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CHULA VISTA, Calif. – The disappearance of Maya “May” Millete has brought local communities together to search for any trace of the missing Chula Vista wife and mother of three.

But the search also has extended beyond the South Bay with thousands across the country now invested in finding Millete, who last was seen Jan. 7.

The Facebook group “Missing Maya Millete Discussion & Theories” was founded just days after Millete was reported missing to the Chula Vista Police Department. It operates similarly to a neighborhood watch, spanning the nation and now hosting nearly 4,000 members.

“These cases and these faces — they’re not going to stay alive,” said Laura Patterson, one of the administrators of the page. “I don’t think there will ever be closure. The case won’t be solved without the media’s help.”

Patterson’s friend, Jess Lynn, was the founder of the page, as well as a larger true crime forum on Facebook, “Crime Lounge.” Starting from there, Lynn and Patterson help run several other pages like Millete’s, specific to individual cases.

“I started the group to be able to provide a safe place for the family to look for support and discuss any kind of plausible theory as to where May could be,” Lynn said, “but, ultimately, our mission was to help any way we possible can to help bring Maya home.”

From New York and Alabama respectively, Lynn and Patterson are a long way from Southern California. But they both are invested in following cases like Millete’s.

The women brought on several other administrators for the page, offering theories, searches and support for the family while dissecting every publicly known aspect of the case.

“The milk bottle doesn’t exist anymore, right?” said Dianne Johnson, a page administrator from Massachusetts. “The missing person on the milk carton, it just doesn’t exist. So, social media is a really good way to get the word out.”

Discussions recently turned into nightly Zoom sessions, where the work to keep the case going can regularly last hours.

FOX 5 asked each of the women their reasoning for being part of the group searching for Millete. Their answers are below:

  • Patterson: “For me, I felt like I’m doing more than just speculating on social media; for me, I’m doing good from a distance and using social media for good versus evil.”
  • Johnson: “She’s a mother, a sister and aunt. Her family needs to find her and bring her home.”
  • Liliana Burke, a San Diego resident who has been a liaison between the Facebook group and the Millete family: “The reason why is that I had a tragic loss last year, so I understand how important it is for community to come together.”
  • Kerri Brush, a page administrator from Florida: “As the family, I can’t imagine how jumbled your head is, trying to think of everything. Having all these women come together and talk on the zoom and kind of organize thoughts of things, who knows if they can think of, they’ve got so much on their mind.”

Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact the Chula Vista Police Department at 619-691-5139 or San Diego Crime Stoppers anonymous tip line at 888-580-8477.