Maya Millette disappearance: Family hopes search will attract as much attention as Gabby Petito case

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (KABC) -- The massive search effort for 22-year-old social media influencer Gabby Petito has Maricris Drouaillet of Riverside asking why her own sister's missing person case hasn't received the same attention.

"It just brought back the pain. We just wish we had the same urgency as Gabby," Droualillet said in an interview with ABC7.

Maya Millette was last seen 9 months ago in the Chula Vista home she shared with her husband and three children. Her husband has been named a person of interest.

Maricris and Richard Drouaillet say investigators are working hard to solve the case, uncovering thousands of leads.

"It is kind of a letdown," Richard Drouaillet told ABC7. "We know they are working on the case. Just in the beginning, there was not that sense of urgency."

Petito, who was reported missing on Sept. 11 by her family, was found dead over the weekend in a Wyoming national park.

Gabby Petito case shines spotlight on missing people of color, including Jelani Day, Maya Millete
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How the Gabby Petito case is igniting new interest in finding other missing persons.

Millette's family says they wish they had the same manpower during their weekly search missions to find Maya.

Gabby Petito is one of many reported missing each year.

In 2020, the FBI had over 89,000 active missing persons cases and 45% of those were people of color.

Petito's case has spotlighted the disparities and renewed action to find others still missing like Lauren "El" Cho, a 30-year-old New Jersey woman who went missing in Yucca Valley in late June.

In a Facebook post, Cho's family responded to the comparisons made between the two cases.

"We understand the frustration many of you have expressed about how and why certain cases receive national coverage," the post said. "Ultimately, these two cases are NOT the same and the differences run deeper than what meets the public eye."

Meanwhile, the search for Cho is also getting more help. On Tuesday, the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department said its Specialized Investigative Division would assist in the search effort.
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