The husband of missing Connecticut mom Jennifer Dulos is accused of “lying in wait” for his estranged wife before her presumed murder and transporting her body in her Suburban, according to police. Yet he told Dateline NBC that he thinks she’s still alive.
Fotis Dulos, 51, of Farmington, sat down with Dateline NBC at his sprawling, $4.35 million home before he was arrested on Wednesday – for a second time – on a charge of tampering with or fabricating physical evidence in connection with the disappearance of his wife, who hasn’t been seen since May 24.
Fotis was released on a $500,000 bond that same day and will return to court on Sept. 12. He has not yet entered a plea for the new charge.
The luxury home developer was arrested after his girlfriend, Michelle Troconis, 44, who was arrested on the same charge on Thursday, allegedly gave police incriminating information about both of them in connection to Jennifer’s disappearance, according to arrest warrants released by the Connecticut State Police.
The warrants state that Jennifer’s blood was allegedly found in a truck Fotis drove the day Jennifer vanished.
Asked about the truck, Troconis allegedly told investigators, “You showed me the picture of the blood in the door – it’s because the body of Jennifer at some point was in there.”
Troconis was released on a $100,000 bond and has not yet entered a plea. She will appear in court Sept. 18.
Back in June, the two were arrested on the same charges after a man matching Fotis’ description was allegedly seen on surveillance video on the night Jennifer was reported missing, placing “multiple garage bags into various trash receptacles” in Hartford, authorities said previously.
Investigators allegedly found clothing and other items with Jennifer’s blood on them. Troconis admitted to being in the truck with Fotis, the warrant says.
Despite the detailed allegations laid out in the warrants, a smiling Fotis calmly maintained his innocence in his first national interview with Dateline NBC, which airs Monday at 10 p.m./9c.
During the interview at Fotis’ home in upstate Connecticut, when NBC News’ Dennis Murphy asks Fotis if he had anything to do with the disappearance of his wife, Fotis looks down for a second before replying, “I did not. But I’d like to leave it at that.”
Asked to describe Jennifer as a mother, Fotis says, “She was a great mother. I think she was an excellent mother.”
Slightly changing course, he then says, “And I hope that she continues to be an excellent mother.”
Noting that Fotis uses the present tense, Murphy asks, “Do you believe Jennifer is alive?”
Fotis looks away again for a split second before he says, “I do.”
When Murphy brings up all the “circumstantial evidence or common understanding” of what investigators allegedly believe took place, Fotis shuts down.
“I’d like not to discuss this,” he says.
“But in your mind…” Murphy persists.
“Per my attorney’s advice,” Fotis responds.
Murphy says, “I understand. But in your mind, she’s alive.”
“Yes,” says Fotis.
In a statement to PEOPLE on Wednesday, Pattis said, “It sounds like the state is trying to convince itself that Fotis is responsible for Jennifer’s disappearance. When and if the state decides it can prove its case, we will welcome the chance to meet the case in open court.”
Troconis’ attorney did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s requests for comment.
Fotis and Troconis entered a plea of not guilty to the initial charges of tampering with or fabricating physical evidence. They were each released on a $500,000 bond.
The one-hour special, entitled The Disappearance of Jennifer Dulos, includes interviews with Jennifer’s family and friends, as well as Fotis’ attorney, Norm Pattis and airs on Monday at 10 pm/9c on NBC.