The children of Maya Millete, the Filipino-American mom whose disappearance grabbed national headlines, are going to remain with their father, Larry Millete's parents, a California judge has ruled. Larry, however, has been in police custody since October 2021 and is barred from contacting his kids after he was charged for the murder of his wife.
According to Fox News, Judge Julia Kelety ruled that all three of the Millete kids, who are in the ages 5, 10 and 11, will remain with their grandparents, Benito and Judith Millete, following a guardianship hearing asked by Maricris Drouaillet, Maya's older sister. Kelety, however, has granted Drouaillet and Maya's other family members visitation rights to Maya's kids every Sunday afternoon.
The judge has also ordered Larry's parents to provide mental health support for the kids despite an assessment that they are not struggling in school nor exhibiting changes in behavior as a result of the tragic events in their family.
Maya's family reported her missing on Jan. 9, 2021, after calls to her phone went to voice mail for days. Investigators eventually learned that Maya was a victim of domestic violence and had planned on divorcing her husband. Larry became a person of interest in July and was subsequently arrested. He has entered a plea of not guilty for his wife's murder and has been awaiting his trial.
Two Families Fighting for Guardianship
Drouaillet insisted that her house is big enough to accommodate Maya's children and they would have no problems staying with her family because they also grew up with their cousins, celebrating every birthday or holiday together. However, since Maya has been reported missing, her kin hasn't seen the children.
Larry and her parents, on the other hand, objected to Drouaillet's petition since that would entail putting the kids in a new community and a new school environment. Alice Famador, the Millete family's neighbor, wrote to the courts that such a transition could be traumatic for the children.
Famador also said that since Larry's imprisonment, his parents have been looking after the kids. It is believed that Benito and Judith plan to file a formal guardianship after November 10.
"They draw love and support from their grandparents," Famador said in her testimony. "The children don't want to be separated from their grandparents."
Kelety's decision on the guardianship was also based on the forensic interview of the kids. Meanwhile, the Child Welfare Services has an ongoing investigation regarding the safety of the children.
Dad Makes 129 Calls to His Kids
It comes as a judge has barred Larry from having phone privileges in prison because he violated orders not to contact his children. The prosecutor told the court that Larry made at least 129 calls and some of these were during inappropriate hours.
The father not only disrupted his children's sleep or homework but he also allegedly made disparaging comments against Maya or her family. Larry also asked his 10 and 11-year-old children to watch the movie "Shot Caller," which is about a businessman who lands in jail, because he wants his children to understand the situation he's in.
The judge has ruled that Larry may only contact his children through his lawyers as a restraining order is still in effect.
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