Breaking News
More () »

Day 2 | Preliminary hearing for Larry Millete continues in Downtown San Diego Court

A forensics expert and the sister of Maya Millete took the stand in a San Diego courtroom during the second day of the hearing.

SAN DIEGO — 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 spent the majority of the day answering questions from lawyers.

During cross-examination, David Garber testified he took about 300 photos of the Millete home back in January 2021. 

Wednesday he testified blood spatter was found in the Millete master bathroom. On Thursday morning, he said the blood was tested, but he did not know the test results. He said his job is limited to collecting the samples. A detective would then find out the results.

RELATED: Day 1 coverage of the preliminary hearing for Larry Millete

Garber testified he took a mouth swab from Larry Millete. He said his conversation with him was simply about the procedure.

Photos Garber took from the Millete home were shown in the courtroom. They included a shotgun and a rifle found inside a safe, a handwritten letter found in the dresser of the main bedroom. It was addressed to Larry and it was signed 'Maya.' The contents of the letter painted an ugly picture of their marriage.

WATCH RELATED: Day 2 of preliminary hearing for Larry Millete, Chula Vista man accused of murdering his wife 

Maya's sister, Maricris Drouaillet, took the stand next.

She testified her family moved to Hawaii from the Philippines in the 90s. There are six kids in their family, Maya was the youngest girl. Drouaillet described Maya as a good student in school – the "smart one."

"I felt like I was their mom," she said.

She told the judge their mother didn't speak English well, so it was Drouaillet who got a job and helped raise her siblings.

Drouaillet testified that about one week before her sister May "Maya" Millete disappeared, May told a group of family members about her plans to divorce Larry Millete.

"Be ready. It's going to be a messy divorce," Drouaillet testified, quoting her sister. "If something happens to me, it's going to be Larry."

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.

On a New Year's trip to Glamis, May said she intended to divorce Larry. Drouaillet advised May to wait until she had her finances in order, but according to Drouaillet, May said, "She's ready. She's not waiting anymore."

During a text message exchange with her sisters, May asked for money to pay for a divorce attorney and said she would pawn her high-priced Rolexes and Louis Vuitton purses. May said the items she wanted to pawn were "the ones he won't notice as missing."

After May disappeared, Drouaillet said she traveled to Chula Vista on Jan. 9. Larry and his three kids were at their home.

Drouaillet testified Larry said May had likely gone hiking and he expected she'd be back soon. Drouaillet called several of May's friends, none of whom knew where she was.

She said she intended to call the police next, but Larry told her to "wait a little bit. She'll come back home."

WATCH: Day 2 of preliminary hearing for Larry Millete | Maya's sister, Chula Vista forensics expert takes the stand

During this time, Drouaillet said Larry didn't appear worried about his wife's absence.

On the following day, the family gathered for the birthday of Millete's eldest daughter, which the family was initially supposed to celebrate during a trip to Big Bear. Drouaillet and others testified that May was looking forward to the celebration and intended to delay commencing the divorce process until after the Big Bear trip.

Drouaillet said she ended up spending a large part of the day going from house to house in the neighborhood and asking residents for any footage that might assist them in locating May. Larry stayed behind at his house during that time, she testified.

Drouaillet and other family members organized numerous searches for May throughout 2021 and appeared in local and national news shows to spread awareness about May's disappearance.

But she said Larry was not involved in the efforts.

"He told me to take care of that and he's going to take care of the kids," Drouaillet testified. "That was typically his job to take care of the kids and I'll take care of looking for my sister."

Drouaillet's testimony will resume on Friday.


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. 

The last time Maya was heard from was on Jan. 7, 2021. Her husband Larry Milete was arrested on October 19, 2021 and charged with murder.

This preliminary 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.

TIMELINE: The disappearance of Maya Millete | 2-year timeline

WATCH: Day 2 of preliminary hearing for Larry Millete continues in Downtown San Diego court 

Before You Leave, Check This Out