With no trace of a body or the whereabouts of 50-year-old Jennifer Dulos of New Canaan, Connnecticut, who vanished May 24 after dropping off her five children at a private school, authorities reportedly found her blood on clothes and sponges from trash cans in Hartford, with cellphone tracking reportedly showing her estranged husband was there when she vanished.
The new details were released in arrest warrant affidavits for Dulos’ husband, Fotis Dulos, and his girlfriend, Michelle Troconis, who were charged in court with tampering with or fabricating physical evidence and hindering prosecution, The Hartford Courant reported.
They were held on $500,000 bond, and prosecutors told a judge they plan to file additional charged in the case. Troconis is reportedly out on bail, while Dulos is not. The newspaper said they have refused to cooperate to cooperate in the investigation.
Dulos was involved in a two-year divorce battle with her husband and when she filed in 2017 reportedly said she feared him and that, he would “harm [her] in some way” for seeking the breakup. She filed an emergency order for full custody of her children then but it was denied.
As the investigation intensifies, the couple’s children were said to be staying with their grandmother in a New York City apartment under armed guard.
According to the 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.
On May 25, officers briefly interviewed Fotis Dulos, who met investigators with his attorney but refused to assist the investigation, although he handed his iPhone X to a detective who seized the cellphone, believing it contained evidence of a crime, the affidavit reportedly said.
Fotis Dulos is arraigned on charges of tampering with or fabricating physical evidence and first-degree hindering prosecution at Norwalk Superior Court in Norwalk, Conn. Monday, June 3, 2019. (Tyler Sizemore/Hearst Connecticut Media via AP, Pool)
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.
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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.
Michelle C. Troconis is arraigned on charges of tampering with or fabricating physical evidence and first-degree hindering prosecution at Norwalk Superior Court in Norwalk, Conn. Monday, June 3, 2019. (Tyler Sizemore/Hearst Connecticut Media via AP, Pool)
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.
The case has stunned residents of New Canaan, a wealthy suburb of New York City, which is about 60 miles from the affluent Hartford suburb where Fotis Dulos and Troconis lived in a large home that Jennifer Dulos and the children left two years ago.
Fotis Dulos’ lawyer, Eugene Riccio, said his client was not expected to post bail. Troconis posted bail and did not comment as she left the courthouse wearing a GPS monitoring device. Riccio and Troconis’ attorney, Andrew Bowman, both said their clients had no criminal records.
Judge Stephanie McLaughlin rejected requests by both Fotis Dulos and Troconis to lower their $500,000 bail after a prosecutor cited the seriousness of the allegations and said more charges are expected.
(Tyler Sizemore/Hearst Connecticut Media via AP, Pool)
Jennifer Dulos is the daughter of the late Hilliard Farber, who ran Chase Manhattan Bank’s bond trading desk before founding his own brokerage firm in 1975.
Fotis Dulos is a developer of expensive homes who borrowed money from his wife’s parents to buy properties, according to a lawsuit filed against Fotis Dulos by Jennifer Dulos’ mother, Gloria Farber. The lawsuit in Connecticut state court claims Fotis Dulos has failed to repay Gloria Farber about $1.7 million in loans given to him.
Court documents filed in the divorce case saidJennifer Dulos feared Fotis Dulos would harm her in some way in retaliation for her filing for divorce, and she noted he had a gun. Jennifer Dulos has primary custody of the children, with their father getting to see them every other weekend. She had also reportedly said she feared he would kidnap the children and take them to Greece to get away.
After Jennifer Dulos went missing, Fotis Dulos asked the divorce case judge to grant him custody of the children who he said were staying with 85-year-old Gloria Farber in New York City and are being protected by an armed bodyguard.
(Material from the Associated Press was used in this report)