Many leads, little progress 2 months after mom vanished

Connecticut

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Two months after a mother of five vanished from a Connecticut town, authorities say they’re still following up on more than 1,200 tips and leads.

But Jennifer Dulos‘ disappearance remains a mystery. The 50-year-old New Canaan woman went missing on May 24 after dropping her children off at school.

Police later arrested Fotis Dulos, her estranged husband, and Michelle Troconis, his girlfriend, on charges of evidence tampering and hindering prosecution. Both have pleaded not guilty, and both are free on $500,000 bond.

The five children, who range in age from 8 to 13 and include two sets of twins, have been staying with a grandmother in New York City.

“It’s still an active investigation,” New Canaan police Lt. Jason Ferraro said. “We’re over 1,200 tips at this time. It’s a tremendous amount of information” to sort through.

A statement was released Wednesday from Carrie Luft, on Behalf of the Family and Friends of Jennifer Farber Dulos. It reads:

“Today marks two months since Jennifer, beloved mother, daughter, sister, cousin, and friend, disappeared. We miss her beyond words.

Please know that the five children are doing well, surrounded by love and support.

The flow of support from the New Canaan and Farmington/Avon communities, individuals as well as organizations, has helped keep us going during this ordeal. We are very grateful to all of you. And we express our deepest thanks to the New Canaan and Connecticut State police for their tireless efforts on the case.

As July nears an end, we’re reminded of Jennifer’s love for the Fire Island beach she visited as a girl. Last summer she was so happy to be able to share her favorite childhood spot with her own children.

We continue to urge anyone who has information about Jennifer’s disappearance from New Canaan on May 24, her whereabouts, or anything in between, to please email FindJenniferDulos@newcanaanct.gov or call the New Canaan Police Tip Line at (203) 594-3544. Thank you.”

A closer look at the case:

CONTENTIOUS DIVORCE, LAWSUIT

The Duloses have been embroiled in a contentious divorce and child custody case for the past two years.

According to court documents filed in the divorce case, Jennifer Dulos feared that Fotis Dulos would harm her in some way in retaliation for her filing for divorce.

Jennifer Dulos is the daughter of Gloria Farber and the late Hilliard Farber, who ran Chase Manhattan Bank’s bond trading desk before founding his own brokerage firm in 1975.

Fotis Dulos, a developer of expensive homes, is also involved in a lawsuit filed by Gloria Farber, acting as executor of the estate of Hilliard Farber, for not being able to repay back $1.7 million in loans.

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DEFENSE STRATEGY

Norman Pattis, Fotis Dulos’ lawyer, has argued that Jennifer Dulos is not the victim of foul play and has suggested a couple of alternate explanations for her disappearance. Patrick McKenna, who has helped win high-profile acquittals for O.J. Simpson and Casey Anthony, is also on his defense team.

Pattis told the New York Post in June that Jennifer Dulos once wrote a manuscript similar to the popular book-turned-movie “Gone Girl” about a woman who stages her own disappearance to frame her husband for murder. Pattis has also put forward a revenge-suicide hypothesis as an explanation for Jennifer Dulos’ disappearance.

A Dulos family spokeswoman called the “Gone Girl” theory “false and irresponsible.”

Fotis Dulos, meanwhile, has said he misses his kids.

“I just want to tell my children that they’re constantly on my mind and that I love them and I miss them very much,” he said last month.

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SEARCHES AND TIPS

Law enforcement officials have searched several locations for evidence, including Fotis Dulos’ home, several bodies of water in the Avon and Farmington area and a Hartford trash-to-energy plant where police sifted through trash bags containing clothing and other items with Jennifer Dulos’ blood found on them.

Investigators say blood splatter and evidence of cleanup attempts were also found at Jennifer Dulos’ home.

Authorities also allege that Fotis Dulos and his girlfriend discarded the bags that ended up in the trash plant, citing surveillance videos showing two people resembling them dumping bags there.

Investigators have received over 1,200 tips regarding the disappearance of Jennifer Dulos and nearly 80 responses with video surveillance from homes or businesses.

Officials say the investigation remains active and dynamic.

website has been set up to help bring in further tips.

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WHAT’S NEXT?

Michelle Troconis is scheduled to appear in court again on Aug. 19. Fotis Dulos’ next court date is scheduled for Aug. 2.

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