SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — During a hearing Wednesday regarding temporary custody of the Millete children, a probate judge ordered they will remain in the custody of Larry Millete's parents.
Judge Julia Kelety issued the order. She granted Maricris Drouaillet and her side of the family regular visits with the three children, but did not grant Drouaillet temporary custody.
Drouaillet is the sister of Maya Millete, who's been missing since January.
The three children are currently living in the couple's Chula Vista home with their paternal grandparents.
Larry Millete remains behind bars, charged with the murder of his missing wife.
Cameras were not allowed inside the courtroom Wednesday morning.
Drouaillet's attorney, Scott Finkbeiner, told the judge there are several reasons Drouaillet should be granted temporary custody. He said there are "extraordinary" facts in this case. He clamed Larry Millete's parents, Judith and Benito Millete, have emotionally neglected the three kids by not enrolling them in therapy.
Finkbeiner also pointed out Larry Millete violated a criminal court order that stated he have no contact with the children by making nine hours of phone calls to them. He suggested Millete's parents were either complicit with him violating the court order or perhaps even helped him.
Finkbeiner said Drouaillet is even willing to move to San Diego so that the children can continue going to school in Chula Vista.
A guardian ad litem appointed by the court also weighed in during the hearing.
She told Judge Kelety she's been gathering as much information on this case as possible since being appointed Monday afternoon.
She said she interviewed two of the children, as well as looked at their school records and talked to their teachers.
"I don't see any exigency to warrant immediate temporary guardianship," she said.
She told the judge the two children she did interview are doing well in school and that their teachers haven't seen any significant behavioral changes.
However, she agreed the children need mental health treatment. Judge Kelety ordered they receive therapy.
Millete's attorney, Joseph Goldberg promised the judge he would not contact the children. He said eventually his client's parents will be seeking permanent custody.
"There is no winner or loser. [The children] are not a prize for good behavior. We're looking for these kids to make it to 18 years old, happy and content as they can be. With both sides of the family," said Judge Kelety.
Larry Millete and his parents responded to Drouaillet's guardianship petition with a brief written objection, which states that Drouaillet is "not a good fit" to be the children's guardian and that "it is not in the children's best interest."
Larry Millete is due back in a criminal courtroom on Dec. 16. The investigation into the alleged murder and May Millete's whereabouts remains ongoing.
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