The murder of Jennifer Dulos

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On Friday, May 24, 2019, mother of five, 50-year-old Jennifer Dulos, vanished near her New Canaan, Connecticut home after dropping her kids off at New Canaan Country School on Frogtown Road at 8 am, just around the corner from her home. Knowing that Jennifer would have never willingly abandoned her family, she was reported missing at 7 pm that evening by worried family & friends. 

At the time of her disappearance, Jennifer was in the midst of a custody battle with her estranged husband, Fotis Dulos. The two got married in 2004 & filed for divorce in 2017. That same year, Jennifer filed for an emergency order for full custody of their five children, though court documents indicate that this was denied. Jennifer & Fotis were granted shared custody of the children until the end of their divorce proceedings. She was filing for full-custody with the claim that her husband’s behavior was “irrational, unsafe, bullying, threatening & controlling.” She said that she was afraid for her safety as well as the physical safety & emotional well-being of her children. She felt that Fotis was very capable of hurting her children in order to punish her, saying that when he feels he has been wronged, he is dangerous & ruthless & that he must always win at all costs. During the divorce, his business was suffering & he was spending a lot of money on lawyer fees.

Jennifer said that in May of 2017, Fotis had threatened to kidnap their children if she didn’t agree to his divorce terms in the settlement & he’d even purchased a gun that year. She claimed that on June 3, 2017, Fotis became enraged & out of control when there was a conflict in scheduling activities for the children that Saturday. She said that she tried to leave the room & go upstairs & he followed her, going into the bedroom that she had entered, closing the door & blocking her exit. She said that while she was trapped, he verbally attacked her & physically intimidated her. She said that she was fearful of her husband & knew that with her filing for divorce, he would try to retaliate & harm her in some way. 

Fotis claimed that he had legally purchased the gun in 2017 for home security. He denied that he had bullied, controlled or threatened his wife in any way. He also denied threatening to kidnap the children. Fotis claimed that Jennifer called him a psychopath & told the children that their father didn’t care about them. He said that she also told the children that she would make sure the divorce took two and a half years & that she could have the Mafia break their father’s legs with a baseball bat. 

In a December of 2017 email to Jennifer, Fotis wrote, “Our children deserve a mother AND a father, not one or the other. And if we cannot live together, we can at least get along for their sake & benefit.”

The police believe that Jennifer vanished on Friday, May 24, 2019 after dropping her children off at school; she was believed to be driving her 2017 black Chevy Suburban at the time. She was last seen at about 8:05 am. Later that morning, she was scheduled for a dentist appointment in New York City, but never made it. When Jennifer failed to pick her children up from school & no one was able to reach her, family & friends knew that something must be terribly wrong. The children were sent to stay with Jennifer’s mom, Gloria Faber in New York City. Less than 24-hours later, a Silver Alert was issued for Jennifer.

When police searched her New Canaan rental home the night that Jennifer went missing, they found traces of blood on the garage floor as well as blood spatter. It appeared that the garage had been cleaned before detectives discovered it; there were swirling marks of blood on the other cars. When her car was found in Waveny Park, a little over an hour later, the tailgate was backed up against a tree, the car was not running, the keys weren’t in the ignition & the gearshift was in reverse. The car was locked & the passenger side showed a blood-like substance. There was no activity from Jennifer’s cell phone or banking cards after she had gone missing.

Connecticut State Police searched the area around the 300 acres in the park where her car was found, handing out fliers, utilizing canines & conducting aerial surveys of the nearby woods & ponds. Because of the evidence found at Jennifer’s home, police believe that Jennifer suffered “serious physical assault” & the case was officially being treated as a homicide. Police spoke with nine joggers who run at the same time each morning & they said that they’d never seen Jennifer in the park before. She was also not registered for any Waveny permits with the Parks & Recreation Department. Many areas were searched for Jennifer beyond the park, including homes associated with her  estranged husband’s building company, to a property in Westchester County in New York that is owned by Jennifer’s family as well as a garbage processing plant in Hartford where the city’s trash is brought.

Jennifer’s children continued to stay with Gloria in New York City. Gloria was also in the midst of a legal battle with Fotis; according to court documents, Gloria & her late husband’s estate accused Fotis of failing to repay $1.7 million in loans that the luxury home builder used to purchase & build custom homes as part of his business. 

Fotis was placed at the top of the list of suspects; he initially handed over his phone to police voluntarily & then quickly asked for it back. After obtaining a warrant, police took his phone back & discovered he had been on Albany Avenue in Hartford around 7 pm the night that Jennifer went missing on May 24th. As police searched local CCTV footage of this area, they found surveillance video of Fotis discarding black garbage bags & other items along Albany Avenue in various garbage cans on the evening that Jennifer disappeared. Detectives searched the garbage cans in the area & found clothing matching Jennifer’s size, ponchos & zip ties. The items were covered in blood & matched Jennifer’s DNA which confirmed what they suspected, this was a homicide. During the search through surveillance video, police saw a woman with Fotis inside his truck; she was later identified as his girlfriend, Michelle Troconis. 

Michelle met Fotis in 2016 & it was around this time that his 12-year-marriage was beginning to crumble, the couple living separate lives in the huge house that Fotis had built in Farmington, Connecticut. Jennifer was more introverted & very focused on her day-to-day life of caring for her home & her five children, all under the age of thirteen. She was born into wealth & privilege in New York City, the daughter of a father who made a fortune in finance. Fotis was born in Turkey & raised in Athens, Greece; he was an extrovert who thrived on the excitement of athletic competition. Jennifer was a playwright & co-founder of a theater group & put her passions into loving & writing about her children. She was described as a runner, someone with a keen mind, an infectious giggle, though prioritized her children to the top of her list. Her world revolved around her children. Fotis was an international water skiing champion & hoped that his children would follow in his footsteps. 

Jennifer met Fotis while at Brown University in 1986 in Providence, Rhode Island though it wasn’t until 17 years later when they met again at the Aspen Airport that things became romantic. Fotis was an ambitious real estate developer & builder of luxury custom homes, the owner of Foregroup. After marrying in 2004, the couple settled in Farmington, Connecticut, an upscale area outside of Hartford. They were described as very happy; they had their first set of twins within two years of being married, their second set of twins two years later & their daughter was born two years later. They moved into the mansion at 4 Jefferson Crossing, a magnificent home that Fotis built to raise their children together. The home was more than 10,000 square feet with a current Zestimate of $2,370,600.

Jennfer began to feel that Fotis was becoming obsessed with water skiing & the idea of their children following suit; she felt he was pushing them too hard which was affecting their wellbeing, the kids competing internationally at six and seven-years-old. Jennifer tried to shield & protect her children & this led to fighting & animosity between the couple. Despite the appearance of their family; good looks, beautiful children, a massive home, their relationship was falling apart.

While traveling for competitions, Fotis met Michelle who was also a talented athlete & it didn’t take long for the pair to fall in love.  They met in Miami & as they fell madly in love, Fotis was still married & living with Jennifer. Michelle reported for ESPN in South America for snow skiing & she loved to ride horses. She was a single mother from Venezuela & also a competitive water skier.  

Michelle’s family claim that she never intended to be the “other woman” & at the time that she met Fotis, she was under the impression that he was actively separated & seeking divorce. She didn’t know the truth until long after she uprooted her life & moved with her daughter to Connecticut. In March of 2017, Jennifer learned of her husband’s affair & left him, moving herself & her children 70 miles away to a rental home in New Canaan, Connecticut. Meanwhile, Fotis moved Michelle & her daughter into the home he once shared with his family. The relationship between Fotis & Jennifer quickly turned bitter & a contentious divorce & custody battle began. When a court order denied his girlfriend to have any contact with his children, he soon lost shared physical custody.

On June 1st, the day after police observed the CCTV of Fotis & Michelle on Albany Avenue, the couple was arrested & charged with tampering with evidence & hindering prosecution. They were unable to place Fotis in New Canaan on the day Jennifer went missing; his phone placed him at home at that time & Michelle confirmed this. She said that they were at the house 70 miles away; they’d woken up, had sex & taken a shower together which gave him an alibi. They were both released on a $500k bond each, given ankle monitoring bracelets to wear & forbidden to interact with one another. Michelle moved into her own apartment & Fotis stayed in his mansion.

Seven months later, on January 7, 2020, Michelle was arrested & her charge was upgraded to conspiracy to commit murder. Fotis was arrested the same day & his charge was upgraded to murder. Fotis’ attorney was focusing on the “no body, no murder” fact, hypothesizing on a Gone Girl situation, referring to the 2014 movie starring Ben Afflect; he became the prime suspect in his wife’s disappearance. His attorney also theorized the idea of a revenge suicide. Kent Mawhinney, a friend & occasional lawyer for Fotis, was also charged with conspiracy to commit murder; he was at Fotis’ house the morning that Jennifer went missing & was very suspicious & vague during the investigation. All three pleaded not guilty. After spending nine months in jail, Kent was released on a reduced bail, turning on Michelle & implicating her to save himself, according to Michelle’s attorney. 

Chief State’s Attorney, Richard Collangelo believes that in the early morning hours of May 24, 2018, Fotis set out in a red Tacoma pickup truck owned by one of his workers; he took the truck without his permission & left a house owned by his company at 5:35 am, driving 75 miles south to New Canaan, seen on various points of surveillance video. The truck was later seen near the park where Jennifer’s SUV was ultimately found at 7:57 am from a passing school bus; it was parked on a country road near Waveny Park. From this location they believe that Fotis took a bike with him & biked the three miles to Jennifer’s house & waited for her to return home from dropping the children off at school. When she entered the garage, he violently assaulted her. He left his DNA on the doorknob to the mudroom as well as on a faucet in the house mixed with Jennifer’s DNA. After about two hours spent cleaning up the crime scene, he then placed her body in the back of her SUV & drove it to where it was found 3.5 miles away, only about 100 feet from where the Tacoma had been parked. 

Bicycle could be seen in the back of the Tacoma

They cannot account for the next 40 minutes, but it’s possible he was transferring incriminating materials from Jennifer’s SUV to the Tacoma. The body was likely transferred in the Tacoma pickup & taken north. The Tacoma then returned to 80 Mountain Spring Road at 12:22 pm & Fotis then met Michelle for lunch around 1 pm that day. After lunch, they spent the afternoon cleaning 80 Mountain Spring Road; according to Michelle, Fotis was getting ready to show the home to a client. Instead, the detective believes that they were likely bagging up evidence to later discard into the trash cans on Albany Avenue. Five days later they took the Tacoma to be detailed; it was immaculate & when investigators got to it. The employee who owned the truck told investigators that Fotis had instructed him to replace the seats in the 20 year-old work truck. Little did Fotis realize, the seats had been replaced but the employee hadn’t thrown out the old ones & when contacted by investigators, he handed them over. On the passenger seat, there was blood which matched Jennifer’s DNA. The murder weapon was never found & Fotis could not be positively identified as the driver of the Tacoma in any of the surveillance videos. 

While under house arrest, awaiting trial after posting a $6 million bond, on Tuesday, January 28, 2020, police found Fotis unresponsive at his Farmington, Connecticut home. He was found unresponsive inside his running car in the garage; they performed CPR for more than ten minutes & tried to shock him back to life using a defibrillator. He was found during a welfare check after he failed to show up for a bond hearing that could have sent him back to prison. Fotis had been able to post his $6 million bond with the financial help of Anna Curry, a North Carolina woman, who contributed $147,000 in cash & promised to pay another $272,000 more in 15 installments on the 9th of every month until April 2021. She was a former co-worker of his & said to be his “best friend.” She signed a $3 million promissory note; one of the two indemnitors listed on the documents. The other was a high profile private investigator from Fairfield County. Anna Curry had been at Fotis’ home that morning & left to run some errands before 10:30 am; when she returned just before noon, she found police on the scene, attempting resuscitation. 

Fotis was transferred to UConn Health for treatment & later flown to Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx where he was treated in the intensive care unit in critical condition. On Thursday, January 30, 2020, two days later, he was taken off life support & pronounced dead from carbon monoxide poisoning from suicide. He left a note behind, saying, “I refuse to spend even an hour more in jail for something I have nothing to do with.” He also wrote that both Michelle & Kent had no involvement as well. Many believe that his suicide was a clear admission of guilt, knowing he was likely going back to prison after the bond hearing. After his death, Michelle Troconis was left in a precarious legal position, facing the potential of years in prison for the death of a woman she never met & whose body has never been found. 

Michelle’s family spoke with “48 Hours” in Connecticut & said that when Michelle moved with her young daughter to be with Fotis, she was told that he was going through an amicable divorce. They claim that had she known the truth, she would have never uprooted her life. Michelle’s younger sister, Claudia, insists that Michelle had nothing to do with Jennifer’s death, saying that she has never been a violent or vengeful person, pointing out that she herself is a mother. When the surveillance video was discussed that showed Michelle in Fotis’ truck as he discarded items in the trash along Albany Avenue, Michelle’s attorney, Jon Schoenhorn, says that he knows of no evidence that Michelle knew that Jennifer was missing at that point, not knowing what was inside the black bags. Fotis has invited Michelle to go with him to Starbucks that day & told her he had to take care of a few items on the way. The whole time he was driving, Michelle said she was distracted, chatting with friends & family on her phone. In the CCTV footage, Michelle can be seen opening the passenger side door of the truck & leaning out. When asked what she was doing, her attorney said that she had tried to dispose of her gum out the window but when it got stuck on her finger, she wiped her hand on the sidewalk.

Schoenhorn says there is no physical evidence that was recovered that indicates that Michelle was involved in Jennifer’s murder. Connecticut investigators claim that she has changed her story over the course of three interviews & they believe that she knows more than what she’s claiming. By the third interview with police, Michelle said that she lied when saying that Fotis was with her at home on the morning that Jennifer disappeared. Now she said that he was not there & had left his cell phone behind. 

Michelle is currently out on bond as she awaits trial & as of Thursday, April 6, 2023, she no longer has to wear her GPS ankle monitor. She’s currently living in Colorado with her teenage daughter & is due back in court later in April.

Investigators remain hopeful that they will one day find Jennifer’s remains. The children are being raised in New York City by Jennifer’s mother. Friends & family feel that the children embody Jennifer’s spirit since she did such a great job instilling them with love. Jennifer left behind a legacy in words with her writing, “Breathe. Be alive. Slow down. Enjoy life. Do less, but live more fully. Healthy, calm, joyful, and at peace.”


  1. Stamford Advocate: Blood found in Jennifer Dulos’ home, search shifts to N.Y.
  2. CBS News: Fotis Dulos, man accused of killing his wife, is found unresponsive at his Connecticut home
  3. Hartford Courant: North Carolina woman paid $147,000 to help Fotis Dulos post his bond
  4. CBS News: Fotis Dulos, man charged with killing his wife, is pronounced dead, attorney says
  5. Zillow: 4 Jefferson Xing
  6. CBS News: 48 Hours: Video shows “the other woman” in missing mom Jennifer Dulos case being grilled by cops
  7. CBS News: Michelle Troconis, charged in connection with disappearance of Connecticut mother Jennifer Dulos, allowed to remove ankle monitor

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