Search intensifies for missing Connecticut mom
Jennifer Dulos’ children’s school released a statement of support for the family; Laura Ingle reports.
NEW CANAAN, Conn. — Detectives in Connecticut are facing another deadline in the mysterious disappearance of Jennifer Dulos – a mother of five who vanished from her New Canaan home 15 days ago.
On Tuesday, her estranged husband Fotis Dulos, 51, and his live-in girlfriend Michelle Troconis, 44, are due back in at Stamford Superior Court. Prosecutors had strongly suggested more charges were on the way but so far, it's all been lip service.
Both Fotis Dulos and Troconis have been charged in connection to Jennifer Dulos' disappearance after evidence of blood and attempts to clean it up were found in her house and then littered around town. Since the arrest and arraignment, authorities have been playing their cards very close to their vests.
The disappearance of the 50-year-old mother living in the affluent Connecticut town amid a nasty divorce and a contentious custody battle has captured national headlines in recent days as the frantic search for evidence – and Dulos – continues. She was last seen 15 days ago dropping off her five children at their private school in New Canaan, Conn.
POLICE INVESTIGATING JENNIFER DULOS DISAPPEARANCE RETURN TO SIFT THROUGH 'MOUNTAINS OF TRASH' AT HARTFORD FACILITY
Since then, local, state and federal authorities have been working "around the clock" to piece together what might have happened to Dulos.
The search has crisscrossed through multiple towns, at times focusing on the Farmington estate she shared with her estranged husband to a football field-sized trash site in Hartford. On Friday, investigators returned to her former Jefferson Crossing home.
Fotis Dulos is arraigned on charges of tampering with or fabricating physical evidence and first-degree hindering prosecution at Norwalk Superior Court in Norwalk, Conn. Monday, June 3, 2019.
As the search continues – at times with cadaver dogs and K-9 units – Fotis Dulos has been behind bars at a correctional facility in Bridgeport, unable to post his $500,000 bond. He was charged last Saturday with tampering with evidence and hindering prosecution.
DETECTIVES SPEAK WITH GIRLFRIEND OF MISSING CONNECTICUT MOTHER'S ESTRANGED HUSBAND: AUTHORITIES
Since then, Fotis Dulos has been dumped by his divorce attorney, his live-in girlfriend posted bail, is out of lockup and spent three hours on Thursday talking with detectives at her lawyer Andrew Bowman's Westport office.
While it's not known whether Troconis made a deal with prosecutors, an NBC Connecticut camera crew got footage Friday of a silver BMW with the same license plate as the one Troconis was seen in with her attorney after she posted bond on Monday.
The vehicle Friday stayed in the Farmington neighborhood for about an hour. NBC Connecticut's drone also got a look at the Farmington property where Jennifer and Fotis Dulos lived before she moved out and Troconis moved in. Friday's footage also showed Connecticut State Police vehicles parked on the property and people searching the yard and a wooded area behind the home.
Michelle C. Troconis is arraigned on charges of tampering with or fabricating physical evidence and first-degree hindering prosecution at Norwalk Superior Court in Norwalk, Conn. Monday, June 3, 2019.
(Tyler Sizemore/Hearst Connecticut Media via AP, Pool)
In a bizarre aside, it was also revealed on Friday that Marisela Arreaza, Troconis' mother who was by her side when she spoke to detectives Thursday and when she left the courthouse Monday, has had her own share of run-ins with the law. Arreaza was indicted in 2016 on federal Medicaid fraud charges, the Stamford Advocate reported.
Arreaza and a co-defendant paid at least one person to become a Medicaid patient at her behavioral health practice, D&D Psych, which provided counseling to children in Miami-Dade County, the paper reported. The case was eventually dismissed in December after Arreaza and her co-defendant were approved for a pretrial diversion program.
JENNIFER DULOS SEARCH GETS NEW FOCUS; ESTRANGED HUSBAND, GIRLFRIEND DUE IN COURT NEXT WEEK
If that weren't strange enough, nearly nine years before Jennifer Dulos went missing, Fotis Dulos' mother, Kleopatra Dulos, died in a freak accident after being run over by a Land Rover driven by the couple's 24-year-old nanny in Avon, Conn.
Despite all of the twists and turns, those in her hometown say they just want her back, safe and sound.
Connecticut State Police said Thursday they have received 225 tips regarding the disappearance of Dulos. They've also received nearly 70 responses to a call from the New Canaan police department asking residents to provide video surveillance from their homes and businesses.
Neighbors at night remember Dulos by lighting candles for Dulos and her five children. Some leave them on their porch while others line them in their driveways or near their mailboxes.
Jonathan White and his wife Marcia, who live in the next town over but had come to shop on Elm Street in New Canaan, said while things were looking grim, they were holding out hope for a miracle.
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"She's one of us," resident James Mann told Fox News Thursday night. "We'll keep looking for her. This town isn't going to rest until we know what happened to her."
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