Blood-soaked sponges, clothing found in search for missing Connecticut mom

WABC logo
Monday, June 3, 2019
Blood-soaked sponges, clothing found in search for missing mom
Lucy Yang has the latest developments in the case of a missing Connecticut mother.

NEW CANAAN, Connecticut -- The estranged husband of a missing Connecticut woman and his girlfriend have been arrested in connection with the investigation into her disappearance, and authorities said they have recovered clothing and sponges soaked with her blood.

Jennifer Dulos, 50, was last seen driving a 2017 black Chevrolet Suburban shortly after dropping her kids off at school in their wealthy suburb on Friday, May 24. The vehicle was later found abandoned in Waveny Park, which has been the main focus of the search.

Now, 51-year-old Fotis Dulos and 44-year-old Michelle Troconis, both of Farmington, Connecticut, are charged with tampering with or fabricating physical evidence and hindering prosecution.

Jennifer Dulos had been renting a home in New Canaan and was in the midst of a bitter two-year divorce and custody battle with her estranged husband, and she had said in court papers that she was scared for her life.

"I am terrified for my family's safety," she said in the court papers. "Especially since discovering the gun, as my husband has a history of controlling, volatile, and delusional behavior."

Fotis Dulos has told police that he and his wife only had "quiet" arguments, and he denied any threatening behavior.

He and Troconis were taken into custody in Avon, Connecticut, and transported to New Canaan Police Headquarters. They appeared in court Monday and are being held on $500,000 bond.

51-year-old Fotis Dulos (right) and 44-year-old Michelle Troconis (left) were arraigned Monday in the disappearance of Dulos' estranged wife, Jennifer.

Jennifer Dulos was the suspected victim of a "serious physical assault" that occurred at the home of her estranged husband, according to arrest warrants obtained Monday after the court appearance.

Clothing and sponges soaked with Jennifer Dulos' blood were found in trash cans in Hartford, where the documents said surveillance cameras captured a male appearing to be Fotis Dulos wearing a baseball cap and disposing of garbage bags in more than 30 different receptacles along a four mile stretch of Albany Avenue.

At one point, the man believed to be Fotis Dulos was seen inserting an item inside a storm drain grate.

Police say additional charges are expected as the investigation progresses. Investigators have yet to recover Jennifer Dulos' cell phone.

Fotis Dulos appeared in court in an orange jumpsuit, while Troconis wore black jeans, a navy and white striped shirt and sneakers. Both were shackled.

Troconis was able to post bail and left the courthouse with a towel over her head, ignoring questions. She must surrender her passport and will be monitored by GPS.

The judge told Troconis not to have any contact with Dulos or the victim's family.

Traces of blood were found in the home that Jennifer Dulos was renting before she went missing May 24, according to a report, and the search zone has expanded to Hartford.

"We miss her beyond measure - her five young children, her family, her friends, colleagues, and neighbors, as well as countless people who have never met her but who have responded to the spirit of grace and kindness that Jennifer embodies," family spokesperson Carrie Luft said in a statement Friday. "The public response has been astounding. The support and love, the concern for her children, and the community efforts to help locate Jennifer have kept us going."

Jennifer Dulos and the children left their Farmington home, about 60 miles north of New Canaan near Hartford, around the time she filed for divorce in June 2017.

New Canaan police called on the community to provide any surveillance video that could produce more evidence in the case.

Investigators are asking anyone who had contact with Dulos on May 24 or has information regarding her disappearance to call the New Canaan Police Tip Line at 203-594-3544.