The disappearance of Maya Millete | 2-year timeline
Chula Vista mother May "Maya" Millete was last seen on Jan. 7, 2021 and her husband Larry was arrested on Oct. 19, 2021. Here's what we know after more than 2 years.
Since January 2021, the disappearance of Chula Vista mother Maya Millete has been under investigation by authorities and the subject of local and national news. The Chula Vista Police Department and multiple federal agencies, including the FBI, have looked into her disappearance for more than 2 years. Her family, friends and community members have also turned out for numerous searches, rallies and vigils throughout San Diego County.
Updates have come from the family, law enforcement and court documents. To see how the case of May "Maya" Millete's disappearance has unfolded, here is a timeline of major events in the case from the last time Maya was heard from on Jan. 7, 2021, through her husband Larry's arrest in October and the ensuing court appearances into early 2023.
WATCH RELATED: The disappearance of Maya Millete | 2-year timeline
2023 key dates: Preliminary hearings set to begin in the trial of Larry Millete
After 10 days of testimony during a preliminary hearing, a judge has made the ruling that there was enough evidence presented for Larry Millete to stand trial for the murder of his wife, Maya.
Judge Dwayne Moring – a former public defender and a former San Diego prosecutor – has decided that there is enough evidence for Millete to be bound over for trial to face murder charges for his missing wife, Maya Millete.
In ruling to hold Millete to answer for murder, Judge Moring noted, "There is a marked contrast in the defendant's actions before Ms. Millete's disappearance and afterward that provides a strong suspicion of his guilt.
Despite the fact that her body has not been found, Superior Court Judge Dwayne Moring cited case law allowing murder cases to proceed without the body's presence.
A trial date has been tentatively set for September 14.
WATCH RELATED: Judge rules Larry Millete to stand trial for murder of missing wife, Maya
Jan. 24, 2023 | Never before seen video shows Maya secretly recording an argument with Larry Millete
The preliminary hearing for Larry Millete, the Chula Vista husband accused of murdering his wife Maya, continued Tuesday morning marking nine days of testimony.
A two-minute video that appeared to have been secretly recorded by Maya of an argument between her and Larry was played in the courtroom. It's the first time during this hearing, we hear Maya's voice and her own words.
The couple argued about the affair Larry suspected she had had. "I don't know what you guys were doing 7:00 or 8:00 at night all the time," said Larry. "And your projects and your team projects, mentoring and all that stuff."
At one point, Maya responds: "I'm asking you why you would say stuff like that. And then you go there, and then you want to be together?" said Maya.
The video came to light during Inspector Matthew Grindley's testimony.
WATCH RELATED: Day 9 | Larry Millete preliminary hearing wraps up in San Diego court
Jan. 23, 2023 | New text messages, search history revealed
Testimony entered its eighth day after a break over the weekend.
Cross-examination continued of Det. Jesse Vicente, one of the lead investigators on the disappearance of Maya Millete.
Det. Vicente testified hundreds of tips came in during the course of the investigation, and that included alleged sightings of Maya. He told the judge there were alleged sightings in Carlsbad, Las Vegas and Texas. He said all of the tips were followed up on, and none were credible.
He also testified police investigated two ransom demands, but did not find any credible leads.
District Attorney's Investigator Matthew Grindley testified Monday that he reviewed cell phone activity from Larry and May's phones.
Some of Larry's text messages with his work supervisor were displayed in court, which showed that Larry regularly confided with his supervisor regarding his wife's desire to divorce him.
On Jan. 6, 2021, Larry showed his supervisor screenshots of text messages May sent him. One of those read, "I DON'T WANT TO BE YOUR WIFE ANYMORE. I'm filing whether you like it or not. I should have left a long time ago and this time I'm not going to look back and say that again."
Larry called off from work that day because he was "mentally, physically, and emotionally spent," he texted his supervisor.
WATCH RELATED: Preliminary hearing for Larry Millete wraps up day 8 in Downtown San Diego court
Jan. 20, 2023 | New video, search history revealed
Day 7 wrapped up a week of testimony in the preliminary hearing for Larry Millete, the Chula Vista husband accused of murdering his wife Maya.
The first witness on the stand was Det. Jesse Vicente of the Chula Vista Police Department. He testified he took over the case after the responding officer told him it seemed suspicious.
He testified, as part of his investigation, he canvassed the Millete neighborhood and looked for surveillance footage. He told the judge a camera from a neighbor's home captured video from the Millete home January 8, 2021, the day after Maya disappeared.
Chula Vista police Detective Lorenzo Ruiz testified about internet searches discovered on Larry and May's personal computers.
One search made from Larry's computer was for "subliminal wife training," Ruiz testified. Prior preliminary hearing testimony indicated May discovered a cell phone hidden beneath her bed that was "playing subliminal messages," which Larry explained to his sister-in-law involved recorded hidden messages such as "I love you" or "Love me" that could be played amidst white noise.
Larry Millete Hearing: Exhibits presented Day 7
WATCH: New video, search history revealed in preliminary trial of Larry Millete day 7
Jan. 19, 2023 | Maya's brother returns to the stand, co-worker testifies
The preliminary hearing for Larry Millete, the Chula Vista husband accused of murdering his wife Maya, entered its sixth day on Thursday.
Jaypie Tabalanza, Maya's older brother, returned to the witness stand.
He testified it was two days after his sister disappeared that he first suspected Larry had something to do with it.
A close friend of missing Chula Vista woman May "Maya" Millete testified Thursday about the last year of her friend's deteriorating marriage, including an incident in which she locked herself in a room after discovering her husband was trying to track her whereabouts.
Kristeen Timmers testified Thursday in the preliminary hearing for May's husband, Larry Millete, who is charged with her murder. May Millete has not been seen or heard from since Jan. 7, 2021. Though her body has not been found, prosecutors allege Larry Millete killed her because she sought to divorce him.
WATCH RELATED: Preliminary hearing for Larry Millete enters day 6 in San Diego court
Jan. 18, 2023 | Maya's sister-in-law, brother, former co-worker testify
Testimony continued Wednesday morning on day five of Larry Millete's preliminary hearing. Millete is accused of murdering his wife Maya.
Maya Millete's sister-in-law, Genesis Tabalanza, returned to the witness stand on Wednesday.
As other members of May's family have testified during Millete's preliminary hearing, Larry began reaching out to them more frequently than ever before in 2020 for help regarding his deteriorating marriage. Several witnesses have also testified that May Millete described Larry's behavior as controlling in the year leading up to her disappearance.
Nicolas-Tabalanza said Larry began calling and texting her frequently for advice on the marriage and at some point, Larry said he was becoming "desperate."
Wednesday's hearing also included testimony from Derek Sopp, who worked with May at the Navy's Southwest Regional Maintenance Center -- known as SWRMC -- in San Diego.
Sopp said in early 2020, Larry heard about a woman who accused May of having an affair with a subordinate employee.
Sopp said it appeared to be a "misunderstanding" that he believed was subsequently cleared up.
However, he testified that afterward, Larry began emailing him with requests to separate May and another male employee. In one such email, Larry wrote that he believed moving the other employee to a different division "would help (May) reset herself, and our relationship as well."
WATCH RELATED: Maya Milete's sister-in-law and brother take the stand
Jan. 17, 2023 | Maya's father and sister-in-law take the stand, Chula Vista Police Department testifies
After a three-day break, the preliminary hearing for Larry Millete, the Chula Vista husband accused of murdering his wife, resumed Tuesday morning.
For the first time, we heard from Maya Millete's father, Pablito Tabalanza. He gave his testimony through an interpreter.
The 72-year-old testified in 2020, he received more phone calls from Larry than usual. He said his son-in-law wanted him to talk to Maya for him. He also told the judge he went to the Millete home in Chula Vista on January 9 after his son Jay-R Tabalanza told him "something bad happened."
Tabalanza testified Larry told him Maya was in the bedroom. Tabalanza went and knocked on the door and called out for his daughter. There was no answer. He then said he asked Larry if he had a key. He said Larry reached into his pocket, pulled one out and opened the door.
He said he was surprised Larry had a key, because only Maya was supposed to have access to that room.
WATCH RELATED: Maya Millete's father takes stand in preliminary hearing for Larry Millete
Jan. 13, 2023 | Maya Millete's brother, sister take the stand
In the summer of 2020, May "Maya" Millete told her younger brother, Jay-R Tabalanza, in a series of text messages that Larry Millete was regularly monitoring her emails, messages, social media, and financial activity. She said Larry was "toxic and mentally abusive" and had started becoming "concerned" about her interactions with other men.
"I've stopped being friends with any guys," she texted her brother, who testified that Larry suspected his wife was having an affair and had expressed a desire to "get the other guy."
Tabalanza testified Friday as part of a multiweek court proceeding in which a judge will decide if there is enough evidence for Larry Millete to stand trial for murder.
WATCH DAY 3: Maya's siblings take the stand
Jan. 12, 2023 | Maya Millete's sister takes the stand
A Chula Vista forensics expert returned to the witness stand Thursday morning for day two of Larry Millete's preliminary hearing while Maya's sister, Maricris Drouaillet spent the majority of the day answering questions from lawyers.
Drouaillet testified Thursday at Larry Millete's preliminary hearing, a multi-week proceeding during which a judge will decide if there is enough evidence for Millete to stand trial.
Drouaillet said tensions between May and Larry had become obvious during a series of family gatherings leading up to May's disappearance. She said the couple previously kept their arguments to themselves, but around that time they began displaying their irritation with one another in front of other family members.
WATCH RELATED: Maya Millete's sister takes the stand in preliminary hearing for Larry Millete
On Jan. 11, the preliminary hearing began for Larry Millete, charged with Maya’s murder.
CBS 8 learned there are 25 witnesses on the prosecution's list. The defense will not call any witnesses.
Up first on the witness stand, Desteny Johnson. She testified she works at Broaden Law Office in Chula Vista. She told the judge Maya contacted the office January 7, 2021 to schedule an appointment with a divorce attorney. Johnson said she does the intake of clients. She spent several minutes with Maya on the phone.
She painted a picture of a woman who loved her children, and was terrified of what her husband's reaction was going to be if he found out she was filing for divorce.
This hearing is not a trial. There are no jurors. Evidence will be presented, and witnesses will testify over two to three weeks in the Downtown San Diego courthouse.
In the end, Judge Dwayne Moring – a former public defender and a former San Diego prosecutor – will decide if there is enough evidence for Millete to go to trial for murder.
WATCH RELATED: Larry Millete hearing Day 1 | Judge hears evidence surrounding missing mother, Maya Millete
2022 key dates: Larry Millette found mentally competent to stand trial, 1 year since Maya's disappearance
Oct. 13, 2022 | Court filings reveal new details in Larry Millete murder case
Two lawsuits filed by relatives of accused killer, Larry Millete, were transferred to federal court this week. Both lawsuits allege civil rights violations when Chula Vista police served search warrants related to the criminal case.
Ricky Lincoln and Kathy Fredericks, Millete’s uncle and maternal aunt, filed a lawsuit in state court in May alleging Chula Vista police illegally served a search warrant on April 1, 2021 at the couple’s home in Encanto.
That lawsuit -- as well as a similar lawsuit filed in May by Millete's parents -- were transferred this week to federal court because they allege civil rights violations.
Buried in the civil court filings is new information related to Millete’s criminal case.
Judge Dwayne Moring ruled that Larry Millete can resume communication from jail with his three children, ages 5, 11, and 12. Millete will only be allowed to write letters to his kids, as recommended by a court-appointed guardian for the minors, who must approve the letters in advance.
The mental competency finding means the criminal case will go forward again against Larry Millete, 41, who is charged with murder for allegedly killing 39-year-old May "Maya" Millete, the mother of his three children.
In June, Millete's defense attorney, Bonita Martinez, declared a doubt as to her client's competency to stand trial, which halted the criminal case.
On Monday, Martinez stipulated to the findings in a report authored by a psychiatrist who examined Millete.Based on that report, San Diego Superior Court Judge Cindy Davis found that Millete is mentally competent.
WATCH RELATED: Trial for husband of Maya Millete set to move forward after mental competency finding
Aug. 29. 2022 | Larry Millete mental competency hearing delayed
Larry Millete, appeared before a judge for a mental competency hearing. The hearing lasted less than five minutes.
"Forensic doctors have asked for a little bit more time," announced Judge Cindy Davis.
She said the doctors noted there's a lot of documentation involved in this case. Therefore, they asked for the matter to be continued.
Aug. 3, 2022 | Judge rules Millete children's court-appointed guardian can decide if they meet with San Diego D.A.
Guardian ad litem Kelley James told Judge Julia Kelety that the San Diego District Attorney's Office would like to speak with the Millete children regarding the criminal case against their father. Judge Kelety gave James the authority to make the decision. Judge Kelety gave James the authority to make the decision.
Kelety also issued a tentative ruling granting attorneys for Maricris Drouaillet permission to depose Larry Millete in regards to the custody battle over the three children.
However, that deposition hinged on whether or not Millete was found mentally competent to stand trial in criminal court.
The defense attorney for Larry Millete, 40, declared a doubt regarding her client's competency to stand trial, which led to San Diego Superior Court Judge Dwayne K. Moring to suspend criminal proceedings.
Millete was subsequently evaluated by a doctor to determine whether he is fit to stand trial. A defendant is deemed mentally incompetent to stand trial if they are unable to understand the nature of the criminal proceedings or assist their attorney in their defense.
Maya's family and friends gathered at Chula Vista Community Park to mark one year since she went missing. There was music, old stories of times with Maya Millete, and prayers that there will be some answers on the one year anniversary of her disappearance.
WATCH RELATED: Family and friends hold vigil for missing Chula Vista mother
Jan. 7, 2022 | One year since Maya went missing
Maya's family reflects on one year anniversary of the date she was last seen.
2021 key dates: Maya goes missing, national search intensifies, Larry Millete arrested
Dec. 16, 2021 | Defense pushes back against protective order at Millete hearing
What was supposed to be a routine hearing to set dates for the preliminary hearing in the murder case against Larry Millete ended up getting delayed for more than an hour.
The office of the San Diego County District Attorney had filed the proposed protective order to make sure evidence turned over to the defense did not get released to the public or posted on the Internet before trial.
But defense attorney Bonita Martinez refused to sign off on the order, according to a motion filed this week by the DA. After the hour-long delay, Martinez returned to the courtroom and signed the order.
Dec. 7, 2021 | Larry Millete nominates parents for guardianship of children
Larry Millete filed paperwork nominating his parents, Benito and Judith Millete, to be guardians of the kids.
Maya's sister, Maricris Drouaillet, previously filed her own petition seeking guardianship. The probate judge already ordered visitation, once a week, with Maya's side of the family.
The new filings included sworn declarations by both of Larry’s parents explaining why the paternal grandparents believe they would be good guardians, and why the aunt's family would not.
Regarding temporary custody of the Millete children, a probate judge orders they will remain in the custody of Larry Millete's parents.
Judge Julia Kelety also grants Maya's sister Maricris Drouaillet and her side of the family regular visits with the three children but does not grant Drouaillet temporary custody.
The court also appoints a guardian ad litem: La Mesa attorney Kelley James, who will represent the interests of the children in custody matters.
The judge orders that James be provided a copy of a "forensic interview" of the three children, which it is revealed already has been conducted at Rady Children’s Hospital’s Chadwick Center in Kearny Mesa.
WATCH RELATED: 'There is no winner or loser' | Judge says Millete children will remain with paternal grandparents
Nov. 4, 2021 | Larry Millete is denied bail request
A Chula Vista judge denies bail for Larry Millete on the grounds that he is "a danger to the community."
Millete remains in custody as he awaits trial on murder in the alleged killing of his wife, Maya “May'' Millete.
The sister of Maya Millete files a petition in San Diego probate court seeking temporary guardianship and, eventually, permanent custody of the missing mother’s three children.
The filing by Maricris Drouaillet comes two weeks after Maya’s husband, Larry Millete, was arrested and charged with his wife’s murder.
Late Oct. 2021 - Nov. 2021 | Searches continue for Maya
Following Larry Millete's arrest, Maya Millete's family and search teams continue looking for her remains.
Larry Millete returns to court after being accused of violating a protective order involving his three kids. A week before a judge ordered Larry not to have any contact with his kids.
Prosecutors following that order, Lary made 129 phone calls from jail, including 9 hours’ worth of calls to his kids. They say the calls were made from jail at all hours of the day, during school hours as well as late at night. One call was made at 1:48 a.m.
Oct. 21, 2021 | Larry Millete pleads not guilty
Chula Vista resident Larry Millete enters a not guilty on a first-degree murder charge of killing his wife Maya Millete and a weapons possession charge.
Court documents reveal details of the case being built against Larry.
Oct. 19, 2021 | Larry Millete arrested
Maya Millete's husband Larry Millete is arrested for the murder of his wife.
At a briefing, Chula Vista Police Chief Roxana Kennedy and San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan give more details of the investigation.
Stephan says investigators believe Larry murdered his wife on Jan. 7 and disposed of her body on Jan. 8. They ask for the public's help and any information regarding the vehicle they believe was used. It is a black Lexus GX460 with the license plate MAYLANI.
WATCH RELATED: CVPD briefing on Larry Millete arrest for murder of his wife, May "Maya" Millete
Stephan says two charges are filed against Larry - one for killing Maya Millete on Jan. 7 and one for illegal possession of an assault weapon.
"We need the public's help," she says and implores anyone with information to share it with investigators. "This is not a win. We have lost a life."
Sept. 15, 2021 | Gun violence restraining order extended against Larry Millete
A temporary gun violence restraining order filed against Larry Millete is extended for at least three months.
Millete is fighting in civil court to get his guns back, but his attorney agrees to continue the hearing until December 1.
Sept. 8, 2021 | Larry says Maya left voluntarily
Larry Millete says in court papers he believes his wife is still alive and she voluntarily left the family.
In a declaration filed Sept. 8 in Chula Vista family court, Larry Millete, claims his wife left her children of her own accord.
“I considered her still alive because she had voluntarily left our house at least twice in 2020 without saying goodbye to me or to our three children… We have been praying for her safety and well-being,” the husband writes in the court papers.
Aug. 26, 2021 | Court records offer clues in search for Maya Millete
Maya's parents Pablito and Noemi Tabalanza, continue their battle in Chula Vista family court seeking court-ordered visitation with Maya's children.
One filing in the case offers clues as to possible search locations for the missing mom.
The filing lists nine photographs filed with the court taken during trips the family took in 2020, including the location of those trips; locations include Glamis, Lake Havasu, and Lake Elsinore.
Civil court records made public in the gun violence restraining order case filed against Larry Millete. The documents do not describe him as a suspect and they do not indicate any belief whether Maya was killed.
Judge Katherine Bacal agrees the public should have access to civil court documents related to a gun violence restraining order after News 8 asks that they be unsealed.
For the first time, Maya's husband, Larry Millete, is named a “person of interest” in the case.
The judge also releases two photographs of Larry Millete’s gun collection, including one with a redacted image of his 4-year-old son standing on a kitchen table surrounded by 16 rifles and handguns.
July 1, 2021 | Millete home searched for third time
CVPD executes a third search at the Chula Vista home of Maya Millete.
Detectives serve the search warrant at the Millete residence "to obtain additional evidence and clues to her current whereabouts," Chula Vista police Lt. Dan Peak says.
June 15, 2021 | Larry Millete claims CVPD ‘held me for 6 hours’
Larry Millete fires back against his in-laws, the Chula Vista Police Department, and the authorities who filed a temporary gun violence restraining order against him in an explosive, 80-page response in advance of a GVRO hearing.
Larry claims he was pulled over on the freeway May 7 and taken into custody for hours while CVPD served a search warrant on his home.
He claims the guns seized in the search are legal, according to his court declaration.
May 7, 2021 | Millete home searched for second time
Investigators execute a search warrant at the Millete home for the second time.
Police search a vehicle on the property and a police dog was seen entering the home as well.
"We're trying to maintain the integrity of the investigation," Lt. Frank Giaime says when pressed about any specific details of the search warrant.
April 21, 2021 | Search grows into a national investigation
Chula Vista Police starts to work with the FBI, the San Diego County District Attorney's Office and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, according to an investigation update posted on the CVPD Facebook page.
The case also makes national news in April when Maya's sister Maricris Drouillat and brother-in-law Richard Drouillat appear on the Dr. Phil show.
April 1, 2021 | Search warrant on Larry's family
On April 1, Chula Vista Police execute a search warrant on the aunt and uncle of Larry Millete.
Investigators seize guns and other evidence from the home located in the 7100 block of Viewcrest Drive, within San Diego city limits.
Jan. 23, 2021 | Millete home searched for first time
Two weeks after Maya Millete's disappearance, Chula Vista Police execute their first search warrant of the family's home.
Police do not immediately reveal what was seized during their search. It was later reported that officers took the family's black, Lexus SUV - the same one Larry reportedly took the day after Maya was last seen.
Jan. 19, 2021 | Maya's search goes online
A GoFundMe page is set up to help pool resources in the search for Maya Millete.
Jan. 15, 2021 | Vigil held for Maya; Larry speaks to media
Loved ones hold the first of many vigils for Maya Millete. At the time, police say Larry Millete is cooperating with the investigation.
Millete says he got concerned when she missed their daughter's 11th birthday. They also have a 9-year-old daughter and a 4-year-old daughter.
“That's what's concerning and alarming that she wouldn't be gone this long,” said Larry Millete.
News 8's Abbie Alford speaks to Larry on the phone after the vigil. He spoke about his wife of 21 years in the present and doesn’t know why she would go missing.
“I don't want to speculate and there is a lot of speculation,” said Millete.
January 13, 2021 | Search parties begin looking for Maya
The first of many search parties go out looking for Maya or evidence of her whereabouts.
January 11, 2021 | Police start the search
The day after Maya is reported missing, police enter her home and began their investigation.
January 8, 2021 | Larry Millete leaves home for over 11 hours
The day after his wife's disappearance, Larry Millete is gone from the family home for 11 hours and 21 minutes. He told family members that he went to the beach with his 4-year-old son.
He says and investigators later confirm he was in the Lexus SUV the family owns, with the license plate that spells "MAYLANI".
Larry's phone is left behind while he is gone.
January 7, 2021 | Maya Millete, mother of 3, goes missing from Chula Vista home
May "Maya" Millete goes missing. It was later found out, through security camera footage, that loud bangs sounding like gunshots rang through the neighborhood late that night.
It was also later reported that Maya made an appointment with a divorce attorney Jan. 7. Larry makes statements to police and media that he and Maya fought that night.