NEW CANAAN, Conn. (CBSNewYork) – Police have constructed a narrative in which a husband deeply in debt to his mother-in-law allegedly orchestrated foul play against his estranged wife, then got his girlfriend to help clean up after a bloody assault. His defense attorney says the 50-year-old mother of five was no crime victim, but instead planned her own disappearance like in a Hollywood thriller.
Here’s a timeline of what we know so far in the case of Jennifer Dulos.
May 24, 2019: Leaving her rental home in New Canaan, Conn., 50-year-old mom Jennifer Dulos drives her 2017 black Chevrolet Suburban to drop off her five children at school. Later that night, investigators find the empty car near Waveny Park. A missing person case is opened.
Late May 2019: Police expand their request for help in locating Jennifer.
May 31, 2019: The search becomes a homicide case after blood is discovered in the course of the investigation. Details come to light that Dulos was in the middle of a divorce and custody battle with her estranged husband, Fotis Dulos. According to court documents, she said “I am afraid of my husband… I know that filing for divorce will enrage him. I know he will retaliate by trying to harm me in some way.”
She also accused him of infidelity, cruelty and threatening to kidnap their children and bring them to Greece.
Fotis Dulos denies the allegations and files a letter claiming he wants to see his children but they are under armed guard at the Fifth Avenue apartment of their maternal grandmother.
June 2, 2019: Police arrest estranged husband Fotis Dulos and his girlfriend Michelle Troconis on charges of tampering with physical evidence and hindering the prosecution. According to the arrest warrant, police believe Jennifer Dulos was attacked at her New Canaan home, revealing that investigators found, “a large quantity of physical evidence,” including bloodstains and attempts to clean the crime scene.
Around the same time, CBS News reports that Fotis Dulos owed his mother-in-law in excess of $2.5 million.
June 9, 2019: Fotis Dulos hires a new lawyer to represent him, Norm Pattis, who also represents controversial internet host Alex Jones.
June 11, 2019: Fotis Dulos enters a not guilty plea and asks for an immediate trial. He posts a $500,000 bond and left court wearing a GPS tracking device on his ankle. Attorney Pattis says his client an alibi for almost the entire day she disappeared.
The police search for Jennifer continues to expand to multiple locations, including a water skiing pond in Avon, Conn..
June 26, 2019: Fotis’ defense attorney Pattis tells reporters they believed the disappearance may have been a case of “revenge suicide” where Jennifer Dulos had the “imagination, means and motive to disappear” like in the book “Gone Girl,” a story in which a wife fakes her own disappearance and frames her husband as a prime suspect. Police say that theory “makes no sense” and evidence points to her being “the victim of a violent attack in her New Canaan home.”
June 28, 2019: Girlfriend Michelle Troconis gets a judge to issue an order preventing her co-defendant, Fotis Dulos, and his attorneys from contacting her.
July 31, 2019: A report by the Hartford Courant said a bloody shirt and a bra belonging to Jennifer Dulos were found along with some cleaning supplies in a trash can in Hartford, Conn.
August 9, 2019: Fotis Dulos’ attorney Pattis requests the court release Jennifer Dulos’ medical records, saying they will show the missing mom had $14,000 in medical testing in the three months prior to her disappearance. The defense claims this evidence would support their claim Jennifer staged her own disappearance. Pattis also claims Jennifer took an undisclosed amount of money from Fotis’ accounts prior to her disappearance.
Sept. 4, 2019: Fotis Dulos is arrested on new charges of tampering with evidence, and a day later similar charges are filed against girlfriend Michelle Troconis. The warrant details how a “bloodlike substance” was found in a truck Dulos had access to the day his wife vanished. Five days later, investigators say Dulos had the vehicle cleaned.
Web Extra: Read The Full Arrest Warrant (.pdf)
In the warrant, police wrote “the crime and the cleanup are believed to have occurred between 8:05 a.m. and 10:25 a.m.”
Sept. 27, 2019: Friends and family celerate Jennifer Dulos’ 51st birthday. The search for her or her body continues.
Sept. 30, 2019: Despite a gag order in place in the case, Fotis Dulos gives an interview about his missing wife’s “serious psychological problems that I didn’t immediately understand” to a news outlet in Greece.
Dec. 3, 2019: Fotis Dulos is called back to court in a separate civil court case regarding a lawsuit by Jennifer Dulos’s mother, Gloria Farber, filed back in January 2018 – nearly 18 months before the New Canaan woman went missing. Farber claims Fotis owes her family nearly $2.5 million in loans that helped finance his home building business and his personal mansion. Attorney Pattis counters that the money was a gift.