‘We are committed to them for life’: Sister of missing Chula Vista mom files for guardianship of 3 Millete children

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CHULA VISTA, Calif. – The sister of missing Chula Vista mother Maya Millete petitioned a court this week for her and her husband to become guardians of Maya’s three children with Larry Millete.

Maricris Drouaillet said they’re “willing and able” to provide her nephew and two nieces, aged between 5 and 11-years-old, a “stable and loving environment” at her home in Morena Valley. She alleges Larry, who has been charged with Maya’s murder, has denied their maternal family in-person visits and has facilitated just one call with the children since Jan. 7, the date Maya last was seen near her East Chula Vista home.

Drouaillet is seeking “temporary and, ultimately, permanent” guardianship of the children, pledging psychological and therapeutic support to help them process what they’re going through, documents show.

“Due to the lack of communication between our family and the Children, we have no personal knowledge whether the Children have received any psychological counseling or therapy,” she wrote. “We also are completely unaware of what Larry and his parents have been telling the Children as to why their mother, and now their father, are not with them.”

The Millete children currently live in Chula Vista under the care of Larry’s parents, the filing shows.

Drouaillet reported Maya, who also goes by May, missing to Chula Vista police Jan. 9 as the family was growing concerned they had not heard from her since Jan. 7, according to an arrest warrant affidavit filed by police last month. She and her husband Richard have led much of the public search effort for Maya in the nearly 10 months since she vanished. Larry has not participated in any of these searches, the affidavit shows.

Drouaillet alleges both Larry and his parents have failed to care for the children’s “emotional health, safety and welfare.”

Following a petition filed in May by the maternal grandparents for visitation, the two families agreed to a weekly, in-person visitation schedule in September. However, Drouaillet said it became clear “Larry never intended on facilitating visitation.” A hearing on the visitation schedule is set for Dec. 17.

If granted temporary guardianship, the intention would be for the children to move to their Riverside County home where Marcris, Richard and their two children live, according to her filing. She said they’re renovating their living room to accommodate the Millete children and intend to move to a larger home in the same area if they were to receive permanent guardianship.

“My husband Richard and I are committed to caring for the Children not just through this traumatic period,” she wrote. “We are committed to them for life and will provide them with the same love and support that we give our own Children.”

Larry Millete, a 40-year-old optician at Naval Medical Training Center San Diego, pleaded not guilty to the murder charge and to an additional weapons charge. In court Thursday, Judge Maryann D’Addezio denied a request to release Larry on bail, stating, “there’s clear and convincing evidence that he’s a danger to the community.”

Also cited by D’Addezio was a recent violation to a protective order, which forbade him from contacting his children. A prosecutor alleged Larry had made 129 calls, including at least nine hours to his children, in the seven-day period after he was arrested Oct. 19.

Bonita Martinez, the attorney representing Larry Millete, said after a bail hearing Thursday that she and her client believe Maya is still alive and left on her own.

“We believe she is still alive, but the problem here is that the investigation of the authorities … they didn’t look for her as a person who is alive,” Martinez said.

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