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Fotis Dulos, estranged husband of missing mom, charged with felony murder

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Fotis Dulos, estranged husband of missing mom, charged with felony murder
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A man at the center of his estranged wife's disappearance was charged with murder on Tuesday.

Fotis Dulos is accused of killing Jennifer Farber Dulos of New Canaan. She vanished more than seven months ago, on May 24.

State police officially charged him with murder, felony murder and kidnapping on Tuesday. His bond was set at $6 million.

Michelle Troconis, Fotis Dulos' former girlfriend, was also arrested for conspiracy to commit murder, according to troopers.

Her bond was set at $2 million.

Fotis Dulos' civil attorney, Kent Mawhinney, who represented him in a case over the Farber estate, is also charged with conspiracy to commit murder. He'll be held on a $2 million bond.

Mawhinney is also an old friend of Fotis Dulos. More about their relationship here.

State police said they couldn't answer questions from the media during a news conference due to a gag order that had been placed on the case.

Fotis Dulos was taken into custody by members of the Connecticut State Police at his home in Farmington Tuesday morning.

He is scheduled to face a judge on Wednesday.

Fotis Dulos' attorney, Norm Pattis, admitted he had not seen the new warrant when he spoke with Channel 3 on Tuesday morning.

He addressed the media later in the evening to discuss the charges, saying he's ready to prepare his defense. Watch his news conference here.

After word of the murder charge, family and friends of Jennifer Farber Dulos released a statement on Tuesday afternoon: 

"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," said Carrie Luft, spokesperson." 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. We believe the arrest warrants will speak for themselves, and we ask that you please respect our privacy during this time."

New Canaan police posted a simple tweet following news of the arrest: "Justice."

J. Paul Vance, Channel 3's law enforcement analyst provided some insight on the arrest, which can be seen here.

Vance said the new warrant would provide all the facts as to what lead to the upgraded charge of murder.

Legal analyst Ryan McGuigan broke down the difference between the murder charge and the conspiracy to commit murder charge. See his analysis here.

While Jennifer is still nowhere to be found, state police believe they have enough evidence to charge Dulos with murder.

Jennifer Dulos was reported missing on May 24. She was last seen dropping her five children off at school in New Canaan.

Fotis Dulos and Jennifer Dulos were in the middle of divorce proceedings at the time, court documents revealed.

Before the latest arrest, Fotis and Troconis were arrested twice since Jennifer Dulos' disappearance.

Fotis Dulos was initially charged with a couple of counts of tampering with evidence and one count of hindering prosecution.

His girlfriend, Michelle Troconis, was also previously charged with two counts of tampering with evidence and a single count of hindering prosecution.

The first warrant, issued back in June, detailed how Fotis and Troconis allegedly dumped trash bags with Jennifer Dulos' blood on them in more than 30 dumpsters throughout Hartford. Surveillance cameras recorded what appeared to be the couple.

The trash bags were brought to a trash facility, which prompted a weeks-long search there.

A new warrant said surveillance video showed someone in a hood and dark clothing riding a distinctive bike, one similar to a bike Fotis had, in the area of Jennifer's New Canaan home the morning she disappeared.

In the second warrant, which was issued in early September, state police said they believed Fotis Dulos was "lying in wait" at Jennifer Dulos' New Canaan home the day she went missing.

It also said that through surveillance footage, state police tracked Fotis Dulos in a red Toyota truck that was owned by an employee of his company, the Fore Group. They said Fotis Dulos used the truck on the day his estranged wife disappeared.

Investigators said that he had the truck detailed at an Avon car wash before returning it to his employee and then asked the employee to sell it.

They said they found Jennifer Dulos' DNA from a blood-like substance on the seats when they took it in for evidence.

According to police, Fotis allegedly attacked Jennifer inside her home and garage, using zip ties to tie her up. Two of the zip ties found contained a blood-like substance and tested positive for Jennifer's DNA.

Investigators allege Dulos then cleaned up the bloody scene with items he found in the garage like camping pillows, an old towel and a bucket, which the family nanny later reported missing, along with rolls of paper towels taken from the kitchen.

Within the second warrant for Troconis, which was also issued in September, investigators pressed her for the reason Fotis Dulos had the truck detailed. She told police that it was because "the body of Jennifer" was in there at some point.

Despite the mounting evidence presented by the state, Fotis Dulos has maintained his innocence.

After a court appearances in the fall, he repeatedly, but briefly, told the media that he loves his children and thinks about them all the time.

Since his arrests, his legal team sought access to Jennifer Dulos' medical records.

Fotis Dulos' attorney Norm Pattis said he believed Jennifer Dulos received medical services in July, confirming their claim that she is still alive.

Pattis has filed several motions to get the records.

On Tuesday, Pattis said based on how prosecutors and police were handling this case so far, he figured it was not a matter of if Fotis would be charged, but when.

However, he said he has an issue with these three charges.

"If you think you have a theory of the case, pick one, but don’t give a jury a multiple choice test and say we don’t care which boxes you check, it doesn’t matter as long as you check one. We are approaching impatience and disgustedness at this point," Pattis said.

Pattis said he’s glad the charges are finally here and he can start preparing this defense, saying “now we get to address the truth and we like our odds.”

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