She was planning on spending her 40th birthday hiking in the Grand Canyon, but her family will now celebrate her at Fiesta Island Park in San Diego’s Mission Bay.
“Maya — she’s big on birthdays,” her brother, Jay-R Tabalanza, told Fox News. “She always tried to make it to everyone’s birthday — nephews, nieces, siblings, especially parents, so we can’t miss out on her birthday now.”
The family has been praying at 5:01 p.m. every day since she went missing, so they decided to hold a prayer march at 5:01 p.m. on Saturday after the birthday celebration.
It wasn’t just family and friends, as community members also gathered to support the continued search for Maya.
“I want to thank everybody for continuing to support us,” Maricris said. “We’re blessed still, in a way, getting solid support from the community.
Maya Millete disappeared from her California home on Jan. 7, the same day she made an appointment with a divorce lawyer. (Richard Drouaillet)
On Sunday, people will set out for another extensive search in Bonita, California. Then on Tuesday, the community is holding a peaceful rally at the Chula Vista Police Department’s headquarters to raise awareness about Maya’s disappearance.
“It’s been devastating. We haven’t really got any leads. We haven’t really gotten much help from the police department,” Drouaillet told Fox News Friday. “We feel like we’re still in square one.”
CVPD announced last week that they have partnered up with the FBI, NCIS, and the San Diego County District Attorney in the investigation into her disappearance.
Police have conducted 16 search warrants, interviewed 55 witnesses, and reviewed more than 40 tips in the last four months.
Maya Millete and her husband, Larry Millete. (Maricris Drouaillet)
Maya was last seen at her home around 5 p.m. on Jan. 7, the same day that she got into a fight with her husband, Larry Millete, and made an appointment with a divorce lawyer for the following week.
About five hours after Maya disappeared, several loud bangs that could be gunshots could be heard on a neighbor’s surveillance camera.
Billy Little, an attorney who is working with Maya’s family, told Fox News that less than an hour after those loud bangs, all three of the couple’s children could be heard playing in the backyard around 10:30 p.m.
Larry Millete has not been named as a person of interest or suspect in the case. He did not respond to a request for comment Saturday.
For now, Drouaillet said the family is praying for her safe return.
“We want to be with her again. That’s all that we wish,” Drouaillet told Fox News Friday. “It’s been really, really hard for the whole family, but that’s the only thing I wish for.”