As the search for Jennifer Dulos approaches its fourth month, the missing mother-of-five’s estranged husband’s girlfriend appeared in court to face charges in her disappearance.
Michelle Troconis, 44, appeared in front of a judge in Stamford Superior Court for a pre-trial hearing on Monday morning which lasted less than 30 seconds. The case was continued until September 20.
Troconis and her boyfriend Fotis Dulos are both facing charges of hindering prosecution and tampering with evidence on the weekend after Jennifer disappeared. The mother was last known to be dropping her children off at school in New Canaan, Connecticut, on May 24.
Police believe Fotis and Troconis resembled a man and woman caught on surveillance video discarding items in trash cans in Hartford that may have been linked to the 50-year-old’s disappearance.
The Vineyard Vines t-shirt Jennifer was wearing the day she went missing was found stained with blood in the trash cans where the items were dumped, along with a bra and blood-soaked sponges.
Michelle Troconis appeared in Stamford Superior Court on Monday for a pre-trial hearing in connection with the May disappearance of her boyfriend’s wife, Jennifer Dulos
Troconis stood by her attorney Andrew Bowman during the brief hearing where her case was continued until September 20
Troconis is seen arriving at the courthouse in Stamford flanked by her mother and sister
The hunt for Jennifer has cost police hundreds of thousands of dollars in overtime as investigators pored over a number of possible crime scenes across Connecticut.
They found bloodstains in the garage of her New Canaan home, which they believe were the result of a ‘serious physical assault’.
Earlier this month police announced that no new active searches will be carried out for Jennifer, and that officers will now focus on examining evidence they already have obtained.
More than 1,200 tips and 80 videos have been gathered during the investigation.
Jennifer and Fotis were embroiled in a bitter divorce and child custody case at the time of her disappearance.
Troconis and her boyfriend Fotis Dulos are both facing charges of hindering prosecution and tampering with evidence on the weekend after Jennifer Dulos disappeared
Jennifer Dulos, 50, vanished after dropping her kids off at school in New Canaan, Connecticut on the morning of May 24
Jennifer and Fotis (above together) were embroiled in a bitter divorce and child custody case at the time of her disappearance
The hunt for Jennifer has cost police hundreds of thousands of dollars in overtime as investigators pored over a number of possible crime scenes across Connecticut. An officer is seen outside Fotis’ home in Farmington
Fotis faced a judge earlier this month to discuss motions for dropping the charges against him due to ‘insufficient evidence’ and for his vehicles, computer and iPhones be returned to him.
Defense attorney Norm Pattis said that the state’s case is based on ‘wild speculation’, while Norwalk/Stamford State’s Attorney Richard Colangelo said Fotis’ DNA had been found mixed with his estranged wife’s blood on a faucet in the kitchen of her home.
The state agreed that a Chevy Suburban and a Jeep Cherokee be returned but the judge denied the return of a Ford Raptor truck, computers and personal papers due to the ongoing investigation.
The Ford Raptor was the truck seen in the surveillance video that allegedly showed the couple left the bloody evidence.
Pattis also asked for Jennifer’s medical records to be released to Judge John Blawie to discover ‘if in fact she was seriously ill’.
The attorney noted that Jennifer was ‘despondent about the time she had disappeared’ and the defense wanted to analyze if she had attempted to ‘make good on her promise’ that her ex would not have a relationship with his children.
Pattis claimed there was evidence sealed in the family court file, relating to the couple’s divorce and child custody case, that ‘raise questions on [Jennifer Dulos’] state of mind’ and her apparent ‘dire threats’ to Fotis Dulos.
Colangelo called the attempt to get Jennifer’s medical records a ‘fishing expedition’ and ‘no more than a hunch’ by the defense.
Blawie denied the motion.
The judge also denied a motion by the defense for Fotis to move his GPS-monitored ankle bracelet from his ankle to his wrist, due to the ‘high probability it can be removed’.
That same day, Fotis appeared in family court in his orange jumpsuit for a custody hearing involving his five children, who have been living with their grandmother Gloria Farber in New York City since their mother disappeared.
At the hearing, Fotis invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
The property developer, who has been free on $500,000 bail since June 11, is scheduled to face a judge again on September 13.
Troconis is also out of $500,000 bail. The couple have been ordered to stay away from each other pending the legal proceedings.
Fotis Dulos and Troconis are both out on $500,000 bond. The couple have been ordered to stay away from each other pending the legal proceedings
Fotis Dulos’ defense filed a motion for dismissal this month due to ‘insufficient evidence’. Defense attorney Norm Pattis (left) said that the state’s case is based on ‘wild speculation’