Larry Millete made his first court appearance Thursday, two days after he was arrested on one count of unlawfully killing his 39-year-old wife and mother of his three children, Maya Millete. Millete was also charged with illegal possession of an assault weapon.
He has plead not guilty and will continue to be held without bail until a review hearing on Nov. 4.
The whereabouts of Maya Millete, who disappeared in January, are still unknown. San Diego District Attorney Summer Stephan said at a press conference Tuesday that California law allows for murder charges to be filed despite the absence of a victim's body.
"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," Stephan said.
Investigators from the Chula Vista Police Department said that Maya wanted a divorce after a year of marital issues, and her husband was against it.
Stephan said Millete is believed to have been unwilling to accept that his wife was seeking to end their marriage and he killed her after she contacted the attorney.
Investigators say family and friends described Millete's behavior as "controlling" and "stalker-like" as Maya began taking steps to separate herself from her husband.
The investigation also found that Millete made multiple searches online for drugs that can be used to incapacitate people. He then tried to get help from "spellcasters," who claim to sell spells that could salvage the relationship. In later emails to the spellcasting companies, he asked them to "punish May and incapacitate her enough so she can't leave the house."
Detectives found that the couple had an argument shortly before she was reported missing by her family members.
The last call recorded from Maya's phone was to a divorce attorney on Jan. 7.
According to court documents, Larry Millete was seen moving his Lexus on Jan. 8 at 5:58 a.m, repositioning the car so that the rear was in the garage and not visible to cameras in the area.
Millete then left the home for 11 hours and 21 minutes. He left his phone behind, so investigators were unable to track the GPS or location of his vehicle at the time.
The nine-month investigation included 66 search warrants, 87 witness interviews and more than 100 tips, authorities said.