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Jennifer Dulos

Jennifer Dulos: Family defends missing mom after husband’s lawyer implies she may have staged her own ‘Gone Girl’ style disappearance

The family of missing Connecticut mother of five, Jennifer Dulos, defended the woman after the lawyer of her estranged husband implied she may have disappeared on her own.

On Monday, family spokesperson Carrie Luft told NBC Connecticut that she’s “concerned about these continued attacks and the ludicrous theories Pattis is putting out there,” referring to Fotis Dulos’ defense lawyer, Norm Pattis.

Fotis Dulos is Jennifer’s estranged husband and remains a suspect in her disappearance.

Pattis claimed that Jennifer wrote a 500-page manuscript reminiscent of the popular novel “Gone Girl,” in which a woman fakes her own death and leaves clues that point to her husband at the killer.

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“Drawing any comparison to a work of fiction does an incredible disservice to the family, especially to the children,” Luft said. “This is not a fil. This is not a novel. This our real life.”

Pattis reportedly admitted that he had not yet fully read Jennifer’s manuscript, while her loved ones who did read it said there’s nothing about the manuscript that resembles “Gone Girl.”

Luft released a statement on behalf of Jennifer’s family regarding the manuscript, hoping to clear up any rumors.

“I read Jennifer’s novel in installments as she was completing the manuscript. She finished the draft around 2002. (This was before she was dating Fotis Dulos.) Her book has nothing to do with Gone Girl (published in 2012). Jennifer’s novel is not a mystery. It’s a character-driven story that follows a young woman through relationships and self-discovery over a period of years. Like all of Jennifer’s writing, it expresses a deep longing for human connection and the need to be accepted as one’s true self.

Trying to tie Jennifer’s absence to a book she wrote more than 17 years ago makes no sense. Evidence shows that Jennifer was the victim of a violent attack in her New Canaan home. As of today, she has been missing for a month. This is not fiction or a movie. This is real life, as experienced every single day by Jennifer’s five young children, her family, and her friends. We are heartbroken. Jennifer is not here to protect her children, and these false and irresponsible allegations hurt the children now and into the future.”

Luft also detailed the “brilliant and creative” mom is a compassionate person who put always puts her children first.

“Many people have asked for more details about Jennifer, as a person, a mom, a friend. Jennifer is brilliant and creative—she graduated with honors from Brown University and earned an MFA in writing from NYU. As a teen, she was a nationally ranked junior squash player,” told NBC.

“Much more important, Jennifer is a deeply genuine person, compassionate and trustworthy. She is also subtly hilarious. She loves silly movies as much as she loves great literature. An avid traveler, she delights in learning about other people and has imbued her five children with this love of discovery. She cares about her children more than anything in the world.”

Jennifer Dulos [Handout]

Where is Jennifer?

Meanwhile, Jennifer remains missing. She was last seen on May 24 around 8 a.m. while dropping her children off at the New Canaan Country School in the prominent New Canaan community. Police later found her vehicle, a black 2017 Chevrolet Suburban, parked off of Lapham Road. Jennifer was nowhere to be found. A cleaning service arrived to her home at noon on Friday but Jennifer was not there.

Jennifer also missed several appointments that day, including one at 11 a.m. and one at 1 p.m. Since she vanished, she has not used her cellphone or her credit cards.

Search dogs and search teams scoured through wooded areas by Jennifer’s home, as well as a 300-acre park, bodies of water and a cornfield. Authorities also spent days at a large dump facility and scouring Fotis Dulos’ property, searching for any clues.

Fotis Dulos and his girlfriend, Michelle Troconis, 44, were arrested earlier this month after authorities said the pair tampered with evidence in connection to Jennifer’s disappearance. According to the arrest affidavit, investigators found,

  • Bags of blood-stained clothing and sponges that Dulos allegedly dropped into trash cans at businesses in Connecticut
  • Stains of blood on Jennifer’s garage floor
  • Blood spatter in numerous areas of Jennifer’s home
  • Dulos’ DNA mixed in with Jennifer’s blood on her kitchen faucet
  • Obvious attempts to clean up the scene
  • Altered Connecticut license plates that belonged to Dulos
  • Security footage of Dulos driving his Ford pickup to various locations, dropping trash bags into different public trash receptacles
  • Security footage of Troconis “leaning out of the passenger seat of the Ford pickup and either placing something on the ground or picking up an item”

Both defendants have since bailed out of jail, but both were required to give up their passports and wear GPS monitoring around their ankles while awaiting trial.

Fotis Dulos and Michelle Troconis
Fotis Dulos and Michelle Troconis [Police Handout]

Bitter Custody Battle

As the search for Jennifer continues, court documents obtained by the Stamford Advocate shed light on the lengthy and tumultuous child custody battle between Jennifer and her husband.

“I am afraid of my husband,” Jennifer said, according to court documents. “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.”

“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. I am afraid for my safety and the physical safety and emotional well-being of our minor children…..I believe him to be highly capable and vengeful enough to take the children and disappear.”

The pair share five children together, who are now between the ages of 8 and 13. According to court documents, Jennifer said her husband was “obsessed” with water skiing and tried to get their children involved in the sport as well.

Court documents state that Fotis reportedly insisted that their children become “world-class skiers” and would train them for 11 hours per day, which Jennifer considered excessive and dangerous for the kids.

When one of the children wanted a break from training, Fotis Dulos allegedly broke a ski on a rock in a fit of rage. Another child, according to court documents, developed mental health issues from alleged the intense, severe training.

“We are all terrified to disobey my husband,” Jennifer wrote.

Fotis Dulos, according to his lawyer, denies the allegations. He reportedly claimed that his children had their own choice and he never forced them to ski.

Jennifer also claimed that her husband bought a handgun, and she feared what he was capable of doing with it, given his “controlling, volatile, and delusional behavior.” Fotis Dubos later handed the gun over to police upon request.

Jennifer filed for divorce in 2017, after 13 years of marriage. Prior to the divorce, the family lived in Farmington with Fotis, but Jennifer took the children and moved to a New Canaan rental home. The home is situated in an area that was once was called “one of the nation’s wealthiest communities,” according to CNN Money.

Since Jennifer’s disappearance, all five children have been staying with her mother in New York. A judge granted the grandmother emergency custody of the children and warned Dulos to stay away from all of them.

Fotis Dulos has not made public comment since his wife’s disappearance. According to court documents, however, he claimed Jennifer was the one who made threats toward him, the Hartford Courant reports.

Anyone with information regarding Jennifer’s disappearance is urged to call the New Canaan Police Tip Line at 203-594-3544.

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[Feature Photo: Jennifer Dulos/Handout]