Husband to appear on murder charges in missing mother case
Stamford, Conn. – Fotis Dulos, the estranged husband of a missing mother of five, faces arraignment Wednesday on charges that he killed her amid contentious divorce and child custody proceedings.
Dulos is charged with murder and kidnapping in the apparent death of Jennifer Dulos, of New Canaan, who has not been seen since she dropped her children off at school May 24. State police arrested him Tuesday and ordered him held in lieu of $6 million bail.
Also due for arraignments in Stamford Superior Court are two other defendants – Fotis Dulos’ former girlfriend, Michelle Troconis, and his friend, attorney Kent Mawhinney, who are each charged with conspiracy to commit murder. Police accuse them of helping Fotis Dulos cover up the killing, including by drawing up a bogus alibi for him.
In the new arrest warrants released Tuesday, police revealed allegations that Mawhinney’s cellphone pinged a tower May 31 near the Windsor Rod & Gun Club, where hunters had found a hole dug into the ground May 18.
The hunters said that the hole was big enough for a human body, and that inside the hole was a tarp and unopened bags of lime, which officials say can be used to cover the smell of dead bodies.
The hole was found covered up in June. Police later dug up the site but did not find anything. Mawhinney’s cellphone also pinged a tower near the club in March, police said.
Police declined to take any questions from the media at a news conference Tuesday about the arrests.
It had been known for months that Fotis Dulos was the prime suspect in his wife’s disappearance. He and Troconis were charged with evidence tampering and hindering prosecution in June.
According to arrest warrants, Fotis Dulos was recorded on surveillance video in Hartford, with Troconis riding with him in a pickup truck, disposing of items including clothing and plastic zip ties that were later found to have Jennifer Dulos’ DNA on them.
Citing surveillance videos from highways and homes, police alleged Fotis Dulos, 52, of Farmington, drove to New Canaan in a Toyota pickup truck the morning of May 24 and parked at a site where Jennifer Dulos’ SUV was later found abandoned. They say there is also video of someone riding a bicycle toward Jennifer Dulos’ home that morning.
State police have said they believe Fotis Dulos lay in wait for Jennifer Dulos to return home from dropping off the children, attacked her in her garage and drove off with her body in Jennifer Dulos’ SUV.
The Toyota pickup was later seen driving back toward Farmington with what appeared to be a bicycle rim visible in the back, an arrest warrant said.
Norm Pattis, an attorney for Fotis Dulos, said he was not surprised by the arrests but does not believe his client will be convicted. Dulos has denied any involvement in his wife’s disappearance.
“What these charges tell us is the state has evidence and doesn’t know what to make of it,” he said. “And what it intends to do is throw as much against the wall and let the jury decide what happened. Our position is that’s not good enough for Fotis Dulos.”
Messages seeking comment were left with Troconis’ oh, attorney and the office of Mawhinney.
The body of Jennifer Dulos has not been found. According to arrest warrants, a medical examiner determined she likely died by “some combination of traumatic, blunt-force injuries such as a bludgeoning/beating, and/or sharp-force injuries such as a stabbing/slashing.”
The examiner said she likely could not have survived such an attack without receiving medical treatment, citing bloodstains at her home, apparent cleanup efforts and blood spatter analysis.
Jennifer Dulos’ mother has custody of the children.