It's been nearly a year since New Canaan mother Jennifer Dulos disappeared. She dropped her kids off at school on May 24, 2019, and hasn't been seen since.
Her estranged husband, Fotis Dulos, was charged with murder before his death earlier this year. His ex-girlfriend Michelle Troconis and friend Kent Mawhinney are still charged in the case.
NBC Connecticut spoke with Troconis' new attorney about where her case stands and where it goes from here.
“Not one step has advanced in this case,” said Troconis' attorney, Jon Schoenhorn.
Her second attorney, now three months on the job, says even before COVID-19 shuttered Connecticut’s courts, his demand for discovery had fallen flat.
“I’m told it’s locked up in Stamford Superior Court in the state’s attorney office, but from my perspective, that doesn’t mean that there are copies that the police don’t have,” Schoenhorn said.
At the center of her three arrest warrants and numerous search warrants, state police describe recorded interviews with Troconis, DNA evidence, surveillance video and information downloaded from her cellphone. Schoenhorn says there’s likely hundreds of additional witness statements and investigative police reports.
“I believe that her statements in the police interrogation were twisted in a way that’s not what she either meant or, in fact, said. I just don’t know,” Schoenhorn said.
It’s the way police initially met with his client the night before her first arrest last June that’s got him particularly concerned. According to court documents, investigators secured a warrant to obtain full-body photographs of Troconis, but Schoenhorn says his client was strip-searched, down to her undergarments. The photographs taken, he says, are nowhere to be found and have never been entered into evidence.
“I believe it was done to place her in a vulnerable situation, to interrogate somebody naked and to make them feel small to soften them up for interrogation,” Schoenhorn said.
State police told us this week it is standard operating procedure in murder and serious injury cases to search the body, gather DNA and take photographs. Investigators look for any scars, marks or bruises; swab for DNA and gather fingernail clippings.
While police haven’t released the results from that search warrant, they say Troconis’ DNA was found on three of the trash bags left along Albany Avenue by Fotis Dulos that contained Jennifer Dulos' blood. Schoenhorn says he’s only been given limited images of the 30 stops police describe and wants to know exactly what kind and how much of Troconis’ DNA was found on the bags.
“When you asked the question, 'What is its relevance to the case?' I submit, none,” Schoenhorn said.
Troconis has maintained her innocence in Jennifer Dulos' disappearance but her attorney says she may now regret her move to Connecticut for Dulos.
“Because of the things that she’s learned about him and his conduct since all this started,” Schoenhorn said.
While Shoenhorn denied our request to speak with Troconis, he says she’s given NBC Connecticut permission to use posts from her newly created Instagram account, including images of her horse therapy work as well as a donation of more than 5,000 pairs of protective footwear to doctors and nurses facing the COVID-19 crisis.
There’s no word when Troconis will be back in court, but her attorney vows to continue to fight to build her case.
“Give me the evidence, why are you holding it back?” Schoenhorn said.