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Estranged husband of missing Connecticut woman arrested on new evidence tampering charge

Fotis Dulos and his girlfriend, Michelle Troconis, have been free on bail since their arrest in early June in connection with the disappearance of Jennifer Dulos.
Image: Fotis Dulos
Fotis Dulos stands during a hearing at Superior Court in Stamford, Conn. on June 11, 2019.Erik Trautmann / Hearst Connecticut Media via AP, Pool file

The estranged husband of a missing Connecticut mother has been arrested again — this time, for another charge of tampering with evidence, according to authorities.

Fotis Dulos, a real estate developer, was arrested Wednesday afternoon by Connecticut State Police at his Farmington home. Dulos, 52, was released after posting a $500,000 bond and is next due in court on Sept. 12, according to the Connecticut State Police.

Fotis Dulos did not speak to reporters after his Wednesday release, except to say that it was an "exhausting fight" and that he loved his children. His attorney, Norm Pattis, said that Fotis Dulos intends to plead not guilty to the new charges.

"There's not much here that we hadn't heard before and I question the wisdom of these charges at this late date," Pattis said. "The requirement to make another bond seems simply that it was a stunt on the state's part to try to wear down our will to exist."

Fotis Dulos and his girlfriend, Michelle Troconis, have been free on bail since their arrest in early June for hindering prosecution and tampering with evidence in connection with the disappearance of Jennifer Dulos. He has been under GPS monitoring and barred from contacting his family.

Surveillance footage showed the pair discarding items that had Jennifer Dulos' blood on them. Prosecutors said Fotis Dulos’ DNA was found in his wife’s home.

Image: Jennifer Dulos
Jennifer DulosNew Canaan Police Dept.

Jennifer Dulos, 50, was last seen on May 24, after dropping her kids off at school. New Canaan police responded to a report of a missing person later that night. Her vehicle was found the day she disappeared.

She moved to New Canaan with her children in 2017, about 70 miles from where where she lived with Fotis Dulos in Farmington.

According to a warrant released Wednesday by the state police, investigators believe Fotis Dulos waited for Jennifer Dulos at her home after she dropped their children off at school. Jennifer Dulos’ 2017 Chevrolet Suburban was seen on a residential security camera at 8:05 a.m., leading authorities to believe the “crime and clean-up” occurred between then and 10:25 a.m., when the SUV was seen leaving the house.

Dulos was "believed to be driving the victim’s vehicle ... carrying the body of Jennifer Dulos and a number of other items associated with the clean-up, which occurred in the garage of the residence,” the warrant said.

A red Toyota Tacoma also appeared at Jennifer Dulos' neighborhood during this time, according to the warrant. Upon investigation, detectives discovered that the Tacoma belonged to a project manager at Fotis Dulos’ company, The Fore Group.

The project manager, Pawel Gumienny, told detectives he parked the truck at the office on May 24 and took a vehicle registered to The Fore Group to one of the company’s construction sites, the warrant said. Upon returning to the office at about 4:30 p.m., Gumienny told detectives his car was locked and his keys were missing.

Gumienny said that Troconis later returned his keys and he discovered the following week that Fotis Dulos took his car to be detailed without his consent. Fotis Dulos also insisted that Gumienny change the seats in the Tacoma because they were not original, which the project manager told police he found strange, according to the warrant.

"Gumienny explained to investigators that on 5/31/19 Dulos offered Gumienny the seats from the damaged Porsche to use in his Tacoma," the warrant said. "He reported that Dulos had also told him to switch out the seats and get rid of them so they would not be found."

Gumienny instead kept the seats and later turned them over to police, who found a blood-like substance matching the DNA of Jennifer Dulos on them, according to the warrant.

Troconis told police she saw Fotis Dulos spill coffee on the seats of Gumienny's Tacoma on the day of May 24 and used a stained towel in an attempt to clean the spill, according to the warrant. She claimed they tossed the stained towel in a black garbage bag and had Gumienny's truck cleaned the following week. According to the warrant, Troconis said they were cleaning the car because Fotis Dulos told her Gumienny wanted to sell his truck.

"Troconis was asked by investigators why she thought Dulos would be washing the Tacoma," the warrant said. "Her reply was, ‘Well obviously … all the evidence says showed me the picture of the blood in the door it’s because the body of Jennifer at some point was in there.'"

CORRECTION (Sept. 6, 2019, 10:39 a.m.): An earlier version of this story misstated Fotis Dulos’ age. He is 52, not 51.