Jennifer Farber Dulos is a missing Connecticut woman who was last seen on May 24. New Canaan Police say the mother of five was driving her 2017 Chevrolet Suburban in the Fairfield County town before she disappeared. The SUV was found the same day the 50-year-old Dulos vanished, but police said they released the info about the vehicle in hopes of finding that anyone who saw it or Dulos on May 24, the department said on Instagram.
On June 1, Jennifer Farber Dulos’ estranged husband, Fotis Dulos, and his girlfriend, Michelle Troconis, were arrested in connection to Jennifer Dulos’ disappearance. She remains missing. They were charged with tampering with or fabricating physical evidence and hindering prosecution, New Canaan Police say. Jennifer Dulos remains missing. Fotis Dulos and Troconis are being held on $500,000 bail and are scheduled to appear in court in Norwalk on Monday, June 3, police said.
The arrests come after The Hartford Courant reported investigators obtained DNA from Fotis Dulos and searched his Farmington home. Fotis Dulos and Troconis were interviewed by police on Saturday before they were arrested. Police have also searched another Farmington property owned by Fotis Dulos and in a Hartford neighborhood where he was seen on surveillance video in the days after his estranged wife vanished.
On May 30, WFSB-TV, citing police sources close to the investigation, reported that Dulos disappearance was being investigated as a homicide. The Hartford Courant reported on May 30 that traces of blood and other evidence leading investigators to suspect Dulos was the victim of a violent crime were found in her New Canaan home. Sources told the newspaper the scene appeared to have been cleaned up. Police haven’t commented on the reports.
The New Canaan Police said, “We are asking anyone who had contact with Jennifer Dulos on Friday May 24th, 2019 or has information regarding her disappearance to call the New Canaan Police Tip Line at 203-594-3544.” According to the Courant, sources said Dulos was reported missing by two friends on Friday. She dropped her children off at school in New Canaan and then missed an 11 a.m. appointment, the newspaper reports. She then missed another appointment at 1 p.m. that same day and her friends called police about 7 p.m. to report her missing.
Dulos, a writer, is estranged from her husband and father of her five children, Fotis Dulos, and they are going through a divorce and fierce custody battle, according to court records. She previously lived in Avon and Farmington, Connecticut, where her husband still lives. Fotis Dulos is the president and CEO of Fore Group, a prominent Connecticut custom home builder. The company builds homes in the affluent Fairfield County and the Farmington Valley regions of the state.
According to The Hartford Courant, Dulos’ five children are with their grandmother, Jennifer Dulos’ mother, at an apartment in New York City under armed guard. Michael Rose, the attorney for Fotis Dulos, told a judge on May 29, that the children’s nanny brought them to the city and his mother-in-law has “since hired an armed bodyguard and remain in New York. My client has joint custody, but is limited by your orders. However, at this point, the Court needs to take action to provide my client with custody (or someone with the legal ability to act).”
Fotis Dulos and his divorce attorney did not respond to requests for comment from Heavy and other news organizations. Jennifer Dulos’ attorney in the divorce proceedings told the New York Post that a hearing in the case for Wednesday, May 29, had been postponed, but did not comment further.
In a statement, her family said, “We remain hopeful that Jennifer will be found soon, and we urge anyone with information, however seemingly insignificant, to call the New Canaan Police Tip Line at 203-594-3544. Jennifer was last seen in New Canaan, the morning of Friday, May 24, 2019, operating a black 2017 Chevy Suburban. Jennifer is 50 years of age, very slender, 5’7”, with a soft voice, dark brown eyes, and shoulder-length brown hair.”
Here’s what you need to know about Jennifer Dulos:
1. Family Members & Friends of Jennifer Farber Dulos Say She Is a ‘Devoted Mother’ & ‘Organized Woman’ Who ‘Would Never, Ever, Disappear’
Family members and friends of Jennifer Farber Dulos said in a statement that it would be out of character for her to leave her home on her own without telling anyone.
“Since learning of the disappearance of Jennifer Farber Dulos, our beloved daughter, mother, sister, cousin, aunt, and friend, we have been heartbroken; at the same time, we are moved and inspired by the support, assistance, concern, and love extended by so many,” the family and friends said in a statement obtained by WTIC-TV. “Those who know Jennifer know her to be a devoted mother; an extremely thoughtful, reliable, and organized woman; and attest that she would never, ever, disappear when she is responsible for the lives of five loving and energetic children. Jennifer is gentle, kind, intelligent, and funny, and above all she prioritizes the health and happiness of her children. She and the children have been embraced by the New Canaan Country School community, where they have made good friends and are active in athletics and arts.”
Her friends and family added, “Before living in New Canaan, Jennifer and her family resided in Farmington, where she was a beloved class parent among the Renbrook School community. We are touched by the outpouring of support from friends and colleagues in Farmington, Avon, and West Hartford. We express our sincere thanks to the law enforcement officers in both New Canaan and the Connecticut State Police. We are also deeply grateful to the New Canaan Country School for their incredible outpouring of support and care during this extremely difficult time.”
The family continued, “Please join us in seeking Jennifer’s safe return as soon as possible. Again, do not hesitate to share any information, however small, with the New Canaan Police Tip Line at 203-594-3544.”
According to WTIC, a police car was stationed outside of Jennifer’s New Canaan home on Tuesday. Neighbors said they saw an increased police presence. “I was going for a walk early Sunday morning through Waveny Park and I noticed a car parked by the side of the road and there seemed to be a policeman photographing the car,” Roy Cohn told the news station.
The Connecticut Post reports police officers and K-9 units were searching a wooded area on Tuesday along Frogtown Road between Weed Street and Ponus Ridge Road. About a dozen state police and New Canaan Police vehicles were seen in the Welles Lane neighborhood where Jennifer Dulos lives, the newspaper reports.
According to the Courant, the search was focused more on the Waveny Park area on Wednesday, May 29. The search continued on May 30 in New Canaan and in Pound Ridge, New York, in Westchester County, where Jennifer Dulos’ family owns property.
2. She Has Been Going Through a Contentious Divorce With Her Estranged Husband Fotis Dulos Since 2017 & Wrote in a Court Document That She Was ‘Afraid’ of Him
Jennifer Farber Dulos and Fotis Dulos have been since 2004. In June 2017, Jennifer Dulos filed for divorce in Stamford court, according to records on the Connecticut Judicial Branch website. Records of motions filed and hearings held, along with documents obtained by the Stamford Advocate, show that proceedings in the divorce have been contentious. Jennifer and Fotis Dulos have five children ranging in age from 8 to 13, including two pairs of twins, according to The Advocate. They have three sons and two daughters.
When filing for divorce, Jennifer Dulos wrote, “I am afraid of my Husband. I know that filing for divorce, and filing this Motion will enrage him…He is dangerous and ruthless when he believes that he has been wronged. During the course of our marriage, he told me about sickening revenge fantasies and plans to cause physical harm to others who have wronged him,” the New York Post reports.
In July 2017, Jennifer Dulos filed for an emergency order of full custody, but it was denied by a judge, The Advocate reports. “The plaintiff has not established by a preponderance of the evidence that there is an immediate and present risk of physical danger or psychological harm to the parties’ children. As a result, the request for emergency relief is denied,” documents obtained by the newspaper state.
In another document, obtained by The Connecticut Post, Dulos said her husband was verbally abusive and she feared he would take her children away from her. “I am afraid of my husband. I know that filing for divorce and filing this motion will enrage him. I know he will retaliate by trying to harm me in some way,” a 2017 affidavit reads. She added that Fotis Dulos showed, “irrational, unsafe, bullying, threatening and controlling behavior. I am afraid for my safety and the physical safety and emotional well-being of our minor children.” Fotis Dulos denied the accusations.
Jennifer Dulos also wrote that Fotis Dulos had threatened to take the children to his native Greece or somewhere else where she would “never find” them, The Post reports. She also said her estranged husband had bought a handgun. “I am terrified for my family’s safety, especially since discovering the gun, since my husband has a history of controlling, volatile and delusional behavior,” she wrote in the affidavit.
The couple have had a temporary custody arrangement throughout the divorce. In June 2017, Jennifer Dulos requested a guardian ad litem be appointed. According to the state judicial website, a guardian ad litem, or GAL, is brought into a case to “independently represent the best interests of the child.” In August, the two sides agreed to have a GAL appointed. Attorney Michael Meehan has served as the GAL since then.
According to The Advocate, the hearing scheduled for Wednesday, May 29, was requested by Meehan, “regarding the safety of the children.” Meehan declined to comment to the newspaper about the case.
The newspaper reports that the couple lived in Farmington until June 2017, when Jennifer Dulos abruptly left the home and rented a house in New Canaan. Fotis Dulos remained in their Farmington home, which is listed for sale for $4.35 million. Before moving to Farmington, the couple previously lived in Canton and Avon, Connecticut.
Jennifer Dulos wrote in court documents that her husband was obsessed with water skiing and wanted their children to have world-class ability at the sport. She said he had them on a “dangerous and excessive” training regimen that would sometimes go from morning to night. She said he once threw a ski against a rock and broke it when the children refused to train. “We are all terrified to disobey my husband,” she wrote in an affidavit. On another occasion, Jennifer Dulos said her husband was outraged when she planned other activities for a day he felt the children should be on the water. “He got within inches of my face and berated me,” she wrote, according to The Post.
Fotis Dulos’ Facebook page is filled with photos of him and his children water skiing.
Jennifer Dulos was later granted full physical custody of the children, according to court documents. Judge Donna Heller ruled that Fotis Dulos had lied to the court and put his children in danger in March 2018, according to The Connecticut Post. The judge determined he had pressured his children to lie to support him and his actions constituted “emotional abuse.” She wrote, “the court does not find the defendant to be credible,” referring to Fotis.
According to the documents obtained by The Post, Heller wrote, “the defendant does not seem to appreciate in any respect the consequences of lying under oath and willfully violating a court order. His facility in testifying falsely to the court suggests that he is equally comfortable in encouraging the children to lie to achieve his desired outcome.” She said the children would be in “physical danger” if Fotis was given unrestricted and unsupervised contact with them and they would be in “immediate and present risk of psychological harm.”
Fotis Dulos was only allowed supervised visits and could only talk to his children on speakerphone, the newspaper reports.
In another incident, Fotis Dulos was accused of almost striking her with his SUV when he came to pick up the children. She wrote in court documents that he swerved at the last minute after accelerating toward her and their children witnessed it. After that, she wrote that he told her, “You should be locked away,” and, “Why don’t you pop another pill?” She also wrote that he told her, “You’re insane,” “You should be put in an insane asylum,” “You are an unfit mother,” and “I can do whatever I want. You don’t have a restraining order,” The Connecticut Post reports.
According to his company’s website, Fore Group, “Fotis Dulos has distinguished himself as a premier builder and developer in Farmington Valley. Fotis, who also holds a B.A. in Applied Mathematics from Brown University and an MBA in Finance from Columbia Business School has developed his reputation based on integrity, hard work, great communication skills, and stunning homes that people love to live in.” He is originally from Athens, Greece, according to his Facebook page.
Jennifer Dulos claimed in court documents that the split between them was caused in part by an alleged affair carried out by Fotis Dulos.
3. Jennifer Farber Dulos Is a Writer & Blogged About Being a Mother of 5 on a Connecticut Patch Website
Jennifer Farber Dulos is a writer and has blogged about being a parent on the Patch.com websites in Farmington and Avon. She also ran her own blog, called “fivemakesseven.com.”
According to her bio on the Patch website, “Before she was a mom, she was a writer in New York, doing journalism, essays, plays and screenplays, and is currently finishing a novel.”
A family spokesperson, Carrie Luft, told ABC’s “Good Morning America,” on May 30, “It’s devastating, a heartbreaking situation. We are all incredibly concerned, but very hopeful she will come back to us safe and sound. And a great deal of what is keeping everyone going is the outpouring of support from the public.”
Luft added that her children are desparate for her to return home, saying, “They miss their mother terribly, but they are doing as well under the circumstances as one coul. Jennifer is an incredibly devoted mother. She is also the most reliable and conscientious person I know. She is never late for anything, she shows up early to everything in her life. I, and her friends and family, know she would never ever disappear voluntarily.”
4. She Is a Brown University & NYU Tisch School of the Arts Graduate Who Grew Up in New York
Jennifer Dulos also attended Brown University. She graduated in 1990 and her husband graduated in 1989. She later attended New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, according to her bio on Patch.com.
She was born Jennifer Farber in New York. Her father, Hilliard Farber, was a well-known banker and philanthropist, along with her mother, Gloria Farber, according to an obituary published in the New York Times after his January 2017 death. He worked as a vice president at Chase Manhattan Bank and owned his own brokerage firm, Hilliard Farber & Co., along with serving as a Brookings Institute fellow.
5. Dulos’ Mother Is in a Legal Dispute With Her Daughter’s Estranged Husband Over Money
Jennifer Dulos’ mother, Gloria Farber, has been embroiled in a legal dispute with her son-in-law, Fotis Dulos, since shortly after her husband’s death. Gloria Farber is the executor of Hilliard Farber’s estate. According to a complaint filed in Connecticut court in January 2018, Farber is seeking $500,000 that her now-deceased husband gave to Fotis and Jennifer Dulos in 2012. Gloria Farber says they promised to pay him back with interest, but failed to do so by June 2017.
Fotis Dulos filed a response arguing that any money given to him by Hilliard Farber was a gift, not a loan.
Later in 2018, attorneys for Gloria Farber filed a revised complaint stating that Fotis Dulos had borrowed $2.3 million from a bank to buy his home in Farmington. According to court documents, Fotis Dulos agreed to make payments on the loan and Jennifer’s parents put up security. Gloria Farber’s attorneys say Fotis Dulos has defaulted and failed to make payments on the loan, leading the bank to charge Gloria Farber’s collateral with the payments. A trial management conference is set in that case for November 2019.
Gloria Farber and her husband’s estate are also suing Fotis Dulos and his company, Fore Group, in a separate case filed in February 2019. In that case, Gloria Farber’s attorneys claim Hilliard Farber loaned money to Dulos’ company starting in 2004 for the purchase of properties. Fotis Dulos would then repay his father-in-law when he re-sold the properties, according to court documents. But Farber’s’ attorneys say Dulos and his company still owe $1 million on a $1.5 million loan made in April 2015.
Fotis Dulos’ attorneys also denied wrongdoing in the second lawsuit and again said any money given to him and his company by Hilliard Farber was meant to be a gift. That case is also still ongoing.