Search intensifies for missing California woman as police serve search warrant at her Chula Vista home

Andrea Cavallier
·5 min read

It’s been over two weeks since a California mother vanished from her Chula Vista home without a trace, and her family is worried.

May “Maya” Millete, 39, was last seen at her home on the evening of Thursday, January 7, 2021, just days before a planned family trip to Big Bear Mountain Resort for her daughter’s 11th birthday.

Her sister, Maricris Drouaillet, told Dateline they realized something was wrong when they didn’t hear from her the next day. She explained the six siblings were on a group text and when the question about the pending trip was asked, everyone responded -- except May.

“It was odd -- she was always the first to answer, and this trip was for her daughter’s birthday,” Maricris said. “Something didn't seem right.”

Throughout the day, the family tried to get in touch with May, her husband Larry, and even the couple’s three children, but were unsuccessful.

Maricris told Dateline their brother, who lives in the San Diego area, went to the house to check on May. Her husband said she was in her bedroom and the door was locked. Maricris said their brother knocked on the door, heard nothing, so assumed May was sleeping.

But when there was still no word from May on Saturday, Maricris said their father went to her house where May’s husband was able to unlock the bedroom door. May was not in the bedroom. Dateline reached out to Larry Millete for additional information, but did not hear back prior to publication. He later messaged Dateline saying that he was grateful and appreciative for the coverage, adding, “We hope that the continued coverage will lead us to finding Maya soon.”

Maricris told Dateline it’s possible her sister went for a walk or a hike, but left the property on foot, because her car was still in the driveway. Her driver’s license, credit card, and possibly her cell phone appeared to be missing, the family told Dateline. All calls to May’s phone continued to go straight to voicemail.

The family filed a missing persons report with the Chula Vista Police Department and an investigation was launched.

Lieutenant Miriam Foxx told Dateline that May’s case is an open and active investigation and that they are doing everything to bring her home safe.

On January 23, police served a search warrant at May’s home in Chula Vista. Lieutenant Foxx told Dateline that the goal of the warrant was to “obtain any evidence and clues to her current whereabouts. The Chula Vista Police Department's focus will continue to be locating May safe and in good health.”

The police department is not releasing further information at this time, Lt. Foxx added.

“Our whole focus and goal is to locate May safe and sound,” Lt. Foxx said. “We are concerned that she is still missing. But we’re not making any assumptions.”

Lieutenant Foxx told Dateline that the Millete family has been and continues to be cooperative with the investigation.

While the police department has already received many tips, Lt. Foxx encourages anyone with information to contact police or Crime Stoppers.

Map of search for May
Map of search for May

As the search intensifies for May, her family is left heartbroken and frustrated over the lack of answers on her whereabouts.

“This isn’t like her at all,” May’s sister, Maricris, told Dateline. “Even if she needed to take a break for a little while, she would never leave her children. They are her life.”

May, who works as a defense contractor at Naval Base San Diego, is also a busy mother of three children, ages 11, 9, and 4. She can usually be found singing and playing the guitar for them or taking them on hikes.

Maricris told Dateline that May’s children are sad and are just hoping to see their mom walk through the door soon.

“We keep that hope for them,” Maricris said.

Their hope remains, but they are at a loss as to what step to take next.

“We just don’t know where to look or what to do next,” May’s brother-in-law Richard Drouaillet told Dateline. “We’re running out of ideas.”

May’s sister Maricris added that with the help and support of the community, they’ve held multiple searches, but said “it’s like looking for a needle in a haystack.”

Many community searches, vigils and virtual prayer groups have been held in the past two weeks. All are announced on the Find May/Maya Millete Facebook page, which was created by the family with the goal of sharing updates on May’s case and the hope of bringing in tips on her whereabouts.

For now, May’s family is asking everyone to say a prayer for May every evening at 5:01 p.m., which is symbolic of her birthday, May 1.

“We just hope and pray that she’s safe,” Maricris told Dateline. “We just pray for the day we hear her voice again.”

May is described as being 5’2” tall, 110 lbs and has brown hair and brown eyes.

Anyone with information on May’s whereabouts is asked to contact the Chula Vista Police Department at 619-691-5151 or 619-691-5139 or San Diego Crime Stoppers anonymous tip line at (888) 580-8477.

Editor's Note: Updated to included a statement from May’s husband, Larry Millete.