As investigators looking into the case of Jennifer Dulos, a 50-year-old Connecticut mother of five who vanished on May 24 – with her husband and his girlfriend being probed – court records show the married couple accused each other of swapping threats and as she feared for her safety.
That was reported by The New York Times as police searched Fotis Dulos’ home in Farmington after finding blood at violence at Jennifer Dulos’ home in New Canaan, 70 miles south of where he lived with Michelle Troconis, who’s also being questioned.
Fotis Dulos, 51, and Troconis, 44 were arrested in connection with the disappearance but so far no body has been found, and it’s not being ruled a homicide, with the pair charged with hindering the investigation and tampering with evidence.
Dulos, a luxury real estate developer, remained in custody at a state jail on a $500,000 bond while Troconis was released but is wearing a tracing ankle bracelet.
During the investigation, the police have uncovered details of the bitterness of the couple’s divorce proceedings, according to the court records, and with Jennifer Dulos having said she feared for her life or that her husband would kidnap their children and take them to Greece.
The Times also reported that the records showed that Fotis Dulos claimed his wife threatened to have the Mafia break his legs and counter-claims he drove an SUV at her before swerving away at the last second. He said she had mental health issues and couldn’t keep their children safe.
Everything pointed to a tumultuous breakdown of the 13-year marriage as he moved out two years earlier and the divorce dragged on. The children reportedly are in the New York City apartment of their 85-year-old grandmother, Gloria Farber, under armed guard for protection.
As police also searched a Harford site with cadaver-sniffing dogs where they previously had found items stained with her blood in garbage bins.
CAMERAS SHOW ALL
According to warrants, police went to the missing mother’s home after she failed to show up to multiple doctor’s appointment in New York and concerned friends contacted police in New Canaan around 7 p.m. on May 24, The Daily Beast said.
Police didn’t find anyone there but gained access after friends encouraged a nanny to let them in. A search found stains on the garage floor and on a vehicle in the garage, and evidence that someone had tried to clean up the crime scene, the warrants say after police said it appeared there had been violence there.
The also located a Chevy Suburban registered to Jennifer Dulos about three miles from her home near a popular park, but no sign of her in or near the vehicle, the documents said, according to the site and media reports.
Based on what was recovered from the crime scene, “investigators came to the consensus that a serious physical assault had occurred at the scene and Jennifer Dulos was the suspected victim,” the affidavit added.
Using cellphone data and surveillance camera footage monitored by police in Hartford, 70 miles north of New Canaan, which is near New York City, investigators reportedly found a man who looked like Fotis Dulos and a passenger resembling Troconis in a pickup truck.
The vehicle made more than 30 stops along a four-mile stretch of Albany Avenue discarding trash bags that appear to be stained with blood, the affidavit said. The license plate on the truck appears to match one owned by Fotis Dulos and a sticker matching one on his truck appears in the surveillance footage as well, the affidavit added.
The footage shows the bags being thrown into various trash receptacles and in once instance something being pushed through a storm grate, the affidavit also stated although there were no indications whether a body was involved.
Investigators responding to the storm grate recovered an envelope that contained two Connecticut license plates that were registered to a SUV owned by Fotis Dulos, the affidavit said.
Investigators searched for the trash bags and recovered bags that are consistent with those seen on surveillance cameras and recovered clothing that appeared to contain blood, kitchen items including a bloody sponge, and other pieces of evidence that are not detailed, the site added.
A crime lab determined the blood from items recovered from the trash was that of Jennifer Dulos, the affidavit said.
TRAIL OF MONEY TOO
While the hunt went on, the court records and her claims showed the acrimony of the marriage had spilled over into the relationship with her family, with her late father, Hilliard Farber, putting up nearly $2 million in loans for Fotis Dulos to run the Fore Group development company building luxury homes that weren’t repaid.
In fewer than five years, Fotis Dulos went from being named Connecticut’s builder of the year to the brink of bankruptcy, with several lawsuits filed against him and his company the Fore Group, said Fox News, and that his company has been subject to complaints and lawsuits.
Fotis Dulos claimed he was broke and in “dire financial circumstances,” and said his company, in which he is the sole shareholder, could qualify for bankruptcy, with court records showing he made no money so far this year while living in a mansion.
Fotis Dulos was born in Turkey but raised in Greece and said in the court proceedings filings that her accusations he would take the children overseas were baseless, The Times reported, and that she seemed delusional and that her use of anti-depressants made her unfit to have sole custody over their children, 8-13 years old, including two sets of twins.
They had married in New York in August 2004, according to court papers. Both had attended the Ivy League Brown University in Rhode Island; he graduated a year ahead of her.
After college, Jennifer Dulos returned to New York City, where she was raised and where her parents lived, the paper said. A writer, she co-founded a theater group in the early 1990s and also got her Master’s Degree in writing from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, according to blog posts she penned on Patch.com. The couple relocated to Connecticut in 2004, public records showed.
In 2012, the Dulos family moved to Farmington and when she filed for divorce, the family lived in a 15,000-square-foot home that his company had built. That’s when it all started falling apart, the record showed, worsening when she said she discovered in March 2017 he was having an affair with Troconis, who the Hartford Courant said is from Venezuela and is the former wife of Gaston Begue, a former Olympic Alpine skiier.
The Dulos’ decided she and the children would move to her parents’ home in Pound Ridge, N.Y., a small town in Westchester County, the court documents said, before she rented a house in New Canaan, a wealthy community north of New York City.
She also said she was anxious he had bought a handgun and was worried he might use it to harm her or their family. He said he never threatened her and wanted to end the marriage amicably despite what the court records indicated.
As their custody battle dragged on, both filed numerous petitions and motions accusing each other of ignoring court orders, disparaging each other in front of the children and countless other perceived slights, the paper said, sometimes over matters as trivial as when the children should go to bed or when he let Troconis be with the children, which court orders forbade.
Jennifer Dulos said her husband had called her insane in front of her children, saying she was an unfit mother who “should be locked away,” and he accused her of calling him a “psychopath” who didn’t care about his children and didn’t work hard enough to make money for the family.
While he’s still in custody, if he posts bond, a court has suspended his visitation rights with the children.
Documents in the two-year divorce case between Jennifer Dolus and her husband reveal that Fotis Dulos claimed to have assets of less than $400,000 against total liabilities between $4.9 million and $7.6 million, the latter figure including what is described as contingent debt, The Stamford Advocate said.
His mother, 77-year-old Kleopatra Dulos, died after being run over by a 24-year-old family employee in a Land Rover on Sept. 6, 2010, according to DailyMail.com in the driveway of a family home in Avon – a short distance from his mansion.
(Material from the Associated Press was used in this report)