The husband of a missing California mom of three was arrested Tuesday for her murder, 10 months after she disappeared, according to authorities.
“Today, the Chula Vista Police Department is announcing the arrest of Larry Millete for the murder of his wife May,” the agency said in a news release.
Maya “May” Millete, 39, was last seen alive on January 7, 2021, shortly before she and her husband were about to take their daughters—aged 4, 9, and 11—on a trip to the mountains. Her family said they called police to report her missing on the night of January 9.
May Millete’s family told The Daily Beast on Tuesday that they would not be “making any comments at this time” about the bombshell development.
On the day she vanished, May reportedly made an appointment with a divorce lawyer for the following week. Although she said it was “for a friend,” her older sister said she had been considering a divorce for the past year.
As previously reported by The Daily Beast, May was a defense contractor at the Naval Base in San Diego who had been planning a family trip to Big Bear to celebrate her daughter’s 11th birthday. Her sister, Maricris Drouaillet, said that the family began to worry after May’s phone was going directly to voicemail and texts to arrange plans were left unanswered.
“It was extremely unusual for my sister to be off her phone for that long—let alone turn it off and not be in communication with us at all. Especially since we had a plan to go on a trip that day for her daughter’s birthday,” Drouaillet, 47, told The Daily Beast in March.
Drouaillet said that when her older brother went to Maya’s Chula Vista home to check in, Larry Millete told them she’d locked herself in their room after an argument and had not spoken to him or their three children all day. Days later, the family returned to the house and demanded Millete open the bedroom door—only to find it empty. They called 911.
The search for Maya followed many leads but never resulted in any discoveries. Last spring, investigators descended on a defunct golf course looking for her remains but came up empty.
“I’m pleading: Anyone out there, please, anybody, somewhere, somehow might know where my sister’s whereabouts,” Drouaillet said at a February media briefing. “Please, bring her home…her kids, they need their mom. Please, help us find my sister. Anyone out there, if you have any information at all, please help me, help us find my sister. And from the bottom of our hearts, please, we thank you, we thank you, and we thank you.”
That same month, Drouaillet told the local NBC affiliate that she and the rest of the family “can’t imagine [Larry Millete] doing anything to our sister.”
At one point, searchers found bone fragments they thought could be Maya’s, but they turned out to be animal remains. Her body has never been found.
Over the last nine months, Larry Millete has maintained his innocence in a case that has garnered national attention and rattled San Diego residents. After doing a few local TV interviews, Millete stopped speaking about the case, stopped joining searchers looking for May and stopped attending public events intended to bring attention to the case.
In February, according to police, he stopped talking to police or his wife’s family.
Millete did not respond to a text message sent to his phone Tuesday after news emerged of his arrest. In March, he told The Daily Beast over text message that the whole ordeal “has been difficult for everyone.”
Declining to comment on why he stopped cooperating with police, he said his “kids and I are coping as best as we can. I keep them busy, which in turn keeps me busy.”
“Everything I say or do seems to [be] misconstrued or conveyed differently,” he said at the time. “I hope you…understand. Some, not all, media has sensationalized our story and have already manipulated the public’s opinion.”
Police will provide further details about the arrest at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon. Detectives said they reviewed more than 130 tips, interviewed 87 people, and obtained 67 search warrants during the investigation.
The Chula Vista PD worked on the case with the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office, the FBI, and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. A spokesman for the Chula Vista Police Department was not immediately available for comment on Tuesday.