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Investigators say Maya Millete was in abusive, toxic marriage, which lead to her death

News 8's LaMonica Peters talked to an advocate who said mental and emotional mistreatment can be just as dangerous as physical abuse.

SAN DIEGO — October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and as we continue to piece together the events of Maya Millete’s tragic death, we identify some warning signs of abuse. 

News 8's LaMonica Peters talked to an advocate who said mental and emotional mistreatment can be just as dangerous as physical abuse.

Police discovered that Larry Millete kept several firearms in the house. His arrest warrant also says that he was thinking of multiple ways to harm his wife; from drugging her to asking spellcasters to help break her bones.

“This is a time to acknowledge Domestic Violence survivors and be a voice for its victims," said Chula Vista Police Department Chief Roxanna Kennedy.

As Kennedy announced the arrest of Larry Millete on Tuesday, Maya’s family, friends and other police officers wore purple ribbons in support of domestic violence victims. Investigators say Maya Millete was in an abusive and toxic marriage, which they believe ultimately lead to her death.    

“Domestic violence is prevalent in every community. It affects all people regardless of age, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, gender, race, religion, or nationality," Kennedy said. 

Chula Vista police say since the start of the year, they received about 355 domestic violence calls and made 18 arrests each month. 

Jules Cobb Edwards is a survivor who has been a domestic violence advocate for nearly two decades. She said it’s important to know what abuse can look like. 

“With emotional and mental abuse, that’s pretty much where it begins because if an abuser can start with your mind, that’s all it takes," she said. 

The CDC says 25% of women and 10% of men experience domestic violence and cases have increased during the pandemic. Cobb Edwards said men, in particular, have to become allies with women and be taught how to avoid abusive behavior.

“As a batterer interventionist, who has taught to rehabilitate men who batter, what I can share with you is that many of those that batter, have their own internal issues that they have to deal with," Cobb Edwards said. "So can they be unlearned? I can tell that only if they choose to be, yes."

Cobb Edwards also recommended that anyone trying to escape an abusive relationship should create a plan first so you can leave safely. If you’re a domestic violence victim in need of help, click here.

WATCH LIVE: New details from arrest warrant for Larry Millete, husband of missing Chula Vista mom Maya Millete