F. Lee Bailey calls Norm Pattis One of the Giants of the Profession

The events of May 24, the last day Jennifer Farber Dulos was seen alive, are a key element of the investigation into her disappearance

Hartford Courant - Local News
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The events of May 24, the last day Jennifer Farber Dulos was seen alive, are a key element of the investigation into her disappearance

After dropping her children off at the New Canaan Country School at about 8 a.m. on May 24, Jennifer Farber Dulos would only have had a couple of hours to spare before heading to New York City, where she was due for at least two appointments.

But she never made it to New York, and over the last three weeks, the investigation into her disappearance has sparked global intrigue, social media speculation and a massive investigation, including searches in New Canaan, Farmington, Avon, Hartford and Pound Ridge, N.Y. Her whereabouts, alive or dead, remain unknown.

As investigators dive in ponds in Avon where the family used to water ski and search a trash plant in Hartford, they have been working to tighten the time frame for the day she disappeared, with new details emerging in the last several days about Farber Dulos; her estranged husband, Fotis Dulos; his girlfriend, Michelle Troconis; an employee of Fotis Dulos’ Fore Realty group and others with connections to the case.

The following account of that day is based on an analysis of court documents, attorney’s statements, interviews with friends and law enforcement sources.

May 24, morning

Sometime between 8:30 and 10:30 a.m, after returning from dropping her children at school, investigators believe Farber Dulos was the victim of a violent act inside her Welles Avenue home.

At about noon, the housekeeper entered the home but didn’t notice anything out of place. Sources said the housekeeper didn’t go into the garage, where there were dark stains on the floor later identified as blood, and splatter on a vehicle.

Nor did she notice a piece of evidence revealed by the state — blood on a kitchen faucet. Stamford/Norwalk State’s Attorney Richard Colangelo said in court last week that Fotis Dulos’ DNA “was found in a mixture on the faucet inside of Jennifer’s kitchen, in the house where she went missing.”

“So,” Colangelo continued, “the mixture, defendant’s DNA, Jennifer’s blood, on the faucet in the kitchen.”

Fotis Dulos and Troconis, both charged with hindering prosecution and tampering with evidence, have pleaded not guilty to the charges and are each free on $500,000 bond.

Dulos’ new attorney, Norm Pattis, said in court last week that his client could account for his time on May 24 and couldn’t possibly have been in New Canaan at the time police say Farber Dulos went missing. The couple was engaged in a bitter custody battle and divorce.

“What we know is that Jennifer went missing some time in the early morning of the 24th and was reported missing by late day. We’ve been able to account for Mr. Dulos’ whereabouts with independent evidence for almost all of that time, including an early morning meeting at his home with an attorney,” Pattis said.

Pattis went on to say Dulos also spoke to someone from Greece that morning. Prosecutors have yet to press him to produce records or affidavits to substantiate the timeline.

Investigators are confident Troconis, whose relationship with Dulos was cited in the couple’s divorce proceedings, was not in New Canaan on May 24. They know around 9:15 a.m. that day she was bringing a purse back to a friend who had left it at the Jefferson Crossing home the night before. Police also know that Troconis visited another friend in Simsbury sometime between 10:30 and 11 that morning.

Authorities also know an employee of Dulos’ Fore Realty Group was in New Canaan on May 24, working on a Sturbridge Hill Road home under development. State police have seized his truck, computer and cellphone as part of the investigation.

The Courant is not naming the employee, but his attorney Lindy Urso has said he isn’t considered a suspect and has cooperated with authorities. He was driving a black Ford Raptor owned by Fore Group all week because he lives in the Farmington area and was traveling to New Canaan to work each day.

May 24, afternoon

At about 1:37 p.m., according to information revealed in Dulos’ arrest warrant, investigators determined that his cellphone was at a home on Mountain Spring Road in Farmington that was being developed by his company. The property has been the site of state police searches over the past few weeks.

The phone is then tracked, two hours later, to Dulos’ home on Jefferson Crossing in Farmington, then back to the Mountain Spring Road home at 5:21 for 13 minutes.

Sometime between 4 and 5:30, the employee working in New Canaan returned the company’s black Ford Raptor to Dulos and took back his personal truck.

May 24, evening

The next key moments on May 24 both happen about 7 p.m.

In New Canaan, Farber Dulos was reported missing to police. She never showed up for her appointments in New York. Over the next several hours, investigators entered the Welles Avenue home and found the dark stains on the garage floor and realized “a violent act” had occurred. Her car is later found nearby, at sprawling Waveny Park.

In Hartford, police say they have evidence Fotis Dulos was throwing bags that contained towels and sponges with his wife’s blood on them into trash cans as he drove down Albany Avenue in the black Ford Raptor with Troconis.

The trip, they say, was captured on the city’s extensive array of video cameras. Investigators have recovered video from Hartford police showing a vehicle that matches Dulos’ driving down the street and a man resembling Dulos — wearing a light colored T-shirt — dropping multiple garbage bags into trash cans.

State police recovered some of those garbage bags and found the bloody sponges and towels in them, and DNA testing matched the blood to Farber Dulos. They also say they have evidence tracking Dulos’ cellphone on Albany Avenue for about 31 minutes, leaving at 7:41 p.m.

Dulos’ last act, police say, was stopping at the corner of Albany Avenue and Garden Street, where he dropped a FedEx box into a storm drain. Police recovered the package and found two Connecticut license plates that had been altered with adhesive tape. When police checked the actual license plate, it came from a 2007 Chevrolet Suburban registered to Fotis Dulos.

Dulos and the Raptor are then captured on a neighbor’s security camera arriving home at 8:10 p.m. He is seen getting out and getting his mail wearing a light-colored T-shirt, the warrant says.

Since Jennifer Farber Dulos’ disappearance, there have been no signs of the 51-year-old mother of five despite an unprecedented search by law enforcement officials that has spanned two states, at least four communities and led them to a trash plant.

Her family continues to ask for help in finding her.

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