Fotis Dulos, arrested and charged Tuesday with the kidnapping and murder of his estranged wife Jennifer Farber Dulos, was released from jail Thursday after posting a $6 million bond following hours of legal wrangling and assurances to insurance companies that he wouldn’t flee while awaiting trial.
Dulos, 52, of Farmington, left Stamford Superior Court at about 12:50 p.m., clad in a blue blazer, gray T-shirt and jeans. Dulos made no comment and answered no questions as he left the building.
At a hearing Wednesday at the Stamford courthouse, Judge John Blawie ordered Dulos placed on house arrest if he was able to post the bond. He was also ordered to wear a GPS monitor that tracks his whereabouts.
Blawie also issued a protective order barring Dulos from contacting the couple’s five children and Gloria Farber, their grandmother, and Lauren Almeida, the children’s nanny.
One of his attorneys, Kevin Smith, said Dulos is “relieved to be going home” and the delay was because of issues with paperwork.
"So much for the ridiculous theory that he killed Jennifer because he needed the money,” Norm Pattis, another of Dulos’ attorneys, said.
Michelle Troconis, 44, Dulos’ former girlfriend who was charged with conspiracy to commit murder, also was released from jail Thursday after posting bond, and was taken to Stamford Hospital, The Advocate in Stamford reported.
The newspaper, quoting Stamford Police Capt. Diedrich Hohn, said Troconis went to the hospital for an evaluation because she was not examined at the York Correctional Institution for women in Niantic, where she was jailed Wednesday.
A nursing supervisor said late Thursday that Troconis’ name was not on a patient list.
At Wednesday’s court hearing, Blawie agreed to lower Troconis’ $2 million bond to $1.5 million after her attorney, Andrew Bowman, argued that she had never missed earlier court appearances tied to her previous arrest in connection with Farber Dulos’ disappearance. Blawie said he took into account “some levels of cooperation” Troconis is having with state police.
Dulos’ friend, lawyer Kent Mawhinney, 54, of South Windsor, also charged with conspiracy to commit murder, remained jailed late Thursday at the Bridgeport Correctional Center on $2 million bond.
Dulos was arrested Tuesday at his Farmington home and charged with felony murder, murder and kidnapping. A $6 million bond was set and he spent two nights at the Garner Correctional Institution in Newtown.
It’s the third time Dulos has been arrested since Farber Dulos disappeared on May 24 after dropping the couple’s five children off at their private school in New Canaan.
In a 35-page arrest warrant affidavit, state police said they found Dulos’ DNA on the inside handle of the doorknob to the mudroom of Farber Dulos’ New Canaan home. Dulos had been at the home two nights prior to her disappearance as part of a scheduled visitation with his children but witnesses said he never entered the house that night.
Almeida also said when she first entered the house at 11:30 a.m. on May 24, she noticed an unopened granola bar on the kitchen counter and that there were only two rolls of paper towels left in the pantry. She found that odd because just the day before, she had put a 12-pack of paper towels there.
“I sat there and wondered what had happened last night that they used 10 rolls of towel rolls,” Almeida said.
Almeida and another friend reported Dulos missing around 7 p.m. that night. About the same time that police were discovering blood splatters on a car, floor and wall inside the garage, Dulos can be seen on surveillance video dumping garbage bags into trash cans along Albany Avenue in Hartford.
Police later said they found Farber Dulos’ DNA on 20 items recovered in Hartford, including zip ties with her blood on them in a garbage bag and a Vineyard Vines shirt she was wearing the day she disappeared.
They also found a garden glove with Dulos’ DNA inside of it, his fingerprint on a piece of tape inside a bloody garbage bag and the DNA of both of them, plus Troconi’ DNA on the outside top of another garbage bag.
Troconis denied knowing what Dulos was throwing away on Albany Avenue saying she was on her phone with a friend and wasn’t paying attention when they drove to a “creepy area,” the affidavit says.
While state police haven’t found the body of Farber Dulos, they do have Chief State Medical Examiner James Gill saying that Farber Dulos‘ injuries in the garage were “non-survivable” based on the amount of blood recovered in the garage.
State police believe that Dulos drove away from Farber Dulos’ New Canaan home in her black Chevy Suburban with her body inside the vehicle. Police said he then returned to Lapham Road, left her car there with the lights on and the car in reverse and drove back to Mountain Spring Road in a Toyota truck belonging to employee Pawel Gumienny, who works at Dulos’ home building company, Fore Group Inc., court records said.
Gumienny eventually turned the front seats of that Toyota over to state police who found Farber Dulos’ blood on them, court records said. Gumienny also might have helped state police solve one of the mysteries of their theory of the crime — how did Dulos get from Waveny Park where the red Toyota truck was parked on May 24 to Farber Dulos’ home nearly three miles away?
Gumienny told them about Dulos’ childhood bicycle that was made in France that he had kept all these years. Dulos had asked Gumienny in the past to fix the bike which he said was black or brown and that it was always hanging in the garage at the Jefferson Crossing house, which Troconis also confirmed, court records said.
State police showed Gumienny and Troconis photos of the inside of the garage taken on June 3 during a search of the house for evidence. The bicycle is not in the photos. Troconis told police that she remembered seeing the bike at the Dulos’ Mountain Spring home on May 24, court records said.
In surveillance video taken on May 24 on Weed Street in New Canaan, state police said a man dressed in a hooded sweatshirt and dark clothing can be seen riding a bicycle similar to Dulos’ bike toward Farber Dulos’ home, according to court records.
Detectives then found photographs taken in 2008 at a previous house where Farber Dulos and Dulos lived which showed a dark-colored, vintage bike consistent with a French-made Mercier bicycle in some of them. When police searched through the trash on Albany Avenue, detectives found a logo belonging to a vintage Mercier brand bicycle, court records said.