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Parents of missing Maya Millete file petition to visit grandchildren

Attorney representing husband, Larry Millete, issues first statements on behalf of client.

CHULA VISTA, Calif. — The parents of Maya Millete have filed a family court petition to force visitation with the missing mother's three children.

The grandparents alleged in the filing that Maya's husband, Larry Millete, has not allowed the family any contact with the kids.

“We haven't seen the kids almost five months now, not talking to them, not being with them all this time,” said Maya’s sister, Maricris Drouaillet, in a May 21 interview with News 8.

“We want to see the kids.  We miss them.  We want to make sure that they know that our side of the family loves them,” Drouaillet said during the same interview.

Millete, 39, went missing on January 7 from the family's home on Paseo Los Gatos in Chula Vista.

In the family court petition filed May 27, the grandparents -- Pablito and Noemi Tabalanza -- alleged, “Larry has cut off all communication between us and the Children.  We have tried to informally work with Larry to establish some reasonable visitation/communication between us and the children. Unfortunately, Larry has not responded to our requests.”

News 8 is not identifying the minor children, who are ages 4, 9 and 11.

The petition said, “Considering the daily trauma that the children are going through with the disappearance of their mother... they need all the sources of stability, love and support they can get. Continuing to deprive the children of our relationship is severely detrimental to their health and emotional well-being."

San Diego family law attorney Anton Georghiou is not involved in the Millete case, but he agreed to review the petition.

“I would expect the court would grant their petition given these circumstances,” Georghiou said.

The judge will issue a ruling based on the best interests of the children, according to Georghiou.

“It may actually be really detrimental to these children to not be seeing grandparents when their mom is gone, and when they don't know where she might be or if they'll ever see her again,” said Georghiou.

“The visitation is usually very limited for grandparents.  So, although they can get visitation, but that visitation is usually a few hours a month,” the attorney said.

Georghiou expects the husband, Larry Millete, to oppose the petition.

“He's going to say that he does not want this visitation, for whatever reason:  He doesn't get along with the grandparents, or he doesn't want the grandparents to bring up what happened to mom, and he thinks that that's really the reason why they want to have visits with the kids,” Georghiou theorized.

A date for the family court hearing has not been set.

Larry Millete’s attorney, Bonita Martinez, said she had not been served with a copy of the family court petition, so she could not respond to the request for visitation.

Additionally, Martinez said her client has been getting death threats, so she has a duty to protect him.

The attorney said her client has been working to take care of his three children as a single father since his wife went missing.  As a result, Millete has been unable to participate in searches for his missing wife, Maritnez said.

She characterized Larry Millete as “a good man” and a “fantastic guy.”

Asked by a reporter for a response to loud bangs sounding like gunshots recorded in the neighborhood on the night Maya went missing, Martinez said her client "had nothing to do with gunshots."

WATCH RELATED: What we saw inside the search of Maya Millete’s house (May 2021)