What to Know
- May "Maya" Millete was reported missing in early January 2021, just days before a planned family trip to Big Bear.
- San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan said the mother of three was killed after contacting a divorce lawyer.
- Her husband, Larry Millete, was named a person of interest in his wife's disappearance back in July.
With the arrest of 40-year-old Larry Millete for what Chula Vista police described as the murder of his long-missing wife, May “Maya” Millete, 40, her family is now focused on finding their loved one’s body to give her a proper burial.
San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan said on Tuesday that Maya’s body has not been found. She added that in cases similar to the tragic one in Chula Vista, oftentimes, people with information feel more comfortable coming forward after an arrest. Stephan said she hopes that is the case in this investigation.
More on the disappearance and arrest.
“The only thing that we can do in the face of this senseless violence is to bring justice, to work tirelessly, to make sure that we cannot bring May back, but that we can bring justice,” Stephan said.
Maricris Drouaillet, Maya’s sister who has been vocal in the search for her family member, made an emotional plea Tuesday asking the public to come forward with any information that will help bring her sibling’s remains home.
“This is still not the end,” a heartbroken Drouaillet said in between sobs during Tuesday’s press conference. “We still have a long way to go. We’re still asking the public – please, help us bring my sister home. I want to see my sister.”
Larry was taken into custody at 11:41 a.m. Tuesday, according to Chula Vista Police Department (CVPD) Chief Roxana Kennedy. The arrest comes after nine months of countless search efforts from family members and volunteers, and dozens of search warrants, interviews and tips reviewed by law enforcement.
“These efforts ultimately generated a variety of pieces of evidence that have become clear and overwhelming," Kennedy said. "Larry Millete, May’s husband, is responsible for May’s murder and disappearance.”
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 called by friends and family.
Larry retained a lawyer early in his wife’s disappearance case and CVPD said he was not cooperative in the investigation. He was then named a person of interest in July.
He now faces two charges that include murder and illegal possession of an assault rifle.
While the investigation continues and prosecutors gear up for an upcoming trial on the case, a search for Maya’s body will continue.
“No matter what the outcome will be, our main goal is just to find our sister,” Maya’s brother JR Tabalanza told NBC 7. “Our sister’s out there still and we need to bring her home to her kids, her family.”