SAN DIEGO — The husband of Maya Millete was in a “desperate, frantic, unbalanced mindset” in the months leading up to her disappearance, a key investigator writes in the most detailed account yet of Larry Millete’s behavior before her suspected murder.
The depiction of Larry, who was arrested Tuesday after nine months of high-profile investigation, comes in an affidavit from Detective Jesse Vicente, a 15-year veteran of Chula Vista Police Department who works in the Crimes of Violence Unit.
The detective’s account centers on the idea that Larry’s attempts to maintain his marriage became an increasingly aggressive obsession. Authorities say Maya, who also went by “May,” had been in an affair and wanted a divorce but “Larry was determined to stop her.”
In court filings and several text exchanges with FOX 5 over recent months, Larry and his attorney have denied any wrongdoing and accused police, media outlets and Maya’s family of treating him unfairly.
Investigators say they found signs the couple’s marriage was fraying dating back to at least September 2020, at which time Larry was becoming “increasingly obsessed with May’s activities and communications with other people.”
Larry grew “increasingly paranoid,” the detective writes, and family members and friends described him as “controlling” or “stalker-like.” That included visits to Maya’s work, arriving unannounced at her Department of Defense office in the Point Loma area “to see if she was meeting with another man,” Vicente writes.
Investigators found that Larry’s internet activity also centered on controlling Maya in the marriage. This included more mundane searches — like “my wife doesn’t want me to touch her” — and articles about maintaining a relationship. But the searches also veered into violence, demonstrating “homicidal ideation,” according to the detective.
Larry searched “plant you take to never wake up,” “water hemlock” and for a variety of drugs that could be used to incapacitate a person, including the known “date rape” drug Rohypnol, investigators found.
There were also the “spellcasters,” a revelation that first came to light in a news conference held by authorities the day of Larry’s arrest. The husband had repeated contact with various companies offering “spells” online. The purported psychics and spirit channelers sold Larry spells he could “cast” on May.
The magic was initially aimed at making Larry’s wife obey him or fall back in love with him, Vicente said. Eventually, though, Millete wrote that it was “time to take the gloves off.”
“The emails became increasingly panicked,” Vicente says, describing spells that Larry purchased to harm Maya badly enough that she relied on him and couldn’t leave. On a family trip to ride dirt bikes, for example, Larry appeared to request a curse that would make his wife crash and get stuck on bedrest, investigators say.
“Can you hex to have her hurt enough that she will have to depend on me and need my help,” Larry wrote in an email, according to the affidavit. “She’s only nice to me when she needs me or sick.”
In January 2021, as Larry learned that his wife was serious about proceeding with a divorce, “Larry was growing more desperate,” Vicente says. “I think she wants me to snap,” he wrote in an email, according to the detective. “I’m shaking inside ready to snap.”
While investigators say they built their case on evidence of Larry’s online obsession with his wife, a sudden departure from that activity was also presented as a critical clue. Starting Jan. 9, one day after his wife’s disappearance, “Larry’s focus shifts.”
“He sends emails through the beginning of February asking to punish the man with whom May had an affair,” the detective says. “As of January 9, Larry does not direct any more spells or ‘hexes’ toward May, nor does he make any more requests for assistance with his crumbling marriage.”
“When Larry’s desperate begging and threats failed to stop May from seeking a divorce, the thought of losing his family was unfathomable to him,” Vicente writes. The evidence laid out in the affidavit, he later concludes, “provides probable cause to believe that Larry is responsible for causing May’s death.”