Two years ago, a mother of five in the middle of a bitter custody battle disappeared after she dropped her children off at school.
With her estranged husband dead, the search for Jennifer Dulos continued Monday. Fotis Dulos, accused of killing his wife, denied any involvement before his early 2020 death. He insisted he was innocent in a note found in his home, according to a court motion.
The Connecticut mom filed for divorce in 2017 after 13 years of marriage. She and her husband were scheduled to appear in court shortly after she went missing on May 24, 2019.
“I am afraid that my husband will harm our children to punish me,” Dulos wrote in the divorce filing. “My husband has threatened to kidnap our children.”
Fotis Dulos claimed his wife alienated their kids from him.
As police investigated, they found traces of blood inside Jennifer’s New Canaan home that appeared to have been cleaned up. Her empty black Chevy suburban was also quickly found after her disappearance.
In June of 2019, police arrested Dulos and Michelle C. Troconis, his 44-year-old girlfriend, on charges of tampering with or fabricating physical evidence. They were also charged with hindering the prosecution.
Police also charged Kent Mawhinney, a friend and former civil attorney for Fotis Dulos, in the case.
In the year’s since her disappearance, Dulos’ friends and family have remembered her as a thoughtful, reliable woman and a devoted mom.
Relatives, one year after the mom went missing, said they remain haunted by the “brutality and inhumanity” of her death.
Ahead of the one-year anniversary, Troconis, who pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to commit murder, said she knew nothing about what happened to the mom of five.
“Whether or not Fotis Dulos was capable of doing the things the police and prosecutors accused him of doing, I do not know,” she said. “But based on what I have learned in the last year, I think it was a mistake to have trusted him.”
A Connecticut probate judge in October of 2020 said she needed more time before deciding whether to declare Dulos legally dead.
The cases against both Troconis and Mawhinney are in pretrial status, according to Paul Ferencek, state’s attorney for the Judicial District of Stamford/Norwalk.
“Like all other pending criminal cases throughout the state, their cases were delayed to some extent due to the pandemic, but during the past year, numerous pretrial motions have been filed and heard before the court, both remotely and in person,” Ferencek told PIX11 sister station WTNH. “As both cases work their way through the court process, the Stamford State’s Attorney’s Office remains focused on prosecuting those responsible for the murder of Jennifer Farber Dulos and seeking justice for her family, as well as working with law enforcement on any and all leads regarding the location of Jennifer’s body.”