the children," according to Thursday's ruling.

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