Husband of Maya Millete arrested in connection with her disappearance
CHULA VISTA (KUSI) – The husband of a South Bay mother of three who went missing nine months ago was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of murdering her, police said.
A SWAT team took 40-year-old Larry Ibarreta Millete into custody late Tuesday morning at the eastern Chula Vista home he shared with May “Maya” Millete, whose whereabouts have been a mystery since early this year, according to police.
Authorities did not immediately disclose whether they have determined the circumstances of the woman’s disappearance. Chula Vista Police Chief Roxana Kennedy and San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan provided a public update about the case Tuesday afternoon at CVPD headquarters.
During the afternoon news conference, San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan unequivocally accused the suspect of killing his wife but acknowledged that “there’s going to be questions” about his arrest and prosecution due to the fact that the victim’s body is still missing.
“California law … similar to across the nation, is very clear … that we can file murder charges despite not having a body,” Stephen told reporters. “In fact, the law is so crystal-clear that we cannot let someone murder someone and gain a benefit by … hiding the body in a way that we can’t recover it.”
May Millete was reported missing Jan. 10, three days after the last known sighting of her.
According to unsealed documents, Maya met up with a divorce lawyer several days before she went missing. Maya allegedly warned her family about her husband, saying, “If anything happens to me, it’s Larry.”
Police searched the couple’s Paseo Los Gatos house two weeks after her disappearance and two more times in May and July, and have executed nearly six dozen other warrants allowing them to seek evidence in various residences and vehicles, and from cellular and electronic devices, financial records, social media accounts and other online data, according to CVPD spokesman Lt. Dan Peak.
Additionally, police have reviewed more than 130 tips from the public regarding what might have become of the missing woman and potential reasons for her disappearance, Peak said.
In May, officers served her husband with a gun-violence restraining order. Police, assisted by community volunteers, also have conducted searches in the area of 500 Hunte Parkway, south of Sweetwater Reservoir in the eastern reaches of Chula Vista.
Officials have declined to reveal further details about the actions they have taken or any progress made in the case.
Aiding in the investigation is a multi-agency “working group” that includes the FBI, the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service — a contingent “with the primary goal of bringing May home to her family or bringing justice to May’s family regarding her disappearance,” according to a statement from Chula Vista police.
Larry Millete has largely declined to address the media about the case, though he did speak briefly to 10News San Diego by phone a few days after his wife was reported missing.
During the roughly 10-minute interview, he acknowledged that his marriage had been troubled for about a year, stated that he had no idea where his spouse was, expressed hope that she had simply gone away temporarily for some “alone time” and described himself as “really worried and shaken” by her disappearance.
On May 1, friends and relatives of the missing woman celebrated her 40th birthday in her absence.
Chula Vista PD and San Diego District Attorney Summer Stephan held a press conference to share an update on the situation on Tuesday afternoon. You can watch the complete presser below:
At the end of Tuesday’s press conference, Maya’s sister, Maricris, spoke while trying to hold back tears.
Maricris and investigators urged anyone with information on where the Milletes’ black, Lexus SUV with license plate “MAYLANI” was on January, 8, to come forward with that information.