Investigator who worked with Millete family says circumstantial case one of ‘strongest’ he’s seen


CHULA VISTA, Calif. – An attorney and investigator who worked with Maya “May” Millete’s family shortly after she vanished in January says the case laid out by this week against her husband Larry is strong.

“It’s one of the strongest circumstantial cases that I’ve seen,” Billy Little said. “I’ve seen evidence with way less evidence than this get convictions so they shouldn’t have any problem getting a conviction here.” 

Larry Ibaretta Millete, 40, was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of murdering Maya, the Chula Vista mother of three who has not been seen since Jan. 7 near her family’s home. A detective’s findings released this week to support Larry’s arrest details how Maya, 39, had been preparing to leave her husband and expressed fear about behavior described by loved ones as “stalker-like” and “controlling.”

Maya’s last recorded phone call was Jan. 7 to a divorce attorney, the affidavit filed by Chula Vista police Detective Jesse Vicente shows. She has not been seen or heard from since that day and her body has never been recovered.

“There is no evidence to suggest that May left and disappeared of her own accord, or that she had the financial means to do so,” Vicente wrote in the report.

Maya’s sister Maricris Drouaillet — the person who first reported her as missing — reached out to Little to figure out what happened to Maya. In March, Little showed FOX 5 his findings on the investigation into her disappearance, some of which was confirmed in Tuesday’s joint press conference with Drouaillet, Chula Vista police Chief Roxana Kennedy and San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan.

“To be honest with you, that’s kind of what jump-started this case,” Little said, “because the police were not doing anything and the family was getting discouraged.”

Detectives wrote more than 67 search warrants, conducted 87 interviews and explored more than 130 tips over the course of the nine-month investigation, Kennedy said Tuesday.

Also in March, Little argued there was enough circumstantial evidence to make an arrest. But Chula Vista police investigators said they were exhausting every avenue and didn’t want to jeopardize the case.

Now, Larry is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday at the South Bay Courthouse. It comes after Kennedy said the evidence against him became “clear and overwhelming.”

“While we are here to report the arrest of Larry Millete, nothing will change the fact that May’s murder is a senseless tragedy,” the chief said during Tuesday’s news conference. “A mother is gone. A family is broken. And a community is left with questions and confusion. This affects us all. But it affects most of all those who loved and cared for May.”

While Larry is the only one in custody tied to Maya’s disappearance, Little believes that another person could end up behind bars in the case as well.

“No way, no way and maybe there is another arrest coming,” he said, “and I think that’s likely.”

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