Larry Millete was arrested Tuesday for the alleged murder of his wife, Maya Millete, who vanished from their Chula Vista home more than nine months ago.
According to Billy Little, an attorney who has been working with Maya’s family a SWAT team stormed the house around 11:30 a.m. and set off a flashbang as officers from the Chula Vista Police Department and the FBI secured the neighborhood. The FBI set up a mobile command center right outside the family’s home.
Larry Millete was named a person of interest in the case in July and a gun violence restraining order was served against him in May, when police seized more than a dozen of his guns.
He had been withdrawing large sums of money from the bank in the days leading up to his arrest, making it look like he was going to flee, according to Little.
“I hope the guy burns in hell,” Little said
Maya warned friends and family in the months leading up to her disappearance that, “If anything happened to me, it would be Larry,”
Maya sought out advice on divorce attorneys in a Facebook group for mothers in her area on Jan. 7, the same day that she disappeared, and made an appointment with a divorce attorney for the following week.
The Chula Vista Police Department has served 67 search warrants for “residences, vehicles, cellular and electronic devices, call detail records, financial records, social media and cloud data” throughout their investigation.
Maya’s family had led searches on a weekly basis since the missing mother of three disappeared.
“It’s a nightmare every day,” said Maricris Drouaillet, Maya’s sister. “Six months and I can’t imagine it’s taken this long.”
The last known sighting of Millete, 40, happened about 5 p.m. on Jan. 7 near her family’s home in the 2400 block of Paseo Los Gatos.
Drouaillet and her husband Richard, who live in Riverside County, largely have been the faces of the search effort to find Millete, providing regular updates and organizing one grueling search after the next in Chula Vista and beyond. The family continues holding virtual prayer vigils on Thursdays and searching with organized groups every weekend as well as some weekdays.
“At the beginning, we were counting days,” she said. “Then we were counting weeks. Now, we’re counting months and it’s just hard, you know? It’s a rollercoaster of emotions.”
Maya’s husband, Larry Millete, said in January that he initially believed she’d left to have some alone time, but acknowledged, “It’s very unlikely that that’s it, because she wouldn’t be gone this long.” He has made few public remarks in the time Maya has been away and stopped answering police questions in early February. He also is not believed to have attended any of the community searches for her.
In a recent court filing, Larry argued that the way he has been treated by police and his portrayal in local media have created a “toxic environment” for him and his children.
“I am not responsible for her disappearance and I have fully cooperated with the police investigation,” he said in the nearly 80-page court filing.
As of June 30, Chula Vista police reported that investigators have conducted 68 interviews and written 51 search warrants — including three to search the Millete family home — in addition to reviewing nearly 100 tips which have included possible sightings of Maya throughout California and elsewhere.
Even with no sign of Maya, Richard Drouaillet said they want to keep their promise to Maya’s children that they will bring their mother home. He’s asked community members to keep praying for Maya.
“It’s a blessing,” Richard said. “It truly is. It’s a miracle in itself that we have constant prayers coming in and heartwarming messages from just random people around the world.”
The couple said they are leaning on their faith and relying on Chula Vista police to continue their investigation. “We believe in prayer and hard work and we’re doing the hard work and we’re praying every day,” Richard Drouaillet said.
Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact the Chula Vista Police Department at 619-691-5139 or San Diego Crime Stoppers anonymous tip line at 888-580-8477.