Fotis Dulos arrested for murder of estranged wife Jennifer Dulos
Fotis Dulos, the estranged husband of missing Connecticut mom Jennifer Dulos, was charged Tuesday with capital murder, murder and kidnapping, police said.
Fotis Dulos’ girlfriend, Michelle Troconis, also was arrested, charged with conspiracy to commit murder, authorities said. Kent Mahwinney, an attorney and a friend of Fotis Dulos, was charged with conspiracy to commit murder.
Jennifer Dulos, who shared five children with her estranged husband, went missing May 24 amid the former couple’s contentious custody battle.
Her body has never been found.
Fotis Dulos was taken into custody by Connecticut State Police at his home on Tuesday.
His defense attorney, Norm Pattis, told ABC News, “Mr. Dulos has contended he’s not guilty.”
State police alleged in court papers that Fotis Dulos was “lying in wait” for Jennifer Dulos at her New Canaan home and a violent assault took place in the garage, where bloodstains were found.
Authorities allege Jennifer Dulos was killed at her home on May 24 between 8:05 a.m. and 10:25 a.m — after she returned from taking her children to school, according to an arrest warrant.
A bike consistent with Fotis Dulos’ bike was recovered from trash, the documents said. On the day of Jennifer Dulos’ disappearance, surveillance footage showed someone in a hoodie riding a similar bike toward Jennifer Dulos’ home.
Police claim Fotis Dulos bound Jennifer Dulos with zip ties, put her inside her own car and cleaned the garage, according to an arrest warrant.
Surveillance video shows Jennifer Dulos’ car leaving home at 10:25 a.m., according to an arrest warrant.
Based on the presence of Jennifer Dulos’ blood at her home, “the evidence of efforts to clean the scene,” and items recovered in Hartford that linked back to her, the chief medical examiner in Connecticut concluded she “sustained an injury, or multiple injuries,” which he considers “‘non-survivable’ without medical intervention,” according to Troconis’ arrest warrant.
The medical examiner categorized the incident as “homicide of violence” that would “likely include some combination of traumatic, blunt-force injuries such as a bludgeoning/beating, and/or sharp-force injuries such as a stabbing/slashing,” according to Troconis’ arrest warrant.
Zip ties were recovered by investigators with her blood on them, according to an arrest warrant.
Carrie Luft, a spokeswoman for Jennifer Dulos’ family, said in a statement Tuesday: “Although we are relieved that the wait for these charges is over, for us there is no sense of closure. Nothing can bring Jennifer back. We miss her every day and will forever mourn her loss.”
“Above all we thank the Connecticut State Police and the New Canaan Police Department, as well as the assisting local departments, for their tireless commitment and diligent, painstaking work that have led to these arrests,” Luft added. “We believe the arrest warrants will speak for themselves, and we ask that you please respect our privacy during this time.”
Jennifer Dulos’ mother has custody of the Dulos’ five children.
After Fotis Dulos’ arrest Tuesday, his attorney told ABC News, “There are reasons to suspect Mr. Dulos, but I’d be stunned if the state could obtain a conviction on this evidence.”
Pattis said he “expected to see a lot more forensic testing of what took place in the garage” and “was startled by its absence.”
“The blood splatter suggests there was a violent struggle in the garage, and maybe there was. That doesn’t mean that Fotis was involved in it,” Pattis said. “We just don’t know.”
“After months of listening to suspicions and overheated, melodramatic suggestions, [what] I learned from reading the warrant [is] there’s no ‘there’ there,” Pattis said. “What we’re left with is a circumstantial whodunit, withholds large enough to drive a truck through, and it’ll be our job at trial to drive that truck.”
Fotis Dulos and his girlfriend initially were arrested in June and charged with hindering prosecution and tampering with or fabricating physical evidence in connection with Jennifer Dulos’ disappearance. The couple was arrested again months later on another charge of tampering with evidence.
Clothes and sponges with her blood were found in trash cans where surveillance cameras captured a man appearing to be Fotis Dulos disposing of garbage bags, according to arrest warrants. A woman in the man’s car fit the description of Troconis, according to the documents.
In an interview, “Troconis described how Dulos threw at least one garbage bag into a dumpster,” according to an arrest warrant.
Surveillance video also showed Fotis Dulos putting altered Connecticut license plates into a storm drain, according to an arrest warrant.
In each of Troconis’ interviews, she offered conflicting answers, including whether Fotis Dulos was home when she woke up on May 24, when she had lunch with him that day, and what he was wearing during lunch, according to an arrest warrant.
In her second interview, according to the arrest warrant, “When Troconis was told that Dulos had killed his wife and involved her [Troconis] in the clean-up, she responded by saying, ‘That’s like even worse. I hate him because of that. … I was cleaning the house. I wasn’t cleaning Jennifer.'”
Troconis told police Fotis Dulos was meeting with Mawhinney, an attorney and friend, at the time Jennifer Dulos disappeared, according to an arrest warrant.
Mahwinney, who was charged with conspiracy to commit murder, gave conflicting statements to police about his contact with Fotis Dulos, according to an arrest warrant.
Fotis Dulos’ bond was set at $6 million after Tuesday’s arrest. He will be arraigned on Wednesday, Pattis told reporters. Troconis’ bond was set at $2 million.