Fotis Dulos, the estranged husband of missing New Canaan mother Jennifer Dulos, appeared in court Thursday and pleaded not guilty to a second tampering with evidence charge.
What to Know
- Jennifer Dulos, a mother of five from New Canaan, vanished May 24 after dropping her children off at school.
- Her estranged husband and his girlfriend have pleaded not guilty to charges of evidence tampering and hindering prosecution.
- Police responding to the initial missing persons call found blood in Jennifer’s home.
Fotis Dulos was arrested on Sept. 4 and appeared in court Thursday.
Just after the court appearance Dulos’ attorney, Norm Pattis, spoke outside the court and said his client pleaded not guilty.
“Here is our message to the state of Connecticut, Mr. Dulos is not guilty. When you’re ready to try a case by appropriate evidentiary standards in a court of law, you’ll know where to find it. We’ve got three words for the state – bring it on,” Pattis said.
Jennifer Dulos has been missing since May 24. She was in the midst of a divorce and custody battle with Fotis at the time of her disappearance.
Background on the Missing Mom Jennifer Dulos Case
For weeks, the search for Jennifer has spanned the state and authorities sifted through trash at a facility Hartford after bags containing Dulos’ blood were found.
Law enforcement officials said surveillance video captured two people resembling her estranged husband, Fotis Dulos and his girlfriend, Michelle Troconis, throwing out bags on Albany Avenue in Hartford that ended up in the trash plant.
Fotis and Troconis were both charged with hindering prosecution and tampering with evidence. They have both pleaded not guilty.
Court documents in the case say investigators who responded to the missing person report in May found blood splatter and evidence of cleanup attempts at Jennifer’s New Canaan home.
New Details From the Fotis Dulos Arrest Warrant
The new arrest warrant states that Troconis admitted to police that she and Fotis were on Albany Avenue that day, but claimed she did not know what Fotis was doing. Troconis also told investigators that several handwritten notes found in Fotis’ business office that outlined his activities on May 24 and May 25 included information that was inaccurate and described events that had never happened.
In a follow-up interview, Troconis told police she did not see Fotis when she woke up on May 24 and did not see him until sometime after noon that day.
On Sept. 5, Troconis was arrested and charged with tampering of physical evidence.
The court documents also include multiple surveillance photos of a red Toyota Tacoma, which Fotis had access to, in New Canaan on the morning Jennifer disappeared. According to the warrant, the vehicle is owned by one of Fotis’ employees, who regularly leaves the vehicle at Fotis’ Farmington home and takes another vehicle for his work.
That employee told police that when he returned from work on May 24 to pick up his truck he couldn’t initially find the keys. He said the following week, Fotis took the car to be interior detailed and washed without his knowledge.
The employee went on to tell police that Fotis kept pushing him to replace the seats in the truck. When he questioned his employer, Fotis said he was concerned Jennifer’s hair may be in the car because he hugged her when he saw her on Mother’s Day.
The employee was cleared as a suspect.
During an interview with Troconis on Aug. 13, detectives asked her why she thought Dulos had the Tacoma washed. Troconis answered "Well obviously - all the evidence says because - you showed me the picture of the blood in the door - it's because the body of Jennifer at some point was in there," according to the arrest affidavit.
In the court documents, investigators state they believe Fotis laid in wait for Jennifer at her home on May 24, committed "the crime" and cleaned it up, then returned to Farmington.
When police searched the Toyota, they found a “bloodlike substance” that was a DNA match to Jennifer, according to the court documents.
Fotis has only been charged with tampering with evidence and hindering prosecution.
Jennifer and Fotis’ five children have been staying with Jennifer’s mother, who was granted temporary custody by the court.
Gag Order Issued
On Thursday afternoon, police said a judge has issued a gag order in the Jennifer Dulos case.
How to Submit Tips in Jennifer Dulos Case
Police urge everyone with information regarding Jennifer’s disappearance to contact them. In addition to the tip line, 203-594-3544, tips and information regarding Jennifer’s disappearance can be sent to FindJenniferDulos@newcanaanct.gov and submitted anonymously at www.FindJenniferDulos.com.