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Search for Missing Connecticut Mother of 5 Turns to Hartford Trash Facility

Jennifer Dulos, a 50-year-old mother of five, disappeared on May 24 after dropping her kids off at school

What to Know

  • Jennifer Dulos, a 50-year-old mother of five, disappeared on Friday, May 24, after dropping her kids off at school; she remains missing
  • Her estranged husband and his girlfriend face charges in connection with her disappearance; neither entered a plea at arraignment Monday
  • FBI evidence teams flocked to Waveny Park again Monday; it's near the spot where the missing woman's abandoned black SUV was found

Connecticut State Police extended their search for a missing suburban mother of five to a trash facility in Hartford Tuesday, where they were looking for evidence connected to the case of 50-year-old Jennifer Dulos, New Canaan Police confirmed to NBC Connecticut. 

New Canaan Police tell NBC Connecticut that Connecticut State Police were searching the Materials Innovation and Recycling Authority trash facility as part of their investigation. 

A source with knowledge of the investigation said State Police contacted MIRA, located on Maxim Road in Hartford, Friday about a garbage truck that made a collection in the capital city on May 24, the day Jennifer Dulos was reported missing. The garbage was processed on the Tuesday after Memorial Day, according to the source. The source said MIRA directed State Solice to an area in the facility where the shredded garbage would be located. 

State Police initially arrived at MIRA on Monday with 20 troopers and a number of K9s; they were continuing their search for a second day Tuesday.

The development comes as the search for Jennifer Dulos stretches well into its second week -- and a day after arrest affidavits for her estranged husband and his girlfriend revealed disturbing details in the ongoing mystery.

Jennifer Dulos' blood was found on various items tossed in different locations, and blood spatter was discovered in her home, the documents obtained by News 4 Monday said. The items allegedly left by Fotis Dulos, who has been in the midst of a contentious divorce and child custody battle with Jennifer Dulos, were found inside five trash bins and tested positive for his wife's blood.

The 50-year-old mother vanished more than a week ago, on May 24, after dropping her kids off at school. Her estranged husband and his girlfriend, Michelle Troconis, face evidence- and prosecution hindering-related charges in her disappearance, though prosecutors have said they anticipate additional criminal charges as the investigation progresses. Neither defendant entered a plea Monday, and their lawyers have not spoken publicly on the investigation. 

A judge Monday kept bail for both Fotis Dulos and Troconis at $500,000, despite attorneys' efforts to get that amount reduced. Troconis posted bail, while Dulos remained behind bars. Both defendants agreed to GPS monitoring and to surrender their passports under the bail conditions. 

Jennifer Dulos was reported missing around 7:30 p.m. that late May evening after she missed several appointments. She had last been seen dropping her children off at school that morning. Jennifer Dulos' 2017 Chevrolet Suburban was later found abandoned on Lapham Road, near Waveny Park, a site flooded by FBI investigators with evidence markers for at least the third time on Monday. 

Also on Monday, the New Canaan Police Department sent out a community-wide email asking for any surveillance video from homes or businesses that may show traffic. According to the email, "This investigation has established a timeline of when Jennifer went missing, and as part of this timeline, we seek video surveillance from homes or businesses that have cameras, which capture vehicular activity on roadways."

At this point, it appears any possible crime scene may be traced back to her home. According to the arrest affidavits, when police responded to Jennifer Dulos' residence after she was reported missing, they found several stains on the garage floor and a vehicle parked in the garage with what appeared to be bloodstains as well as evidence of attempts to clean the crime scene.

Surveillance video captured a man matching the appearance of Fotis Dulos placing garbage bags "at over 30 locations along a more than four-mile stretch of Albany Avenue" in Hartford, with Draconis in a pickup truck. 

Clothing and other items with "blood-like" stains were recovered inside the garbage bags and were submitted to the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection Forensic Laboratory and were found to contain Jennifer Dulos' blood, according to the affidavit. Still, there has been no sign of the mother.

Investigators have also searched a home in Farmington where Jennifer Dulos and her children, who range in age from 8 to 13 and include two sets of twins, had lived until about two years ago. She and the children left the Farmington home, about 60 miles north of New Canaan near Hartford, around the time Jennifer Dulos filed for divorce in June 2017. Fotis Dulos has continued to live at the Farmington house.

Court documents filed in the divorce case say Jennifer Dulos feared Fotis Dulos would harm her in some way in retaliation for her filing for divorce. Jennifer Dulos had primary custody of the children, with their father getting to see them every other weekend. 

Fotis Dulos was asking the divorce case judge to grant him custody of the children. In a motion filed last week, he said the five children were staying with Jennifer Dulos' 85-year-old mother on the Upper East Side under protection by an armed bodyguard. Court documents show the children's grandmother filed for custody of them on Monday.

A hearing in the divorce case is scheduled for Wednesday. 

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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