CHULA VISTA, Calif. — We are learning more about the police search of a missing woman’s home last week in Chula Vista. The mother of three has been missing for more than four months.
Chula Vista Police investigators spent seven hours inside the home of Larry and Maya Millete on May 7, serving a second search warrant on the home and seizing what appeared to be long guns and boxes of ammunition.
Maya's black Jeep and Larry's black Toyota truck could be seen inside the garage.
Later that night, investigators moved the Toyota out of the garage and could be seen in the garage setting up a tripod for a 3D crime scene scanner. News 8 video showed what appeared to be the same 3D scanner tripod being set up in the master bedroom.
A 3D scanner uses both a laser and a camera to create a virtual layout of the crime scene, which can help investigators take precise measurements.
“What the scanner does is it emits an IR laser from [one] side of the scanner. That laser hits this spinning mirror. The laser can then map everything that it sees and essentially show the entire scene in 3D,” said Colorado crime lab employee Brian Wangler in a 2015 video posted on YouTube.
The 3D crime scene can then be animated on a computer, and also be used to map out the path a bullet may have traveled.
“If I have a bullet defect that goes through a wall, what I can do is I can place [a] rod into that bullet defect. The software looks for the exact center of where those spheres are – which is right on the axis of that trajectory rod – and maps that trajectory digitally all the way back to where the shot may have come from,” said Wangler in 2015.
Last week’s search came four months to the day after Maya Millete, 39, went missing. Even so, trace evidence could still be lingering be inside the home.
A neighbor who snapped photos of the house on the night of the search told News 8 it appeared investigators were using a black light to search for blood in the bedroom.
Generally speaking, criminals can miss trace evidence when trying to clean up a crime scene.
“They end up cleaning up the big stuff. They'll clean up the pool of blood. They'll clean up the carpet. They'll turn a mattress over to hide something, but what they miss are the smaller spots and that's what we look for,” said San Diego County crime lab employee, Charles Merritt, during a 2001 interview with News 8.
Chula Vista police have not confirmed what they were looking for inside the Millete home or what they took away as evidence.
Investigators have not said whether they consider the husband a suspect in Maya's disappearance.