NEW clues may give insight into the case of Maya “May” Millete, a Filipina American mother from Chula Vista, California who went missing over three months ago.
A surveillance camera in the San Miguel Ranch neighborhood, where Millete lived with her husband and three young children, reportedly captured six loud bangs that sounded like gunshots on the night of January 7, when she was last seen and heard from.
Millete, a 39-year-old civilian Navy employee, is described as 5-foot-2 and about 105 pounds with brown hair, brown eyes, freckles and a wrist tattoo, as previously reported by the Asian Journal.
She was reported missing two days later on January 9, and police began its missing persons investigation the day after.
In the recording obtained by News 8 on Thursday, April 8, the bangs were heard near the Millete home on the 2400 block of Paseo Los Gatos around 10 p.m. that night.
The local news station said the neighbor who provided the recording asked to remain anonymous and that it picked up audio of children playing in a backyard at around 10:30 p.m.
News 8 reported that the recording was turned over to the Chula Vista Police the week after Millete disappeared.
In an email, CVPD Captain Eric Thunberg told the station: “We have no comment and will not comment on any evidence or potential evidence in this case. Such comments complicate and potentially hinder the investigation.”
Billy Little, the attorney working with the Millete family, said the sound picked up by the surveillance camera sounds “exactly what a gunshot sounds like.”
“When they were turned over to police, almost an excited utterance, those are absolutely gunshots; sound like a .357,” he told News 8 on Friday, April 9.
Milette’s husband, Larry, previously said that his wife allegedly went on a hike that afternoon to blow off steam after an argument. Other reports indicated that he believed Millete was in another bedroom in their house, but she was not there when other family members opened the door.
Millete’s car was still in the driveway, while no activity was seen on her cellphone or credit cards, according to previous reports.
On Saturday, January 9 the family was planning a trip to Big Bear Mountain Resort for her daughter’s 11th birthday, but Millete was never heard from, according to a previous report.
In addition to her 11-year-old, she has children ages 9 and 4.
“She’s an amazing mom. She has three wonderful kids and it’s her life…she wouldn’t leave her kids this way,” Milette’s sister Maricris Drouaillet told the Asian Journal in a January interview.
Millete’s disappearance has since gained national attention as search efforts have expanded outside of San Diego County.
To date, the Chula Vista Police Department said it has conducted interviews of 47 family members, friends, neighbors and witnesses; written 12 search warrants that include residents and electronic devices; and reviewed over 40 tips on her possible location and reason for disappearance; according to a department update on April 7.
“The Chula Vista Police Department will continue to actively and continuously investigate May’s disappearance,” it said, adding that it will provide an update every two weeks “until significant information or a break in the case occurs in the investigation.”
Drouaillet told NBC 7 San Diego that a friend alleged that Larry had physically abused Millete.
The friend also relayed that Millete reportedly told her, “‘Hey, you know if something happened to me, it’s gonna be Larry,’” according to the news station.
Larry has not been named a suspect by the police, but he has reportedly stopped cooperating with the investigation, according to authorities. He also has not participated in the search parties, Drouaillet said.
A rally and prayer vigil was held on Sunday, April 11 at Chula Vista Community Park as speakers shared Millete’s story and raised awareness for other individuals who remain missing. Her family and friends continue to hold community searches and vigils and have posted flyers in the greater San Diego area.
A GoFundMe page to help with search efforts has raised over $16,000.
“I want [to] reassure May’s family, and our community that she is not forgotten and that bringing her home safely remains our number one priority,” Chula Vista Police Chief Roxana Kennedy said in a statement.
Anyone who may have any information regarding May’s disappearance is asked to please contact San Diego County Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477, or CVPD at (619) 691-5151.