What to Know
- Police searched a body of water outside Hartford in connection with the investigation into the disappearance of Jennifer Dulos, police said
- Cops and dive teams could be seen combing through the water at the pond on Old Farms Road in Avon
- Jennifer Dulos, a 50-year-old mother of five young children, has been missing for 19 days
Police searched a body of water outside Hartford in connection with the investigation into the disappearance of Jennifer Dulos, according to New Canaan police.
Cops and dive teams could be seen combing through the water at the pond on Old Farms Road in Avon, where people frequently water ski. It was not confirmed if the Dulos family ever went waterskiing at this particular body of water, but the sport was a point of contention between Jennifer and Fotis Dulos, according to court papers.
Court filings revealed Jennifer contended Fotis bullied and pressured their kids into participating, and went into fits of rage if they refused. Fotis denied these claims during the divorce proceedings, acccording to court paperwork.
Police K9s were deployed at the water's edge and in nearby woods. The search concluded by 6 p.m. Wednesday.
Investigators recently revealed they found Fotis Dulos’ DNA at Jennifer’s New Canaan home, along with Jennifer’s blood. Defense attorney Norman Pattis said Wednesday the amount of DNA was inflated, and the amount of blood understated.
"The most powerful evidence that I’ve heard that would yield the conclusion that she’s dead is a comment the state’s attorney made to me," said Pattis, "and that is the evidence of a cleanup in the garage was so significant that any person that lost that much blood would have been seriously physically injured."
Pattis also called Fotis Dulos' alleged actions with the bags he was seen throwing out "deeply troubling" — if it can be proven it was him and that he was throwing away evidence. The lawyer also insisted the is no case for murder to be had at this time.
"Without a body, or any explanation as to the manner and means of death — assuming she’s dead — we don’t know how she died. So I don’t think there is a murder case to be had here," Pattis said.
Jennifer Dulos, a 50-year-old mother of five young children, has been missing for 19 days.
She was last seen while dropping her children off at school in New Canaan the morning of Friday, May 24. She was reported missing later that night after she missed several appointments and her friends became concerned when they could not reach her, according to court documents.
When police searched Jennifer’s home on Welles Lane in New Canaan, they found human blood on the floor of her garage and suspected she was the victim of a serious assault, court documents state.
In the last two and a half weeks, New Canaan police said they have received 475 tips from all over the United States and even from Australia and 80 videos after putting out a request for surveillance from people in town.
“Jennifer’s family, friends, and above all her children are living in limbo — missing her embrace, her lilting laugh, her bedtime backrubs, her gentle strength. Please know that the children are safe and loved and supported in every respect. But more than anything in the world, they long to know where their mother is,” a statement Jennifer Dulos’ family and friends released Tuesday says.
‘Someone has information about Jennifer’s disappearance or her whereabouts. The New Canaan Police Department has created a website, FindJenniferDulos.com, and a dedicated email address, FindJenniferDulos@newcanaanct.gov. If you have any information at all, no matter how small, please email or call the New Canaan Police tip line at (203) 594-3544,” the statement goes on to day.
Jennifer Dulos’ estranged husband, Fotis Dulos, 51, and his 44-year-old girlfriend, Michelle Troconis, have both been arrested in connection with her disappearance and pleaded not guilty Tuesday to evidence tampering and hindering prosecution.
Fotis Dulos had been in police custody since his arrest on June 1 but was released after posting bond and turning over his passport. He has been ordered to wear a GPS-monitored ankle bracelet.
Troconis was released on bond after the court appearance a week earlier and ordered to wear a GPS-monitored ankle bracelet.
The prosecutor in the case against Fotis Dulos said the state has new evidence against him. According to prosecutors, his DNA was found mixed with Jennifer Dulos' blood on the kitchen faucet of her New Canaan home.
Norm Pattis, the well-known attorney representing Fotis Dulos, countered this new evidence, saying his client was at Jennifer’s home the Wednesday before she disappeared. The state’s attorney objected, saying witnesses report he was only in the backyard, not in the house.
Pattis said Dulos can account for his whereabouts for most of the day his estranged wife went missing. He said in court that Dulos voluntary handed over his cell phone to investigators but that the state refused to give it back.
The judge in Stamford Superior Court on Tuesday kept Fotis Dulos' bond set at $500,000. The state's attorney wanted the bond number set at $850,000 while Dulos' attorney requested the bond be lowered to $100,000.
“We deny the charges. We don’t know where Mr. Dulos’ ex-wife is. We’re resolute and determined to try this case and we believe fully that our client will be exonerated,” Pattis said outside court Tuesday. “I would ask everyone to put aside the easy narrative here that an angry ex-spouse took matters into his own hands as a result of a custody dispute. That didn’t happen.”
Following his client's release on bond, Pattis sent the following statement:
“I am not sure what the delay was in posting the bond. We were retained over the weekend and were able to assemble a bond package in short order. Obviously, we’re happy to see him head home. We are also looking forward to the forthcoming trial. Mr. Dulos had no motive to kill Jennifer. A recent court-ordered recommendation was that Mr. Fotis share custody 50/50 with Ms. Fotis. We will soon address how he is best able to resume his relationship with his children.”
Jennifer Dulos had lived in Farmington prior to filing for divorce, then moved to New Canaan.
Jennifer Dulos' mother, Gloria Farber, has filed for custody of her grandchildren and Fotis Dulos appeared in family court Tuesday, hours after pleading not guilty to charges connected to the disappearance.
Fotis was asked to take the stand during the custody hearing but chose not to. The judge hearing the case has not issued a ruling.
Andrew Bowman, Troconis' attorney, had some strong words outside court Tuesday about some media reports.
"Although I generally don't comment outside of the court proceedings, I am deeply disappointed and disturbed to read how some of you, and I repeat some of you, have been, in my opinion, unfair and inaccurate in your reporting," Bowman said. "I don't need to remind you that Michelle Troconis is presumed innocent and when you put inaccurate information in the electronic and print media, it prejudices her right to a fair trial. I assume that none of us want to do that so I would appreciate it if some of you could verify the reporting that you put in the paper."
Fotis is due back in court on Aug. 2. Michelle Troconis is due back in court on July 18.
Jennifer Dulos moved from Farmington to New Canaan after filing for divorce and police have been searching places in several locations across the state, including in Hartford, Farmington and New Canaan looking for evidence related to her disappearance.
Among the locations state police have been focusing is at a trash plant in Hartford.
City surveillance cameras captured a man who police said matched the appearance of Fotis Dulos throwing away bags of garbage along Albany Avenue in Hartford the day Jennifer Dulos disappeared.
A source tells NBC Connecticut that troopers are specifically looking for evidence that might have been picked up by a garbage truck and shredded inside the facility days after Jennifer Dulos disappeared.
NBC Connecticut drone footage taken on Friday in Farmington showed police walking out of the woods and through the backyard of Fotis Dulos’ home on Jefferson Crossing.
After police spent around an hour at the home, NBC Connecticut captured video of a woman resembling Troconis leave the property in a silver BMW with a man who appeared to be her attorney, Andrew Bowman, behind the wheel.
The vehicle matched the one that Troconis was seen leaving in after a court appearance last Monday. NBC News has confirmed that Troconis and her attorney met with investigators last week.
Pattis' law firm released a statement on Saturday saying in part, “I caution the world at large that things are rarely as they appear early on in a sensationalized investigation like this one. The rush to judgment stops now as does the conviction by innuendo. If necessary, we’ll let a jury decide what happened here."