STAMFORD, Conn. (Court TV) — Less than two weeks after a Connecticut mother of five went missing in 2019, her ex-husband and his girlfriend were arrested in connection with her disappearance.
Jennifer Dulos disappeared on the morning of May 24, 2019. Although her body has never been found, Jennifer’s estranged husband, Fotis Dulos, was charged with her murder. Now, Fotis’ girlfriend, Michelle Troconis, is set to face a trial related to the case in early January. Troconis is charged with conspiracy to commit murder and other charges.
Fotis, 52, was allegedly lying in wait for Jennifer, 50, when she returned to her New Canaan home after dropping her children off at school.
When police arrived at Jennifer’s home, there was a trail of blood from the garage all the way to a local park, where Jennifer’s abandoned SUV was found.
In their search of the home, investigators discovered that Jennifer and Fotis were in the middle of a bitter divorce and custody battle. In court papers, Jennifer stated:
“I know that filing for divorce… will enrage him. I know he will retaliate by trying to harm me in some way.”
Prosecutors say Troconis, 49, assisted Fotis in covering up Jennifer’s murder. Troconis was living with Fotis at the time Jennifer went missing. On the night Jennifer disappeared, Troconis could be seen on surveillance video sitting in Fotis’ truck as he dumped trash bags. Those bags were later found to contain Jennifer’s blood and DNA.
Police brought Fotis and Troconis in for questioning, and later they found a handwritten note in Fotis’ home that appeared to be a timeline — a timeline that matched the same details Troconis had given investigators about the day Jennifer disappeared.
Troconis was brought in for questioning on three separate ocasions, and cops said each interview contained conflicting information.
Fotis was charged with murder, felony murder and kidnapping. Troconis was charged with conspiracy to commit murder, two counts of conspiracy to tamper with physical evidence, two counts of tampering with physical evidence and second-degree hindering prosecution.
Fotis died by suicide on Jan. 30, 2020. Three weeks after he was charged with Jennifer’s murder. While Fotis’ case effectively died with him, Troconis’ day in court may be the only justice Jennifer’s family gets.
Where Troconis’ case stands today
Troconis’ attorney, Jon Schoenhorn, maintains that his client didn’t know what Fotis was doing with the trash bags on the night of Jennifer’s disappearance.
Troconis scored a legal victory earlier this month when a judge ruled that prosecutors cannot use evidence obtained from a warrantless search of Troconis’ phone, which was seized by police during a May 31, 2019 search of Fotis’ home.
Schoenhorn argued that investigators violated Troconis’ constitutional rights by blatantly going against her indication that she wanted her lawyer. Schoenhorn also pointed out that Troconis could be heard on video telling the officer that she “didn’t want to say something wrong,” indicating that the interview was hindered by the language barrier.
Spanish is Troconis’ native language, and an interpreter was not made available for any of Troconis’ three police interviews. Schoenhorn filed a motion to suppress those interviews.
A jury has already been selected, and opening statements are expected to begin on January 11, 2024. Court TV will provide live courtroom coverage of the trial.