Michelle Troconis is the girlfriend of Fotis Dulos, the estranged husband of missing New Canaan, Connecticut woman Jennifer Farber Dulos, who was last seen May 24. Fotis Dulos and Troconis were arrested on June 1 on charges of hindering prosecution and tampering with evidence, police said. Jennifer Dulos remains missing.
The 51-year-old Fotis Dulos and the 44-year-old Troconis have been dating since at least 2017, when Jennifer Dulos filed for divorce from her husband. During the two-year period between then and Jennifer’s disappearance, Fotis and Jennifer have been embroiled in a contentious divorce and child custody case.
Michelle Troconis, who is originally from Venezuela and also has ties to Argentina, is the mother of a 12-year-old daughter. She has been living with her boyfriend in Farmington, Connecticut, in the home owned by Fotis and Jennifer Dulos.
Police have not said what led to charges being filed against her and Fotis Dulos. They were both taken into custody late Saturday night at a hotel in Avon, Connecticut, near where they live in Farmington. Troconis and Fotis Dulos had been questioned by investigators at the Connecticut State Police Troop L barracks in Litchfield, where the Western District Major Crimes Squad is based. They were allowed to leave the state police barracks, but were then taken into custody a few hours later.
Their arrests came after police served search warrants at their Farmington home, as well as another property in Farmington and an area of Hartford where Fotis Dulos had been seen on surveillance video in the days after his estranged wife disappeared, The Hartford Courant reports. Police sources told the newspaper that traces of blood were found in Jennifer Dulos’ New Canaan home and it appeared the house had been cleaned.
Jennifer Dulos was last seen on Friday, May 24, after dropping her children off at school in New Canaan. She missed an appointment that morning and a second appointment that afternoon and two friends called police about 7 p.m. that night, the Courant reports. Jennifer Dulos had been living with her five children in New Canaan since moving there from the Farmington home in 2017. The children are with their maternal grandmother in New York City and they are being watched by an armed guard, according to court documents.
A court hearing in the divorce case was scheduled for Wednesday, May 29, but was canceled after Jennifer Dulos went missing.
Here’s what you need to know about Michelle Troconis:
1. Michelle Troconis Is Described in Divorce Case Documents as Being the ‘Paramour’ of Fotis Dulos & Her Interaction With His Children Was a Contention Throughout the Custody Battle
Michelle Troconis Arreaza has been at the center of the divorce battle between Jennifer Farber Dulos and Fotis Dulos since Jennifer filed for divorce in June 2017. In the divorce documents, Jennifer Dulos referred to Michelle Troconis as Fotis’ “paramour.” She also said that he had been having an affair with her, which led to her filing for the divorce, along with accusations of controlling behavior and emotional abuse.
It is not clear how long Troconis and Fotis Dulos had been dating before the divorce. But it is clear that they remained together in the years after Jennifer left her husband. Troconis and her daughter moved into the multi-million-dollar Jefferson Cross mansion that Fotis Dulos had built and owned with Jennifer using money from her father. Troconis’ involvement in Fotis Dulos’ life and the lives of his children led to disputes throughout the two-year divorce case and child custody battle, court documents show.
Jennifer Dulos said Fotis Dulos threatened to take their children to Argentina, “to be with his paramour,” and hide them at a ski resort owned by the father of Troconis’ daughter. Jennifer Dulos said when she told her husband he was leaving him, “he informed me that our children and I will continue to reside in the marital home every weekend and during the summer, so that we all (his paramour and her daughter included) would be together.”
In later court filings, Jennifer Dulos said that Troconis and her daughter had moved into the Farmington home with Fotis Dulos. Judge Heller wrote in a court order, “In view of the close bond among all five children, the court finds it highly likely that all five of the children have been adversely impacted by the breakdown of their parents’ marriage, the defendant’s relationship with (Troconis) and the pressure that the defendant has placed on them to lie.”
During the child custody battle, Fotis Dulos fought to allow Michelle Troconis to be present when he was with his children. At times during the two-year ordeal, Troconis was not allowed to be around the Dulos children. But a future ruling allowed for her to be a part of their lives.
You can read more about Fotis Dulos and the divorce and child custody case at the link below:
2. She Has Worked With Fotis Dulos at His Home Builder Company
Michelle Troconis has been working with Fotis Dulos at Fore Group, his luxury custom home building company, which is based at the Farmington home where they live together. It is not clear if Troconis was working for the company before she became romantically involved with Fotis Dulos.
A photo on the Fore Group’s website shows Troconis and Dulos in 2018 celebrating after the company was given awards from a home building association.
Troconis has also been in charge of running the social media pages for Fore Group, according to her now-deleted Facebook profile. And a post on Patch.com shows that she also handled advertising new homes that were for sale after they were built by the company.
Troconis and her daughter could also be seen on Dulos’ Facebook page on ski trips and waterskiing.
Jennifer Dulos said in court documents that her estranged husband had an obsession with competitive water skiing and was forcing their children to train to become elite competitors in the sport. Online records show that Fotis Dulos has competed in water skiing events around the world and his children have also taken part in competitions. His Facebook page shows several photos of him and his children competing in 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
3. Troconis — a Native of Venezuela Who Went to College in Venezuela — Previously Lived in Miami, Is Divorced
Michelle Troconis is Venezuelan. Before moving to Connecticut with Dulos, she previously lived in the Miami, Florida, area, where her sister, mother and other family members still live. On her now-deleted social media pages, Troconis can be seen on ski trips, riding horses, traveling around the world and at luxury resorts. Troconis’ daughter is from her previous relationship with an Olympic skier from her Argentina.
Troconis went to college in Venezuela, according to her Linkedin profile. She graduated from Instituto Universitario AVEPANE in 1998. She then completed a degree in general psychology at Universidad Central de Venezuela in 1998.
She also spent a year studying at The Cheff Center, a therapeutic riding center in Michigan.
4. She Has Worked as a TV Host in South America, in Marketing, Event Planning & for Her Sister’s Shoe Cover Company
Michelle Troconis, who also goes by Michi Troconis, has worked in public relations, marketing, event coordination and as a TV host. She worked in public relations at the Ghantoot Racing & Polo Club in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates from 2000 to 2003.
According to her Linkedin profile she, “Participated in organizing and setting up the Marketing Department in conjunction with the chairman His Highness Sheikh Falah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan … Coordinated all the polo tournaments in the polo club including the most important one the ‘Khalifa Tournament’ during the polo season from October thru May … Coordinated the invitation, activities and accommodations of the best polo players from Argentina and the world to come and play for the season at Ghantoot. Talented and famous players such as the Heguy Brothers, Adolfo Cambiaso, the Estrada brothers, etc came and participated … Responsible for all the media communication such as TV shows, a variety of magazines and digital media nationwide and abroad to cover every event.”
Troconis also worked as a therapeutic riding instructor in Dubai.
She was briefly a host and producer for an ESPN show called “Snow Time,” which was filmed at ski resorts in Argentina and Chile. She wrote on Linkedin, “Hosted the show conducting interviews with important personalities related to the ski world: world cup athletes, owners or directors of ski resorts, patrol director, celebrities on vacation as well as tourist.”
Troconis was the marketing and public relations director for Cerro Castor, the ski resort in Argentina run by her daughter’s father, from 2003 to 2012. She was then was an event coordinator for Outsourced Marketing Group from 2015 until she began working with Fotis Dulos.
She was also involved in her sister’s shoe company, Seal Shoe Covers.
5. Troconis Is Being Held at the New Canaan Police HQ on $500,000 Bail on the 2 Felony Charges & Is Scheduled to Appear in Court for Her Arraignment on June 3
Michelle Troconis is in custody on $500,000 bail on the two felony charges, the New Canaan Police Department said in a press release. She is being held at the New Canaan Police headquarters, while Fotis Dulos is being held on $500,000 bail at the Bridgeport Correctional Center. Connecticut only has one female prison and no local or county jails for women, which is likely why she is being held in New Canaan pending her arraignment Monday morning, June 3, at state Superior Court in Norwalk. The state women;’s prison is about an hour and a half away from New Canaan and Norwalk.
Troconis was charged with first-degree tampering with or fabricating physical evidence, which is a class D felony punishable by 1 to 5 years in prison. She was also charged with first-degree hindering prosecution, which is a class C felony punishable by 1 to 10 years in prison.
According to state law, “A person is guilty of hindering prosecution in the first degree when such person renders criminal assistance to another person who has committed a class A or B felony or an unclassified felony for which the maximum penalty is imprisonment for more than ten years and such other person committed such felony with intent to intimidate or coerce the civilian population or a unit of government.”
Connecticut state law says, ” (a) A person is guilty of tampering with or fabricating physical evidence if, believing that a criminal investigation conducted by a law enforcement agency or an official proceeding is pending, or about to be instituted, such person: (1) Alters, destroys, conceals or removes any record, document or thing with purpose to impair its verity or availability in such criminal investigation or official proceeding; or (2) makes, presents or uses any record, document or thing knowing it to be false and with purpose to mislead a public servant who is or may be engaged in such criminal investigation or official proceeding.”
It is not clear if Troconis has hired an attorney.
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.”
Her family and friends issued a statement after her disappearance.
“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, “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 … 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.”