GR US

Fotis Dulos: Defended by Family Following Suicide

Αssociated Press

Fotis Dulos, the estranged husband of Jennifer Dulos, a missing mother of five, is arraigned on murder and kidnapping charges in Stamford Superior Court Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020, in Stamford, Conn. Dulos had been previously charged with evidence tampering in the disappearance of Jennifer Dulos. (Erik Trautmann/Hearst Connecticut Media via AP, Pool)

NEW YORK – Fotis Dulos' sister, Rena Kirimi, released a statement to the U.S. media on Monday, February 3, regarding her brother's death last week following his suicide attempt.

Dulos left a suicide note in his home in Farmington, Connecticut, claiming his innocence of the alleged murder of his estranged wife, Jennifer Dulos-Farber, who has been missing since May 2019. He also claimed that his lawyers had the evidence to prove his innocence.

The statement released by Kirimi discusses her family's disappointment and shock at U.S. Law Enforcement for "obsessively focus[ing] [on] speculation and circumstantial evidence on an innocent man." She also criticizes the media for making "sensationalistic headlines [and] thus, manipulating public opinion" and "abandon[ing] the presumption of innocence."

Kirimi calls on the State to "recalibrate [its] investigation and work towards solving this tragic mystery" and urges the media to "understand [its] destructive role" in the turn of events (i.e., Dulos' suicide).

Below find the full text of Kirimi's letter:

Dulos, a luxury home builder originally from Greece, was accused of killing his ex-wife, who has not been seen since she dropped their five children off at school in May in New Canaan. Her body has not been found despite extensive searches. Dulos had denied any role in her disappearance.

The children, who ranged in age from 8 to 13 when their mother vanished, are in the custody of their maternal grandmother in New York City.

On the day Fotis Dulos was found unresponsive, he had been facing an emergency bond hearing where he could have been sent back to jail. The company that originally posted the $6 million bond had learned that two properties offered as collateral were subject to foreclosure and a third was overvalued.

Police officers who went to check on Dulos because he was late for the hearing saw through a garage window that he was in medical distress. Emergency responders forced their way into the garage and medics performed CPR for about 30 minutes before a pulse was discovered. He was then taken to a Connecticut hospital by ambulance. A lawyer for Dulos, and others, initially said he had died.

Dulos was then transferred to the Jacobi Medical Center in New York City for treatment where he eventually died.

Fotis Dulos was arrested Jan. 7 on murder and kidnapping charges, capping a lengthy investigation in which he emerged early as the primary suspect.

Warrants released last summer, when Dulos was charged initially with evidence tampering and hindering prosecution, said that he and a girlfriend were seen on video surveillance driving in Hartford around the time Jennifer Dulos was reported missing. The man was seen tossing garbage bags into more than 30 trash bins in the area that were later determined to have items with Jennifer Dulos’ blood on them.

Items in the garbage bags included clothing belonging to Jennifer Dulos and plastic zip ties that later tested positive for her DNA.

In filings in the two-year divorce proceedings, Jennifer Dulos said she was worried for her safety and that of the couple’s children.

In the arrest warrants, police suggested a possible financial motive, saying Fotis Dulos was $7 million in debt and would have had some access to the children's trust funds if Jennifer Dulos died. Fotis Dulos denied that allegation.

Police allege Fotis Dulos lay in wait at Jennifer Dulos' home in New Canaan for her to return after dropping the children off. Authorities say Fotis Dulos attacked the woman in her garage, leaving behind a bloody crime scene, and drove off with her body.

Dulos had pleaded not guilty to the charges. Pattis said the defense team will continue to seek a trial to clear his name.

“We intend to proceed on as if he were alive to vindicate him,” Pattis said.

Fotis Dulos' former girlfriend, Michelle Troconis, and his friend, attorney Kent Mawhinney, are both charged with conspiracy to commit murder. Police said they helped Fotis Dulos try to cover up the killing, including by creating bogus alibis.

[Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.]