The estranged husband of missing Connecticut mother Jennifer Dulos is apparently trying to dismiss divorce proceedings filed prior to her disappearance.
NBC New York reports that Fotis’ legal team hopes to help get his five children back by dismissing the divorce his wife Jennifer filed against him prior to her to May 24 disappearance. Earlier this year, a probate judge allowed the children to move in with Jennifer’s mother, Gloria Farber.
Although Fotis’ parental rights have not been terminated, the children are in the custody of Farber. Fotis wants access to his children, and his divorce attorney, Rich Rochlin, said that by dismissing the divorce, the process will be “streamlined.”
How do you protect your children from predators? Join Nancy Grace and a team of world-class experts for the online course ‘Justice Nation: Crime Stops Here’.
“Mr. Dulos intends to seek access to his children in the Juvenile or Probate Court and is prepared for a full evidentiary hearing in support of the same,” Rochlin said, according to the Hartford Courant. “It appears that there is no good cause why this Court should not dismiss the instant action and permit the remaining issues to be adjudicated in that forum.”
Rochlin alleged that Farber was given control over the five children, even though their parents’ divorce case, which included a custody battle, was still pending. Rochlin added that Fotis has repeatedly asked for access to his children’s medical and academic records but has yet to receive them.
“Mr. Dulos’ parental rights have not been terminated and he is presumed innocent of all criminal charges currently pending against him,” Rochlin said.
A hearing regarding the custody of the children is scheduled for January 9, the same day Fotis Dulos has a hearing in criminal court.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Jennifer was last seen at around 8 a.m. on May 24 while dropping her children off at the New Canaan Country School in the prominent New Canaan community in Connecticut.
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 at her home at noon on May 24 but never saw Jennifer.
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 searching at a large dump facility and scouring Fotis Dulos’ property in Farmington.
Both Dulos and his girlfriend, Michelle Troconis were arrested in June after authorities said the pair tampered with evidence in connection to Jennifer’s disappearance. According to the arrest affidavit, investigators found, in part:
- 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”
- Blood DNA that matched to Jennifer inside Gummienny’s truck
Both Dulos and Troconis bailed out of jail, but both were arrested again in September on additional tampering with evidence charges after Troconis reportedly turned on Dulos and admitted she lied about seeing him on the morning Jennifer vanished.
Troconis told detectives that she did not know where Dulos on the morning of May 24, between 6:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m, taking back her original claim that she was with him.
Authorities believe a “serious physical assault” happened to Jennifer, and the “the crime and the cleanup are believed to have occurred between 8:05 a.m. and 10:25 a.m.” on May 24.
Trocinis also said that Dulos borrowed a truck from his friend, Pawel Gummienny, around the time Jennifer vanished, according to court documents. Troconis said Dulos later had the truck detailed and washed.
When detectives asked her why the truck was cleaned, Jennifer allegedly referenced to blood inside the vehicle.
“You showed me the picture of the blood in the door. It’s because the body of Jennifer at some point was in there.”
The arrest warrant stated Dulos later offered replacement rear truck seats to Gummienny. The owner of the truck reportedly told police that Dulos instructed him to get rid of the old seats “so they would not be found.”
Gummienny claimed he held onto the old seats, in the event authorities asked for them.
Investigators obtained the old seats from Gummienny and performed a swab test on a “blood-like substance,” which matched Jennifer’s DNA. Further, investigators accused Dulos of “lying in wait” for Jennifer to come home on May 24, when security footage captured her walking into her home at around 8:30 a.m.
Investigators noted that Jennifer’s SUV left her residence at some point on May 24, but they think Fotis Dulos was behind the wheel.
The story continues. Check back for updates.
For the latest true crime and justice news, subscribe to the ‘Crime Stories with Nancy Grace’ podcast.
Join Nancy Grace for her new online video series designed to help you protect what you love most – your children.
[Feature Photo: Jennifer Dulos/Handout]