More than a week ago, Jennifer Dulos disappeared after she dropped her five children off at school in a wealthy town in Connecticut. The police soon began investigating her estranged husband, with whom she had been involved in a bitter divorce and custody battle.
On Saturday night, the husband and his girlfriend were arrested and charged with hindering prosecution and tampering with evidence in relation to the disappearance of Dulos, 50, who remains missing.
Her disappearance has set off a search across the state and focused widespread attention on their marriage, which had been the subject of a lengthy court fight that included more than 400 filings, many about custody and visitation rights.
Dulos’ husband, Fotis Dulos, also was engaged in a lawsuit with the estate of her deceased father over $1.7 million in loans that Fotis Dulos had failed to pay back, according to court documents.
Late Saturday night, Fotis Dulos, 51, and his girlfriend, Michelle Troconis, 44, were taken into custody and charged with hindering a prosecution and tampering with evidence in relation to the disappearance of Jennifer Dulos.
The couple are being held on $500,000 bond and are scheduled to appear at Norwalk Superior Court in Connecticut on Monday, police announced Sunday morning.
Two lawyers associated with Fotis Dulos, Eugene Riccio and Michael Rose, did not immediately respond to a request for a comment Sunday.
Court records show that Jennifer Dulos and Fotis Dulos have been embroiled in a contentious divorce for two years and are locked in a custody battle involving their five children — three boys and two girls. Fotis Dulos recently claimed in a filing that their children were being kept under armed guard at their grandmother’s apartment in New York.
The New Canaan Police Department had first responded to a report of a missing person the night of May 24, after friends said Jennifer Dulos missed several appointments that day.
In the week after she went missing, the police search focused on the 300-acre area of Waveny Park, Connecticut, where her black Chevrolet Suburban was found soon after she was reported missing.
Then on Friday evening, the police redirected their efforts to Hartford, Connecticut, moving from house to house searching storm drains, backyards and trash bins for possible evidence, according to local news reports.
“We’re running a missing persons investigation as well as a criminal investigation at the same time,” said Lt. Jason Ferraro, spokesman for the New Canaan Police Department, on Friday. “As those investigations expand and get more involved, obviously we’re looking at different leads.”
The following morning, police arrived at Fotis Dulos’ home in Farmington, Connecticut. They also discovered traces of blood in Jennifer Dulos’ New Canaan home, suggesting she was the victim of a violent crime, according to The Hartford Courant.
Hours later, the police arrested Fotis Dulos and Troconis.
A spokesman for the New Canaan Police Department did not respond to requests for comment about the arrests.
On Sunday morning, more than two dozen police cars and several K-9 units arrived at a second home in Farmington connected to Fotis Dulos, according to The Courant. The home is valued at nearly $3 million on the website of his real estate company.
Fotis Dulos received a master’s degree from Columbia Business School, according to his company’s website. Troconis works in marketing and event planning, and is a former producer for ESPN in Argentina and Chile, according to her LinkedIn account.
Both Fotis Dulos and Jennifer Dulos studied at Brown University, graduating one year apart. Jennifer Dulos later moved to New York, where she received a masters in writing from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and worked in the city as a writer, according to her biography on Patch.com.
In a blog post from 2012 on Patch.com, she wrote about her life as a 26-year-old in Manhattan, and walking her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Sophie, around Washington Square Park. She wrote that she moved to Colorado in 2000 and was reunited with Fotis Dulos about five years later.
“The best part of my night now, hands down, is when I give our baby, Clea-Noelle a bath and then her bottle, in my arms,” she wrote in the post, which circulated in a Facebook group about her disappearance Sunday. “And even if we are meeting friends out for dinner, or if I am rushing to a movie with my husband, Fotis, I make sure that I do this first. It’s my passion, my joy, my connection.”
On Sunday evening, friends of Jennifer Dulos gathered at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in New Canaan for an interfaith vigil. Classical music from a string ensemble echoed through the church’s nave as a crowd of mostly women filled the pews.
New York Times