What happened to Jennifer Dulos? Tuesday marks 3 years since New Canaan’s mother disappeared

NEW CANAAN — This week will mark three years since the disappearance of Jennifer Duloswho disappeared after dropping her five children off at school.

Although the 50-year-old mother was never found, investigators said she was presumed dead based on evidence of a serious assault that occurred in the garage of her New Canaan home in May 2019.

At the time of the disappearance, Jennifer and Fotis Dulos were embroiled in a heated two-year divorce and custody dispute.

Fotis Dulos died by suicide in January 2020 while facing murder, kidnapping and other charges in this case.

His former girlfriend, Michelle Troconis, has pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to commit murder, tampering with evidence and obstructing prosecution in connection with the disappearance of Jennifer Dulos.

Kent Mawhinney, a longtime friend and former attorney for Fotis Dulos, has pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to commit murder in the case.

Troconis and Mawhinney are free on bail pending trial.

The case that attracted international attention was the subject of a TV movie, “Gone Mom: The Disappearance of Jennifer Dulos.”

Saturday night, CBS’ “48 Hours” featured, “What does the other woman know?” The disappearance of Jennifer Dulos. The episode, which originally aired in February 2021, focused on Troconis and included an interview with his family.

As Tuesday marks the third anniversary of the disappearance, here are six things to know about the case:

When did Jennifer Dulos disappear?

Jennifer Dulos has been reported missing around 7 p.m. on May 24, 2019after friends raised concerns that she had missed appointments that day in New York, police said.

She was last seen dropping off her five children at New Canaan Country School on Frogtown Road, around the corner from her home, around 8 a.m. that day, according to police.

What did the police find at Jennifer Dulos’ home?

After collecting the missing persons report, police attended the home of Jennifer Dulos on Welles Lane in New Canaan and found evidence of a serious assault and traces of blood in the garage, according to court records.

Police said they then found his black Chevrolet Suburban abandoned on Lapham Road near Waverny Park in New Canaan.

Where the police searched for Jennifer Dulos

Searches were conducted quickly for days throughout Waveny Parknear where Jennifer Dulos’ SUV was found.

The search then expanded to New York City at a Westchester County property owned by the family of Jennifer Dulos. From there, the search turned to central Connecticut, including part of Hartford’s North End, where evidence was uncovered that included the blood and DNA of Jennifer Dulos, according to arrest warrants in the case.

Investigators then searched for weeks in a garbage treatment plant in Hartford where the city’s garbage is brought. They also searched a water ski pond in Avon which the Dulos family visited frequently.

The search continued in central Connecticut with investigators visiting houses associated with her ex-husband’s construction businessFront Group, and a 1,200 hectare park and reservoir in West Hartford.

State police continued to search for Jennifer Dulos, recently visited a Farmington home associated with her ex-husband’s business in January 2021.

Who was arrested in the disappearance of Jennifer Dulos?

Eight days after the disappearance of Jennifer Dulos, the police arrested Fotis Dulos and Troconis for tampering with evidence and obstructing prosecution.

Arrest warrant affidavits for the couple show that State Police investigators spotted the two on surveillance video stopping at dumpsters in North Hartford around the same time Jennifer Dulos was been reported missing.

State Police investigators uncovered some of the bags they claim were thrown away by Fotis Dulos with items ranging from kitchen sponges to clothing containing Jennifer Dulos’ blood and DNA, the affidavits read.

Investigators first reviewed surveillance footage in the area after finding cellphones belonging to Fotis Dulos and Troconis were there at the time, according to the affidavit.

Fotis Dulos and Troconis were again charged with tampering with evidence in September 2019. In warrants filed for that arrest, investigators said they believed Fotis Dulos was “on the lookout” for Jennifer Dulos at her New Canaan home the morning of her disappearance.

Investigators also detailed how a blood-like substance with DNA from Jennifer Dulos was found in a vehicle belonging to one of the Fotis Dulos employees, according to the affidavits. Police said they believe Fotis Dulos used the truck the day his wife went missing. The arrest warrants included photos taken by traffic cameras showing the van traveling to and from New Canaan that day.

January 7, 2020, state police arrested Fotis Dulos, Troconis and Mawhinney. Fotis Dulos was charged with murder, felony murder and kidnapping, while Troconis and Mawhinney were each charged with conspiracy to commit murder.

Mawhiney, who was arrested at gunpointwas charged at the time with helping Fotis Dulos and Troconis establish an alibi on the morning of the disappearance, according to arrest records.

In their arrest warrant, police said Mawhinney was also associated with an East Granby shooting club where hunters found what they described as a “human grave” in the days leading up to Jennifer Dulos’ disappearance. However, state police said they then searched and dug up the area and found no evidence that Jennifer Dulos was ever there.

In the arrest warrant affidavits for Fotis Dulos and Troconis, investigators wrote that they provided the state’s chief medical examiner, Dr. James Gill, with evidence from Jennifer Dulos’ home. Gill determined that she had sustained an injury that she could not survive without immediate medical attention. Investigators wrote in the warrant that they found no evidence that she received medical attention after her disappearance.

What happened before the disappearance?

In the years leading up to the disappearance, Jennifer and Fotis Dulos were locked in a contentious case divorce and custody battle on their five children. The couple had been married for 13 years.

In a divorce filing, Jennifer Dulos said she knew it would infuriate her husband. She went on to say that her husband would “retaliate by trying to hurt me in some way.”

In an affidavit filed in the divorce case, Jennifer Dulos said her husband exhibited “irrational, dangerous, intimidating, threatening and controlling behavior.”

“I fear for my safety, the physical safety and the emotional well-being of our minor children,” Jennifer Dulos said, according to court documents.

Following the disappearance, a probate judge awarded custody of the five children to Jennifer Dulos’ mother, Gloria Farber. A family court judge handling the divorce later awarded Farber custody of the children.

Recent developments in the case

The cases against Troconis and Mawhinney continue to go through the courts, but neither appears close to resolution.

Troconis will appear for a remote hearing on June 7, while Mawhinney’s case waits to be scheduled for trial.

Prosecutors told Mawhinney could testify against Troconis if his case is judged.

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