What to Know
- May "Maya" Millete, a Chula Vista mother of three, was last seen alive nine months ago
- In July, police named her husband, Larry Millete, as a "person of interest" in the case
- On Oct. 19, Chula Vista Police announced that officers had taken Larry into custody in connection with her death
Larry Ibarreta Millete, who is now accused of killing his wife, May "Maya" Millete, has passed his first night in jail after his arrest at the family's home in Chula Vista on Tuesday.
Held without bail, the 40-year-old Millete will have an enormous amount of time to contemplate the case being made against him by the office of San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan and the Chula Vista Police Department.
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On Tuesday afternoon outside the headquarters of the Chula Vista Police Department, Stephen told law-enforcement officials, family members, supporters of Maya Millete and the media a remarkable amount of information about the case uncovered by investigators, much of it unknown until Tuesday.
On Wednesday, NBC 7 obtained the arrest warrant filed two days earlier by Chula Vista Police homicide detective Jesse Vicente, who has been with the department for 15 years.
The evidence the CVPD, NCIS and the FBI have assembled as it was revealed by Stephan and Vicente is circumstantial. The murder case is being made, to this point, in the absence of a body.
"There is case law that we will be using that makes it even more clear that a missing body is circumstantial evidence that there was foul play, and that it was murder, because someone who takes their own life cannot hide their body,” Stephan said.
While Stephan told the crowd that she would only be disclosing information that would not taint a prospective jury pool, she did share a tranche of particulars.
Here's a breakdown of what Stephan said had been uncovered during the investigaion, however:
(Law enforcement officials tend to favor the victim's given name, May, while NBC 7 and other news outlets have adopted the usage of the name Maya that she was called by friends and family -- Ed.)
- The Milletes' 2015 black Lexus GX460 SUV with the license plate "Maylani" is believed to have been used to transport Maya's body on Jan. 8
- Starting in 2020, continuing till her disappearance, Maya wanted a divorce for many reasons. Larry did not
- The last call recorded that Maya made was to a divorce attorney
- When Maya called a divorce attorney on Jan. 7, Larry sent text messages that were screenshotted to his boss that let him know that the divorce was going to take place
- Larry contacted “spellcasters” in an effort to change Maya's mind (Spellcasters are persons purporting to wield magical powers of persuasion -- Ed.)
- In December of 2020, Larry's messages to spellcasters became more threatening in tone and asked for her to become incapacitated, for her to be in an accident, to suffer broken bones. Stephan said that Larry was "displaying his homicidal ideations to harm May"
- Maya scheduled an appointment with a divorce lawyer on Jan. 12
- The last phone call or digital message (sent via Facebook Messenger) Maya sent was on Jan. 7 at 8:15 p.m.
- Larry Millete sent a text on Jan. 7, the last day Maya was seen alive, that said, "I think she wants me to snap," and, "I’m shaking inside, ready to snap"
- At 9:21 p.m. on Jan. 7, Larry screen-shotted from his account crypto-currency amounts of money that were in his crypto-currency account to his two daughters
- Maya’s phone activity stopped on Jan. 8 at 1:25 a.m.
- On Jan. 9, Larry’s spellcaster messages, which had been sent on a daily basis, turned their focus away from Maya and toward a man whom Larry blamed for his failed relationship
- At 5:58 a.m. on Jan. 8, security video shows Larry moving his black Lexus GX460 SUV. The vehicle was backed into the driveway, but Larry repositioned it so that the rear of vehicle was inside a garage door. From where it was re-parked, no video cameras are positioned to record what was occurring
- At 6:45 a.m. on Jan. 8, Larry drove away, not returning for 11 hours and 21 minutes
- Larry's phone remained in the Millete home in Eastlake during the time he was gone from the house on Jan. 8, which had the effect of preventing tracking it with GPS
- Larry told investigators he was in Solana Beach on Jan. 8 while he was away from his Chula Vista home
- Shown a map by investigators asking about his whereabouts on Jan. 8, Larry pointed to Torrey Pines State Beach, four miles away from Solana Beach
- Larry's employer called him "frantically" on Jan. 8, even calling Maya's phone, in an effort to locate Larry, who was supposed to have been working that day. Larry's boss said it was not like Larry to not show up for work
- On Jan. 26, detectives served a search warrant to seize the contents of the Lexus SUV's infotainment system
- The report generated from the downloaded infotainment system indicated a "navigation event" on Jan. 8 at 3:29 p.m. for the Millete home in Chula Vista
- From the report, officials believe that Larry looked up directions to return home; investigators believe it's possible Larry left Maya's body somewhere approximately 2.5 hour drive (or closer) away from his home. They have released that information in the hopes that it may jog the memory of someone who saw the vehicle
- When a search warrant was served at the house, investigators were looking for firearms that were registered to Larry. Despite a court order, Larry had not turned over one of those weapons, a .40 caliber gun. That gun is still missing
- Nine loud bangs can be heard at about 9:57 p.m. on Jan. 7 on an audio/video security recording that was captured by a neighbor of the Milletes. Due to the quality of the recording, investigators have been unable to confirm if the noises were, in fact, gunshots
- At 10:34 p.m. on Jan. 7, neighbors heard the Millete children playing in the back yard of their home. This was unusual because of the time of night
- Maya's brother went to the Millete home in Chula Vista at about 6:30 p.m. At first, Larry told her brother he had been at work and did not know what Maya was doing. Then, Larry said he had been at the beach
- Maricris Drouaillet, Maya's sister, was the one who called police to report Maya missing, not Larry
- Part of a no-body prosecution is to look for proof of life, and no proof that Maya is alive has been found
- There have been no withdrawals from any financial accounts since Maya was last seen on Jan. 7
- All of Maya's valuables were left in the Chula Vista home
- All four of the Milletes' vehicles are accounted for
- After an extensive re-creation and experiment conducted in September 2021, it was determined that Maya's phone was at her Chula Vista home or thereabout when it was last powered on. Stephan said that Maya always had her phone
CVPD Arrest Warrant for Larry Millete
The arrest warrant filed by Chula Vista Police on Monday contains some details Stephan did not touch upon or explain in full at the news conference on Tuesday, including the fact that during the investigation, "detectives learned that May and Larry had been having marital issues for the past year, and that Larry discovered that May had an affair."
Other significant elements in the arrest report alleged by investigators include the following:
- Detectives learned that Maya and Larry had an argument the evening of Jan. 7
- All the text messages between Larry and Maya before Jan. 9 were deleted. Larry told police he deleted the messages to conserve space on his phone
- Security camera footage shows Maya entering her house on Jan. 7 at 4:42 p.m., but there is no footage of her leaving the residence
- At 4:39 p.m. on Jan. 7, the last day Maya was seen alive, Larry sent an email to a spellcaster that read, at least in part, "make her realize that we are meant to be with each other. Make her miserable without me. Make her want to sleep on the same bed for all eternity (praying hands emoji)."
- On Jan. 9, Larry emailed a spellcaster shortly before 6 a.m. to "remove or stop hexing my wife May"
- During a family trip to the Glamis Sand Dunes in Imperial County for a New Year's celebration in January 2021, Larry asked a family member if he knew someone to "get" the other guy. This was interpreted as finding someone to hurt the man with whom May was having an affair
- May confided to a friend that at one point in the past, Larry had choked her until she passed out
- Investigators allege that as their relationship declined, Maya was no longer interested in a physical relationship and Larry searched the Internet for "my wife doesn't want me to touch her" and "flunitrazepam, rohypnol and diphenhydramine." According to the DEA, flunitrazepam is a generic name for Rohypnol, a date rape drug commonly known as a "roofie"
- Family and friends confirm that May was not suicidal and would never voluntarily leave her kids
Toward the end of the arrest report, Larry's identifying characteristics are recorded, including the fact that he has a tatoo on his back that reads, "Only God Can Judge Me."
Larry Millete is being held at the San Diego Central jail on Front Street in downtown San Diego. He's due in court Thursday at the South Bay courthouse in Chula Vista. The arraignment is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. He faces life in prison if convicted, according to the DA's office, which said that Deputy District Attorney Christy Bowles will be prosecuting the case.