The ex-husband of missing Connecticut mother Jennifer Dulos said that he had a ‘beautiful life’ with his lover before his estranged wife vanished but that he hopes she will ‘show up somewhere’ in an interview that was taped before he was arrested for a second time in connection with her disappearance.
Fotis, 52, was arrested last Wednesday for tampering with evidence. He posted $500,000 bond and was released. Police say he was filmed on surveillance cameras with his girlfriend, Michelle Troconis, dumping trash bags on the night Jennifer vanished which contained bloody clothes.
The car he was using on the day she vanished was also tested for her DNA and it was found in a blood stain in the backseat.
Despite their apparent evidence, Fotis has not been charged with assault or murder and there has been no sign of Jennifer or her body since May 24.
In a Dateline interview taped before his second arrest but after his first one, he denied harming her and said he thought she was still alive.
‘I would lie to you if I told you that I didn’t have a very nice life. I had a beautiful life, I was with somebody that I was completely enamored with, Michelle.
‘And the divorce was the only thing that wasn’t a positive in my life and I couldn’t wait for it to be over with. But right now my life is a mess and I absolutely had no desire or interest to be in this mess,’ he said.
Troconis confessed to police in her second interview that she lied when she said she had an alibi for her boyfriend and that he had given her ‘alibi scripts’ to recite to them about where they’d been and what they did the day Jennifer vanished.
Fotis Dulos recorded an interview with NBC’s Dateline that aired on Monday before he was arrested for a second time earlier this week in connection with his ex-wife’s disappearance
In his Dateline interview, Fotis insisted he had never been violent towards her, despite her claiming in divorce court documents that she was afraid of him, saying: ‘There was never, never, never any violence, any abuse in any way.
Jennifer Dulos has not been seen since May 24
‘Jennifer and I didn’t even really argue all these years. I’m not putting the blame on her or me.
‘Nothing went catastrophically wrong, people sometimes just fall apart…It was going to be an amicable divorce. One day she just took the children and disappeared. She hired bodyguards and went to New York.
‘It just happens, and it happens all the time,’ he said, in an apparent explanation of why they separated.
He said he believed she was still alive and that he wanted her to ‘show up’ to ‘sort this mess out’.
‘I wish she were here to sort this mess out. And I’m still hoping that she’s going to show up,’ he said.
While he said he could not discuss the case, he did not hurt Jennifer nor have anything to do with her disappearance.
He also said she was a ‘great mother’ and said he thinks she is still alive.
‘She was a great mother. I think she was an excellent mother.
‘And I hope that she continues to be an excellent mother,’ he said.
Asked by host Dennis Murphy if he believed his estranged wife was still alive, he replied: ‘I do.’
Dulos appeared to be inside a home when he gave the interview. He posted $500,00 bond on Wednesday after his second arrest
Murphy responded: ‘Against all the circumstantial evidence…’
Dulos interjected: ‘I’d like not to discuss this… per my attorney’s advice.’
Asked if he had ‘anything to do’ with her disappearance, he said: ‘I did not. But I’d like to leave it at that.’
He and Jennifer had been married since 2004. They met at Brown University and tied the knot within weeks of his first divorce.
Michelle Troconis is said to have admitted she had originally lied to police and could not provide an alibi for her boyfriend on the morning Jennifer went missing
She discovered that he had been having an affair with Troconis and fled in the middle of the night, prompting him to call 911 and spark a bitter divorce feud.
Among allegations in the divorce documents is a claim from her family – who are wealthy – that he owes them $2million.
He said it was ‘laughable’ that he owed them the money and that it was a gift.
Also in those court documents, Jennifer said she was terrified of him and that he had threatened her with ‘sickening revenge fantasies’ if she ever filed for divorce.
Fotis’ lawyer Norm Pattis was also interviewed for the Dateline special.
He previously claimed publicly that she had staged her disappearance or had even killed herself in a Gone Girl-inspired plot.
Pattis said his belief is based on a manuscript for a book that Jennifer wrote 17 years ago.
In his Dateline interview, he said: ‘I’ve read her novel I’ve got a copy of it.’
He said it was not exactly like Gone Girl but ‘it’s close’.
Asked what he believes it said about Jennifer, Pattis – whose comments have sickened Jennifer’s family and friends – said: ‘Desperate, frantic, concerned that Fotis may be having more time with the children. creative, had the ability to think outside the box. We don’t know where she is.
‘She may well have killed herself. We don’t know.’
Fotis’ second arrest last week gleaned harrowing new details of the police investigation. Among claims in the new arrest report;
- In her third interview with cops, Troconis admitted lying about Dulos’ alibi and said she does not know where he was between 6.40am and 1.30pm the day Jennifer vanished
- Dulos switched out the backseats of the Toyota Tacoma truck he borrowed from an employee on the day of the disappearance with seats from Jennifer’s Porsche
- Five days after she vanished, he took the truck without its owner’s knowledge or permission to a car wash to be cleaned and re-detailed
- He told the employee to get rid of the original backseats , claiming police might find one of Jennifer’s hairs on it from when he ‘hugged her’ on May 12, weeks before she vanished
- A blood stain was found on the backseat which, when tested, matched Jennifer’s DNA
As the new, explosive details emerged on Wednesday, Fotis said as he left jail: ‘It’s an exhausting fight. I love my children. That’s about it.’
He has accused both his girlfriend and the employee, who he dismissed as a ‘handyman’, of lying.
His lawyer Pattis said Wednesday: ‘Apparently, Michelle has changed her tune and a handyman is telling tales to deflect attention from himself.
‘If this were Christmas morning, I’d be saying ‘I’ve waited all these months for this paltry gift? There’s not much here that we haven’t heard before.’
‘Where’s the murder charge?
‘We wish the state police spent more time looking for Jennifer and less trying to build a case against Fotis.
‘We will plead not guilty to these charges next week in Norwalk.’
State police detail in their arrest warrant how he has done ‘nothing to help this investigation to date’.
Their theory is that he drove to his wife’s rented home in New Canaan and attacked her after ‘lying in wait’ on May 24.
Dulos ‘lay in wait to attack Jennifer at her home’
Police say Fotis ‘lay in wait’ for Jennifer on the morning of May 24 after the Red Toyota Tacoma pickup truck, owned by Gumienny and which Fotis had access to, was pictured parked in New Canaan, close to where Jennifer’s Suburban was found abandoned later that day.
Shortly after 8am, Jennifer is pictured arriving home after dropping her children at school and sometime in the next two hours police say ‘the crime and clean up’ takes place.
By 8.05am, police say he was ‘lying in wait’ for her at her home. The crime ‘and clean-up’ happened between 8.05am and 10.25am.
Before 8am, the Tacoma truck which Fotis borrowed was spotted on surveillance footage driving towards Jennifer’s home (shown)
Surveillance footage (pictured) shows the last known images of Jennifer driving home, where police say Fotis ‘lay in wait’, after she dropped her children at school at around 8am on May 24
At 11.12am, after the alleged attack, the truck – allegedly with Fotis in it – is filmed making its way back to where he lives
Courtesy of FOX61
At around 10:20am Jennifer’s car is then seen leaving her house but police say he was driving it.
It is unclear where the vehicle he had been in, the Toyota Tacoma, was at this stage.
After the ‘serious assault in the garage’ – which authorities will not explicitly say he committed – he then allegedly drove Jennifer’s car, with her in it.
He is then allegedly picked back up by surveillance cameras at 11.20am, in the Tacoma again, making his way back to Farmington.
He is not thought to have gone home, instead driving to a property which he owned.
He then had lunch with his girlfriend at 1.30.
Fotis ‘told employee whose truck he borrowed to get rid of it after switching out back seats where Jennifer’s DNA was found with some from HER Porsche’
The most explosive claims in the new warrant come from Pawel Gummieny, the employee whose truck Fotis allegedly used.
He told police how on May 24, he was driving one of his’ cars – a Ford Raptor – as he drove to New Canaan for a job.
It was common for him to have his boss’s cars, he said.
His car, the red Toyota Tacoma, was at Fotis’ home in Farmington.
He said that at around 2.30pm, he received a text from Fotis asking when he would be returning to ‘the office’.
The Red Toyota Tacoma pickup truck, owned by Pawel Gumienny, pictured, was parked in New Canaan, close to where Jennifer’s Suburban was found abandoned later that day
Fotis is shown on May 29 withdrawing $500 cash before visiting a car wash to clean his employee’s car
Fotis is seen in footage from Russell Speeders Car Wash in an alleged attempt to clean the car
He told him around 4.30pm. When he arrived at Fotis’ home, however, he was not there.
He then found Fotis, Troconis and his truck at a different property where they appeared to be ‘cleaning’.
Fotis asked him to help him shuttle some other vehicles there back to his home. By the time he got back to the property where his Tacoma was, Troconis had vanished with the keys, he said.
Fotis, he says, then urged him to keep his Raptor for several more days but he declined, saying he wanted the Tacoma back.
He took the vehicle back but, five days later on May 29, was surprised to learn that Fotis and Troconis had taken it to be washed without his knowledge.
Over the course of the following days, he continued to urge him to remove the swats and replace them. He described Fotis as insistet and ‘pushy’, sometimes to the point of Dulos growing angry that he had not yet changed out the seats.
In future conversations, Fotis, he said, referred to the seats as hardware.
By May 31, when police first encountered him at Fotis’ home, he had switched out the backseat of his car with seats from Jennifer’s Porsche.
When interviewed, Gumienny said that Fotis instructed him to do it and that he also instructed him to get rid of them so that they would not be found.
Suspicious, Gumienny said he decided to keep them.
Gumienny told police that when he asked Fotis why he was so adamant about changing or getting rid of the truck, Fotis provided a story that on May 12, Mother’s Day, he hugged Jennifer during a visit to her home.
He said that because she had been missing for days and no suspects were named, he was worried police might find a ‘hair’ in the backseat and try to link him to her disappearance.
Gumienny kept the seats that had been in the Tacoma on May 24 and told police they could search and test them.
It was there police say they found a ‘bloodlike substance’ containing Jennifer’s DNA, despite Fotis’ alleged attempts at cleaning the car as seen in surveillance video from Russell Speeders Car Wash.
Fotis’ girlfriend is no longer his alibi, admits she lied and said he gave her ‘alibi scripts’
The arrest warrant also sheds light on how Troconis has now admitted she had originally lied to police and could not provide an alibi for her boyfriend on the morning Jennifer went missing.
She is also said to have told police that Fotis told her he was cleaning spilled coffee in the Toyota Tacoma but Troconis said it did not smell like the drink.
When pressed on why she thought he was cleaning the car she is said to have told police: ‘Well obviously… all the evidence says because… you showed me the picture of the blood in the door it’s because the body of Jennifer at some point was in there.’
‘Well obviously, all of the evidence says because… you showed me the picture of the blood in the door, it’s because the body of Jennifer at some point was in there.’
The warrant adds she ‘provided substantial amount of information which was self-contradictory and did not bear up under the scrutiny of the investigation’ when interviewed on June 2.
And in notes dubbed the ‘Alibi scripts’ by police the couple are said to have come up with pages of handwritten false covers.
Among the alleged lies written on them was that they had showered together that morning.
Troconis told police Fotis told her to tell them that.
On August 13, Troconis admitted during her previous two interviews ‘she had not been truthful’.
She confirmed she did not physically see Fotis upon her waking on the morning of May 24 until after noon.
She said she was ‘mistaken’ when she reported that they’d been in the shower together.
The next time she saw him was at 1.30pm when he came home for lunch.
That afternoon, they went to the 80 Mountain Spring Road property. She said that she witnessed him cleaning what he claimed was spilled coffee.
He handed her a stained towel which he’d been using and put it in a plastic garbage bag.
When questioned, she said she could not remember the color of the stain but said it did not smell like coffee.
When asked why he would be washing the car, she said: ‘Well obviously, all of the evidence says because… you showed me the picture of the blood in the door, it’s because the body of Jennifer at some point was in there.’