CHULA VISTA, Calif. — At Chula Vista Community Park on Saturday, 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.
A live band played Hawaiian music, which is Maya’s favorite since she grew up in Hawaii.
Maya's sister Maricruz Drouaillet held back tears talking about how difficult this last year has been without Maya.
“It’s been really hard. For the entire family, it’s like it’s been a nightmare for the whole year," said Drouaillet. "It’s been a struggle for the whole family, just not knowing where she is.”
Many showed up dressed in bright green “Team Maya” T-shirts. This comes after 12 months of searching and keeping Maya's case in the public eye.
Her family even made an appearance on Dr. Phil about Maya’s disappearance on January 7, 2021 from her Chula Vista home.
The mother of three young children missed her oldest daughter's birthday, which signaled an alarm to Maya's family.
“It’s her 12th birthday this Monday, and just to relive it, it is like we are living in the past one year ago. She misses her mom, and I’m sure she has a million questions...we are just out here trying to find answers to those questions, and to bring Maya home to her three little kids,” said Richard Drouaillet, Maya’s brother-in-law.
A breakthrough in the case came last October, when Maya’s husband Larry Millete was arrested and charged with Maya’s murder, even though Maya’s body has not been found.
Maya's family also won court ordered visits with Maya's three children, and there is hope Maya will be found in the desert.
The most recent search by volunteers, they used drones equipped with ground penetrating radar. That showed images from the Glamis sand dunes, which are still being analyzed.
“We don’t want it to become a cold case, Saturday we are just going to have prayers, we’re going to have some songs, we’re just going to honor Maya," said Manita Hurt, part of the #TeamMaya search group. "And pray for anyone who was involved...that they have a change of heart and will pray for their family and their comfort and will pray for their children, and I just pray for other people who may be involved in a domestic violence situation,”
WATCH RELATED: One year ago Maya Millete went missing from her home in Chula Vista (January 2022)