What to Know
- Fotis Dulos was arrested Tuesday and charged with the murder of his missing, estranged wife, Jennifer Dulos. Bond was set at $6 million.
- Michelle Troconis, the girlfriend of Fotis Dulos, and a local attorney, Kent Mawhinney, were arrested on murder-related charges.
- Jennifer Dulos, a mother of five, has been missing since May 24 and police said they found bloodstains in the garage of her New Canaan home.
Fotis Dulos has been released on bond and is heading home two days after he was arrested on murder charges in the death of his estranged wife, Jennifer Dulos.
His girlfriend, Michelle Troconis, was also released and a source with direct knowledge of the case told NBC New York that she was transported to an area medical facility.
Fotis Dulos intended to post the bond Wednesday after a court appearance but was unable to because of a paperwork issue, according to an attorney. He was released shortly before 1 p.m. on Thursday and did not say anything while leaving.
Fotis was arrested on Tuesday and charged with felony murder, murder and kidnapping in connection with his wife’s disappearance.
He was booked into the MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution in Suffield on Tuesday afternoon and appeared in Stamford Superior Court on Wednesday, where a judge ordered the 52-year-old to house arrest as a condition of being released on bond, which was set at $6 million.
The judge said Fotis must not leave his home without permission. He has been refitted with a GPS monitoring device.
Jennifer and Fotis’ five children have been living with Jennifer’s mother, Gloria Farber, since their mother disappeared and Fotis has been trying to get custody. On Wednesday, the judge issued a protective order for the Dulos children and Jennifer’s family. Fotis was also ordered not to have contact with the children’s nanny.
Dulos’ attorney, Norm Pattis, previously said he was “cautiously optimistic” about Fotis Dulos making bail, however, he did say it is very expensive.
Pattis has said that he plans to file a motion to dismiss Fotis Dulos’ charges.
Pattis said they “very much want to try this case.”
“Mr. Dulos wants to clear his name,” Pattis said outside court on Wednesday.
He said there is no body, there does not appear to be a crime scene weapon.
“What we have is a suspicious disappearance and an entirely circumstantial case,” Pattis said.
The next court date, Pattis said, is Feb. 28.
AX REMOVED FROM FOTIS DULOS’ HOME
On Tuesday, police took an ax from the garage of Fotis’ home, according to Pattis.
“We’s heard for weeks they were looking for an ax and there was a discussion about whether we should give it to them,” Pattis said. “My opinion was, no, you don’t walk into the police saying, ‘here’s an ax.’ In this case, what are they going to say? ‘It’s Lizzie Borden’s murder weapon.”
He said he does not think there is any significance to it.
“If there was going to be significance to it, I doubt it would have been sitting in plain view for them to see when they came into the house,” Pattis said.
Dulos’ girlfriend, Michelle Troconis, and a local attorney, Kent Mawhinney , also appeared in court Wednesday morning for murder-related charges in connection with the disappearance of Jennifer Dulos, a mother of five who has been missing since May. Both appeared to face conspiracy to commit murder charges.
Troconis’ attorney said she will be released today as well.
MICHELLE TROCONIS APPEARS IN COURT
Troconis appeared in court second Wednesday, blowing a kiss to family and loved ones in the courtroom.
Her attorney asked for the $2 million bonds to be lowered to $500,000 and the judge decided to lower it to $1.5 million.
She will also be fitted with a new GPS monitor, according to her attorney.
Troconis did not make bond on Wednesday, but did make bond on Thursday.
One source with direct knowledge about the case told NBC New York that she was “transported to an area medical facility for an unknown medical condition after she was released on bond.”
KENT MAWHINNEY APPEARS IN COURT
Mawhinney was the first of the three suspects to make a court appearance Wednesday. The state prosecutor asked for house arrest, saying Mawinney evaded police when he knew an arrest warrant was out and asked for the $2 million bond to stand.
The judge said that Mawhinney has a pending violation of a court order, kept the bond at $2 million, ordered GPS monitoring and for Mawhinney to hand over his passport.
The warrants released on Tuesday includes the case police are laying out, including detailed lists of the physical evidence that investigators have collected at Jennifer’s New Canaan home and from garbage bags recovered from Albany Avenue in Hartford. That evidence, according to the warrant, includes bloodstains that match Jennifer’s DNA at her home, in her car and on clothing found in the trash in Hartford, and zip ties with Jennifer’s DNA on them.
The warrant also details multiple interviews with Michelle Troconis.
Investigators said she offered contradictory information about the events of May 24.
Troconis was previously charged with first-degree hindering of prosecution and two counts of tampering with physical evidence. She has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
STATEMENT FROM FAMILY AND FRIENDS OF JENNIFER DULOS
After police announced the charges, the family and friends of Jennifer Dulos released a statement.
Carrie Luft released the following statement on Tuesday afternoon on behalf of the family and friends of Jennifer Dulos.
“Above all we thank the Connecticut State Police and the New Canaan Police Department, as well as the assisting local departments, for their tireless commitment and diligent, painstaking work that have led to these arrests. Although we are relieved that the wait for these charges is over, for us there is no sense of closure. Nothing can bring Jennifer back. We miss her every day and will forever mourn her loss.
“We believe the arrest warrants will speak for themselves, and we ask that you please respect our privacy during this time. Thank you.”
Fotis Dulos was previously charged with two counts of tampering with physical evidence and hindering prosecution in the first degree. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
A warrant issued for Fotis Dulos in September says the arrest was in connection with the ongoing investigation into the disappearance of Jennifer Dulos.
Two months earlier, in July, Fotis sat down for an exclusive interview with NBC New York, his first after Jennifer disappeared, and said he has to stand and fight and “hope the truth is going to come out.
JENNIFER DULOS REPORTED MISSING
Jennifer Dulos was living at 69 Welles Lane in New Canaan when she disappeared on May 24, 2019. The last report of anyone seeing her was when she dropped her children off at school that morning.
The missing person report came in just before 7 p.m. that day.
Friends and family members told police that they hadn’t been able to reach her, and she’d missed several doctor’s appointments in New York City.
While officers were in Jennifer’s home, they found no sign of her, but they did find bloodstains on the garage floor and on a vehicle located in the garage, according to the arrest warrant.
That led police to believe the home was a crime scene and they said there was evidence of attempts to clean it up.
The arrest warrant for Fotis Dulos says the office of the chief medical examiner, based on lab results and information presented about the case, indicated that due to the degree of blood loss and other factors, “he was prepared to state that Jennifer Dulos had sustained injury (or multiple injuries) which he would consider ‘non-survivable’ without medical intervention.”
INFORMATION FROM PREVIOUS ARREST WARRANT
Also missing from Jennifer’s home was a 2017 Chevrolet Suburban, which police located around 7 p.m. on May 24 near Waveny Park in New Canaan, the arrest warrant states. They found blood both inside and outside the vehicle.
Prior stories on the disappearance of Jennifer Dulos
POLICE SPEAK WITH FOTIS DULOS
Around 9 a.m. on May 25, police contacted Fotis Dulos to speak with him about his missing estranged wife.
He and his attorney arrived at police headquarters that afternoon, but left without providing an interview, according to the arrest warrant.
When police searched Fotis’ cellphone, they found evidence that it had been used on Albany Avenue in Hartford from around 7:10 p.m. to 7:40 p.m. on the night of May 24, the day Jennifer disappeared, according to police.
Investigators also looked at surveillance cameras from the area, which they said showed a man resembling Fotis driving a black pickup and tossing garbage bags in trashcans, the arrest warrant says.
One of the stops was at a storm drain, where police found a set of altered license plates that linked back to Dulos, according to court paperwork.
A woman resembling Fotis’ then live-in girlfriend, Michelle Troconis, 45, was with him while the vehicle was on Albany Avenue, according to police.
On June 1, police obtained warrants charging Fotis Dulos and Troconis with tampering with evidence and hindering prosecution — charges for which both have pleaded not guilty.
When police spoke with Troconis the next day, she told them that she couldn’t account for Fotis’ whereabouts between 8 a.m. and 1 or 2 p.m. on May 24, according to the arrest warrant, and she told them she had no idea what Fotis was doing while dumping garbage bags.
During another interview in August, Troconis would tell police that she hadn’t seen Fotis on May 24 from the time she woke up, around 6:40 a.m., until after noon when he came home for lunch.
SEARCH OF FOTIS’ FARMINGTON HOME
On June 3, police searched Fotis’ home on Jefferson Crossing in Farmington and located what they referred to as the “Alibi Scripts” — notes with information that never happened and alibi witnesses who “were later determined to be false,” according to the arrest warrant.
While investigating, police spoke with one of Fotis Dulos’ employees who told them his boss had instructed him to remove seats from his Toyota Tacoma, which he was going to replace with seats from a Porsche Cayenne registered to Jennifer Dulos, court paperwork says.
According to police, Fotis had access to the employee’s vehicle and a truck matching the description was seen near where Jennifer’s Suburban was found abandoned.
LAST SIGHTING OF JENNIFER DULOS
The last known sighting of Jennifer Dulos was at 8:05 a.m. on May 24 after she dropped her children off at school and the arrest warrant for Fotis Dulos says police believe he was “lying in wait” for his wife to return home.
Just before 10:30 a.m. that morning, surveillance cameras on Jennifer’s street show her Suburban heading west.
The arrest warrant says police believe Dulos was driving and Jennifer’s body and items used to clean up the garage were inside.
EVIDENCE FROM FOTIS’ EMPLOYEE’S TRUCK
One piece of evidence police documented in court paperwork is the employee’s truck. Police said seats removed from it had Jennifer’s DNA.
The employee went on to tell police that Fotis had taken his Toyota Tacoma to the car wash, which was unusual, and told him to change the seats in his truck or sell it, then offered seats from a damaged Porsche.
When police spoke with Troconis about the truck, she said she’d seen Fotis cleaning what he described as “spilled coffee” out of it. Then he handed her a stained towel to throw away, but the towel didn’t smell like coffee, according to the arrest warrant,
She went on to tell them that the truck was cleaned and detailed without the employee’s knowledge or permission.
When asked why she thought Fotis would be washing the Tacoma, she told police, “Well obviously … all the evidence says because … you showed me the picture of the blood in the door it’s because the body of Jennifer at some point was in there,” the arrest warrant says.
RESPONSE FROM DEFENSE TEAM
After the second charges were filed, Fotis Dulos’ attorney, Norm Pattis, said he questioned the wisdom of the charges.
A gag order has been issued in the case and Pattis is fighting to lift it so Dulos can be free to “criticize his accusers” and “defend himself in the court of law and in the court of public opinion,” according to court filings
“We hope that the Supreme Court gives us the opportunity to speak the truth as we know it,” Pattis has said, adding, “Mr. Dulos is not guilty of the crime of murder.”
Police have a dedicated website on the search for Jennifer Dulos. They have set up a tipline at 203-594-3544 as well as a dedicated email address, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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