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From Maya Millete to Plane Crashes: Some of 10News' biggest stories in 2021

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Posted at 10:27 AM, Dec 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-31 13:36:37-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — As 2021 comes to an end, ABC 10News is looking back at some of this year's most prominent stories throughout San Diego.

With the persistent ghost of coronavirus and its variants continuing to run rampant around the globe, the horrors of the COVID-19 pandemic did not manage to outshine these stories here in our own backyard.

Searching for Maya Millete: While the majority of America's attention was focused on the storming of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, the mysterious disappearance of Maya Millete was a story that fell on everyone's radar in San Diego County as the mother of three never returned home.

Guardianship of the Millete children, ages 12, 11, and 6, remains at issue as their mother, May "Maya" Millete, has been missing since January of 2021, and their father, Larry Millete, remains jailed without bail on a murder charge for the past year.

After nearly a year of searching for Maya, authorities have yet to find her or any trace of her last whereabouts. Her husband, Larry Millete, was eventually charged with her murder in October.

The Invisible Killer: A dramatic video released by the San Diego County Sheriff's Department in August sparked skepticism and controversy in the community after SDSO made an assumption that one of its deputies nearly died after coming in contact with Fentanyl during a crime scene.

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Multiple medical experts came forward to clarify that it is biologically impossible for someone to overdose to such an extent by touching the opioid. According to the American College of Medical Toxicology, the drug must enter the blood and brain from the environment. Toxicity cannot occur from simply being in proximity to the drug.

Condos in Carlsbad: The City of Carlsbad announced in November that its condos in the Mulberry at Bressi Ranch development were going on sale for less than $200,000, but there are some strings attached. In order to qualify for a condo, the owner must live in the unit, may not be able to leave it to their heirs, and if they decide to sell, the city will have the first right of refusal and can set the price.

Mulberry at Bressy Ranch in Carlsbad

Best Christmas Lights in San Diego: What better way to enjoy the most wonderful time of the year than to experience the many illuminated homes in San Diego as they were dazzled with Christmas lights and decorations. ABC 10News put together an interactive map for San Diegans to find the best light displays around San Diego County.


Bay Terraces Hoarder: In June, city officials in San Diego took action after receiving complaints about a home in the Bay Terrace neighborhood being hazardous and having serious hoarding issues. Court documents said the home's condition violated state and local laws, as it had been without running water for two years and featured doors and windows blocked by debris that were stacked to the ceiling.

Mesa Hills Court in Bay Terraces

According to the City Attorney's Office, neighbors complained about the smell of urine and feces coming from the home that was "unbearable" on hot days.

The Death of Two Fin Whales: The carcasses of two fin whales became dislodged from the hull of an Australian Navy ship as it pulled into Naval Base San Diego in May. One was 65 feet long, and the other was about 25 feet.

Two fin whales found dead under hull of Australian ship at Naval Base San Diego

The FAA and San Diego International Airport: Over the course of two months, the Federal Aviation Administration had to investigate three incidents that took place on the runways of San Diego International Airport.

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FILE PHOTO: Planes on the runway at San Diego International Airport.

An incident that stood out the most was when air traffic controllers diverted a plane from landing while another flight was departing in May, nearly causing a potentially disastrous collision.

Graduations Photos Gone Viral: A University of California-San Diego graduate went viral in June when she decided to take her graduation pictures in the farm fields where she worked with her parents since she was in high school.

Jennifer Rocha

Coyote Attacks in Chula Vista: Since the start of the pandemic, residents who live near Loma Verde Park reported a pack of aggressive coyotes roaming the South Bay Little League baseball field and near Loma Verde Park.

Pit bull attacked by coyote at Chula Vista baseball fields - again

In March, Keyanue McCallon was out with his 5-year-old pit bull Minimus when a coyote attacked his dog. McCallon was able to catch the aftermath of the showdown on camera, and the video went viral.

Plane Crash in Santee: While San Diego had many positive moments, there were also stories of tragedy. Two people were killed and two others were injured after a plane crashed in a neighborhood near Santana High School in October, causing a fire that engulfed at least two homes and several vehicles.

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Footage from an outdoor security camera footage shows the plane falling from the sky before bursting into flames.

This fatal crash happened two months before another plane crashed in El Cajon on Dec. 27, claiming the lives of four people.