Skip to Content
National-World

Here is how the disappearance of Jennifer Dulos led to murder charges against her estranged husband

Jennifer Dulos, a mother of five, disappeared nearly eight months ago in Connecticut. On Tuesday, her estranged husband, his ex-girlfriend and a lawyer were arrested in connection with Dulos’ death.

Fotis Dulos was charged with murder, felony murder and kidnapping. His then-girlfriend, Michelle Troconis, and Kent Mawhinney, an attorney who has worked with Dulos, were charged with conspiracy to commit murder.

Dulos’ attorney said his client is innocent. Troconis’ attorney did not responded to a request for comment Tuesday. CNN was unable to identify Mawhinney’s attorney at this time.

Here are the developments that led to the recent arrests.

She dropped her children off at school and disappeared

Jennifer Dulos, 50, was last seen on May 24 driving a 2017 black Chevrolet Suburban in New Canaan, where she lived, police said. She had dropped her children off at school earlier that day. A still photo of a surveillance video showed her heading home around 8:05 a.m., according to a warrant.

Friends reported her missing after she failed to show up for appointments and they hadn’t heard from her for 10 hours.

Her body has never been found.

Her estranged husband, Fotis Dulos, has denied any connection with her disappearance.

Evidence of a physical assault and blood stains on the garage floor

Authorities found Jennifer Dulos’ Chevrolet Suburban about three miles from the house where she had lived with five children since splitting from her husband in 2017.

Investigators discovered stains on her garage floor that tested positive for human blood and evidence of attempts to clean up the scene. Investigators concluded there had been “a serious physical assault … and Jennifer Dulos was the suspected victim,” arrest warrants said.

Surveillance cameras captured someone matching Fotis Dulos’ description getting out of his truck and putting “multiple garbage bags into various trash receptacles” in the Hartford area, authorities said. Detectives recovered clothing and household goods from trash receptacles with Jennifer Dulos’ blood on them.

Fotis Dulos and his then-girlfriend are arrested

Fotis Dulos and his then-girlfriend, Michelle Troconis, were arrested June 1 and charged with tampering with or fabricating physical evidence and hindering prosecution in relation to Jennifer Dulos’ disappearance.

The two pleaded not guilty to the charges and were released on bond.

Fotis Dulos’ attorney, Norm Pattis, said his client had no motive to harm his wife.

Troconis said at the time through her attorney, Andrew Bowman, that she wanted a jury trial.

A heated custody battle before the disappearance

Jennifer and Fotis Dulos were embroiled in a custody battle since 2017. She had accused him of having revenge fantasies, exhibiting “irrational, unsafe, bullying, threatening and controlling behavior,” according to her custody petition. She said he owned a gun and said he would abscond with their five children to another country, court papers show.

Before her disappearance, she had told officials she was afraid of him and feared filing for divorce would enrage him, court documents indicate.

Fotis Dulos has denied making any threats or bullying her, according to court filings.

More clues: A ‘bloodlike substance’ with her DNA, ‘alibi scripts’

A “bloodlike substance” containing Jennifer Dulos’ DNA was found in the vehicle her estranged husband had access to on May 24, the day she disappeared, according to warrant.

Troconis told police Fotis Dulos had the truck cleaned days later “because the body of Jennifer at some point was in there,” the warrant says.

In September, Fotis Dulos was charged with tampering with or fabricating physical evidence. Troconis turned herself in on a warrant for the same charge.

They were released after posting bond. Dulos pleaded not guilty.

The vehicle Dulos was driving belonged to one of his employees, the warrant says. It alleged Dulos parked the borrowed truck, then went to his estranged wife’s home to wait for her return on the morning she disappeared. He then drove her body away from her home in her car and put her body in the borrowed truck, the warrant says.

Dulos’ employee told police Dulos urged him to replace the seats, and Dulos was “pushy” and angry that the seats had not been changed.

Dulos told the employee he was worried hair evidence might be in the vehicle because he had hugged his estranged wife days before her disappearance.

The employee said he switched the seats but kept them without telling Dulos, in case police needed them, the warrant says.

Police later found the bloodlike substance with Jennifer Dulos’ DNA on one of the seats.

Police discovered what detectives called “alibi scripts” in the business office of Fotis Dulos’ company, the warrant said. Police found handwritten notes by Dulos and Troconis listing activities and phone calls on the day Jennifer Dulos disappeared and the day after that turned out to be inaccurate, including “alibi witnesses who were later determined to be false,” the warrant stated.

Fotis Dulos is arrested on murder charges

Fotis Dulos and Troconis were arrested on Tuesday, along with Mawhinney, the attorney, authorities said.

Dulos was charged with murder, felony murder and kidnapping, Connecticut State Trooper Christine Jeltema told reporters.

Troconis and Mawhinney were each charged with conspiracy to commit murder, Jeltema said.

The court set Dulos’ bail at $6 million and Troconis and Mawhinney’s bail each at $2 million, Jeltema said.

The three are expected to be arraigned on Wednesday.

Pattis told reporters Tuesday he was encouraged by his initial review of the arrest warrants. The state lacks evidence against his client, he said.

“We categorically deny that Mr. Dulos had any involvement in the disappearance of his wife, Jennifer, and we defy the state to prove that she is in fact dead,” Pattis said.

Bloodlike stains found on Jennifer Dulos’ SUV parked in her garage

Authorities say there are several indications Jennifer Dulos is dead, including no reported activity on her cell phone since May 24, the day she was reported missing, according to newly released warrants for Fotis Dulos and Troconis.

Jennifer Dulos likely suffered a combination of “traumatic, blunt-force injuries,” according to the state’s chief medical examiner.

Authorities found a bloodlike stain in three places on her vehicle, which was parked in her garage in New Canaan, where the alleged crime took place, court documents show. Her DNA was found in the stains and on the garage wall and door.

Financial records show Fotis Dulus faced about $7 million in debt, including roughly $4.5 million in various lines of credit, according to court documents.

CNN