The husband of missing California woman Maya “May” Millete was arrested in connection with her apparent death on Tuesday, authorities said.
Larry Millete, 39, has been charged with his wife’s murder even though Maya’s body has not been found, according to San Diego prosecutors.
Maya, 39, was last seen on Jan. 7, days before a planned family trip.
Larry speculated at the time that the Chula Vista mother of three had left to get some alone time.
“A missing body is circumstantial evidence that there was foul play and there was a murder because someone who takes their own life can not hide their body,” San Diego District Attorney Summer Stephan said at an afternoon press conference.
The DA alleged that Larry killed his wife to prevent her from leaving their marriage.
“May wanted a divorce for many reasons. Her husband Larry did not want the divorce,” Stephan said
“In homicide cases there is often a triggering event. The last call May made was to a divorce attorney. She did not make any further calls.”
Before May’s disappearance, her husband had hired people to cast spells on her, officials said.
“Larry was trying to hold on to May and he resorted to contacting spellcasters,” Stephan said.
“He was asking for May to become incapacitated … so that she could stay at home, thus displaying his homicidal idealizations to harm May.”
Prosecutors presented circumstantial evidence that suggested Larry left his home for 11 hours on Jan. 8 to dispose of May’s body and noted he had refused to turn over a handgun to police that officials believe may have been used to kill her.
Larry’s lawyer said the charges came as a surprise because there was no evidence May is dead.
“We have speculation right now,” Bonita P Martinez told the San Diego Union-Tribune. “Without a body, it just mere speculation. They have to have some proof that she is dead.”
A SWAT team stormed Millete’s home on Tuesday afternoon, announced themselves with loudspeakers and flashbangs, and arrested the suspect, according to the outlet.
“If anything happened to me, it would be Larry,” May told family members days before she vanished.