CHULA VISTA, Calif. — Larry Millete has been arrested on suspicion of murder in the disappearance of his wife Maya “May” Millete, a Chula Vista mother of three who was reported missing nine months ago, police said Tuesday.
On Jan. 7, 39-year-old Maya vanished from her family’s home on Paseo Los Gatos in Chula Vista. Her husband was the only person of interest police named in the case.
Chula Vista Police Department’s SWAT team arrested Larry Millete at 11:42 a.m. Tuesday as he was alone at home, Police Chief Roxana Kennedy said in an afternoon news conference. He was booked into jail without bail on two felony counts, including a murder charge and illegal possession of an assault weapon, District Attorney Summer Stephan said.
Detectives wrote more than 67 search warrants, conducted 87 interviews and looked into more than 130 tips over the course of the nine-month investigation, according to Kennedy.
“These efforts ultimately generated a variety of pieces of evidence that have become clear and overwhelming: Larry Millete, May’s husband, is responsible for May’s murder and disappearance,” Kennedy said.
Stephan said her office filed a criminal case in San Diego County Superior Court on Monday charging Larry Millete with murder. She said the case was filed based on evidence developed during the extensive investigation.
She confirmed Maya’s body is still missing.
“California law, and similar to across the nation, is very clear: that we can file murder charges despite not having a body,” Stephan said. “In fact, the law is so crystal clear, that we cannot let someone murder someone and gain a benefit by hiding the body in a way that we can’t discover it. In fact, there is case law that we will be using in this case that makes it even more clear that a missing body is circumstantial evidence that there was foul play and that it’s a murder, because somebody who takes their own life cannot hide their own body.”
Detectives served three search warrants at the house during the investigation into Maya’s disappearance and an additional search took place at a Millete family member’s home. In May, police filed a gun violence restraining order against Larry Millete with a detective requesting the order “to protect the public and prevent harm to the respondent or others.”
The Chula Vista Police Department was investigating Maya’s disappearance with help from the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office, the FBI and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.
Larry Millete is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday at 1:30 p.m. at the South Bay courthouse.