SAN DIEGO – He’s one of the most recognized names in private investigating, and he’s working for free to help find missing Chula Vista mom Maya Millete.
“I started getting involved when people started asking me why I wasn’t involved,” said Bill Garcia, a California-licensed private investigator who currently lives in Tahoe.
Garcia drove into town around noon on Friday, his car packed for five days worth of work.
“Families who have a loved one disappear, they’re devastated,” he said. “They get destroyed over time and I didn’t want that to happen.”
Millete disappeared from her family’s Chula Vista home on Jan. 7. Her husband told FOX 5 at the time that he thought she might have gone for a hike to blow off some steam, but she never came home. Her car was still in the driveway, phone turned off and credit cards unused. When she didn’t show up for her daughter’s birthday party a few days later, her family called police.
A month ago, police served a search warrant at the home Maya shares with her husband Larry and their three kids. Chula Vista police say there are no suspects at this time and the case is still classified under “missing persons.”
Garcia said he heard police confiscated one of the family’s SUVs as evidence. He now plans to search highway cameras from the day Maya went missing.
“These cameras can record up to 300 license plates per minute,” he said. “So, you’re not going to miss anything.”
He’ll be working the next five days for free. He says there’s an advantage to that.
“We don’t have anyone that we have to report back to, other than law enforcement, because the family might have a particular mindset in how they want to proceed — and that’s not always the best route.”
A billboard with Millete’s photo went up Tuesday on Main Street between Hilltop Drive and 3rd Avenue in Chula Vista. The sign has two photos of Millete, the contact number for the Chula Vista Police Department and a Facebook page and email address to reach out with tips or other information.