Summer Stephan

Sister of Missing Mother Maya Millete Speaks at Domestic Violence Forum

Maricris Drouaillet says she wishes she knew more about domestic violence outreach services that might have helped her sister Maya Millete before she was allegedly killed

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The sister of missing Chula Vista mother Maya Millete spoke at a domestic violence forum Monday and offered new insight into the relationship between Maya Millete and her husband Larry Millete, the man accused of killing her.

Maya Millete’s sister Maricris was the guest speaker at a domestic violence forum hosted by the Filipino Resource Center.

According to organizers of the forum, Maya Millette is 1 of 3 Filipino women in as many months killed in domestic violence homicides.

“I wish I had known a lot more about domestic violence,” Maya Millete’s sister Maricris Drouaillet said.

After what the family described as a rollercoaster of a week, family, friends, and a handful of supporters came together Saturday to continue the search for Maya Millete. NBC 7's Amber Frias reports.

Drouaillet has acknowledged the troubles between the Milletes over the last year but added another layer Monday when she spoke about the souring of the relationship long before that.

“I didn’t see it coming. I didn’t know she’s been suffering. I didn’t know she had been suffering from domestic violence all these years," Drouaillet said.

Maya Millete went missing Jan. 7, 2021. Larry Millete was arrested and charged with her murder nine months later. He has since pleaded not guilty to the charges.

San Diego District Attorney Summer Stephan is prosecuting the case. She also spoke at Monday's forum, saying the county consistently records over 17,000 complaints of domestic violence each year. Stephan says domestic violence is an underreported crime and estimates there are many more incidents her office never hears about.

“Victims often feel they’re in a tunnel and they are alone,” Stephan said.

After Larry Millete’s arrest, the DA identified behaviors that might indicate a pattern of domestic violence in this case.

Drouaillet said her sister covered up her pain and didn’t want the family’s help. She wishes she could have done more.

“I hope, I hope my sister’s story will be a lesson, be a lesson to everyone. Please,” Drouaillet said.

Forum organizer Joann Fields said domestic violence homicides are a growing problem in the Filipino community.

Countywide, the domestic violence homicide rate is down 15% over the last four years, according to the DA.

For anyone experiencing domestic violence, the National Domestic Violence Hotline can be reached at 1-800-787-3224.

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