Surveillance footage of the home of a still-missing Chula Vista woman allegedly murdered by her husband does not show any signs of her ever leaving the house around the time she disappeared, a detective testified Friday.
May “Maya” Millete has not been seen or heard from since Jan. 7, 2021. Though her body has not been found, prosecutors allege her husband, Larry Millete, 41, killed her because she sought to divorce him.
Larry Millete stated in a separate court declaration that he believed his wife left the family home voluntarily.
According to testimony Friday morning from Chula Vista police Detective Jesse Vicente, he and other police officers reviewed surveillance footage from the neighborhood surrounding the Millete home from the afternoon of Jan. 7 until Jan. 10, the day police responded to a missing person report made by May’s sister.
Vicente said footage captures May arriving at the home at around 3 p.m. Jan. 7, but she is never seen leaving the home afterward.
The footage captured a person police believe is Larry Millete leaving the home in a black SUV at around 6:45 a.m. Jan. 8. The SUV returned at around 6 p.m. that evening.
After family members lost touch with May, her younger brother, Jay-R Tabalanza, went to the Millete house on the evening of Jan. 8 to look for her. He testified last week that Larry told him he had just gotten home from work.
According to court documents filed by the prosecution, Larry Millete did not go to work from Jan. 6 through Jan. 8.
The documents also state Larry’s phone was off from 6:45 a.m. until around 6:30 p.m. Jan. 8 and that Larry told investigators he was at Solana Beach all day with his son.
On Jan. 8 and Jan. 9, several members of May’s family visited the Chula Vista home to search for her. Larry told Jay-R Tabalanza and May’s father, Pablito Tabalanza that May was in an upstairs bedroom, which was locked. Pablito Tabalanza testified that Larry eventually let him into the bedroom and May was not there.
Larry later told family members that she was likely out hiking, according to testimony.
On cross-examination, Millete’s defense attorney, Bonita Martinez, asked Vicente directly if he believed Larry murdered May, to which he responded, “Yes.”
Vicente also testified that he did not believe May “disappeared mysteriously.”
When asked to elaborate, he said, “I have no proof of life for May, if she were to leave the house. I spoke to numerous witnesses who had told me that this is not something that she would do. I have no evidence indicating that May was preparing to get away and flee from her family. I do know that Larry and her had an argument that evening of Jan. 7, is what he told me, and he was the last one to see her. So, based on that and the facts that we’ve gathered throughout this investigation, I believe he’s responsible for her disappearance.”
Preliminary hearing testimony indicates the marriage was crumbling in 2020, prompting Larry to reach out to several of May’s family members and urge them to convince May to remain in the marriage.
Throughout 2020, May told family members, friends, and colleagues that Larry had been engaging in controlling behavior, including regularly monitoring her communications, attempting to track her whereabouts, and wresting control of her finances, according to testimony.
Prosecutors have also alleged in court documents that in late 2020, Larry Millete reached out to “various individuals who appear to sell spells,” which he believed could compel May to want to remain in the marriage. Larry later allegedly sought spells that could render her incapacitated or “hurt enough that she will have to depend on me and need my help.”
Several books on magic spells were found during a police search of the Millete home, including one titled “Magical Love Spells,” according to a photograph shown in court.
On Friday, Chula Vista police Detective Lorenzo Ruiz also testified. He noted internet searches discovered on Larry and May’s personal computers.
One search made from Larry’s computer was for “subliminal wife training,” Ruiz testified. Prior testimony indicated May discovered a cell phone hidden beneath her bed that was “playing subliminal messages,” which Larry explained to his sister-in-law involved recorded hidden messages such as “I love you” or “love me” that could be played amidst white noise.
Larry was arrested in October 2021 on suspicion of killing May and has remained jailed without bail since then. At the conclusion of the preliminary hearing, a judge will rule whether there is enough evidence for Larry Millete to stand trial for his wife’s murder.
– City News Service
Updated at 5:45 p.m. Jan. 20, 2023