Police search Hartford trash plant with cadaver dogs in search for missing mom
Police in Connecticut are combing a Hartford trash-to-energy plant with cadaver dogs as the search for a missing New Canaan mother enters its 11th day. Jennifer Dulos, 50, a mother of five, was last seen leaving her children's school May 24. Her car was found abandoned in a park after she missed several appointments and was reported missing by friends.
Saturday, her estranged husband Fotis Dulos, 51, and his 44-year-old girlfriend Michelle Troconis were arrested and charged with evidence tampering and hindering prosecution in the case. In arrest warrants released Monday, police said neither Fotis Dulos nor Troconis have cooperated in the search for the missing woman.
On the night she was reported missing, cell data show both the couple's phones traveling from Farmington, where they live, to Hartford's north end. Surveillance video shows a man who matches Dulos' description in a car resembling his black pickup truck stopping at over 30 locations along a four-mile stretch of Albany Avenue and dumping several trash bags in multiple trash bins, according to the warrant.
A woman who matched Troconis' description is seen on video at one point leaning out of the truck's passenger window, the warrant says, and either placing something on the ground or picking something up.
Investigators who later searched the bins uncovered clothing and sponges stained with the missing woman's blood, according to the warrants.
Police contacted Hartford's Materials Innovation and Recycling Authority to determine where garbage collected from the Albany Avenue area would be sent once collected, leading them to the plant in Hartford's south meadows, MIRA officials confirmed to the Hartford Courant.
A state police team with eight German Shepherd dogs trained to detect the scent of human remains have been scouring the plant since mid-afternoon Monday, the paper reports. The search is expected to take several days.
The arrest warrants say investigators uncovered bloodstains and blood spatter along with evidence of a cleanup at Jennifer Dulos' New Canaan home. Investigators said in the police documents that they suspected Dulos had been the victim of a "serious physical assault" in the home.
The missing woman and her estranged husband had been involved in a contentious divorce and custody battle since she filed for divorce in 2017.
Fotis Dulos, a luxury home developer, and Troconis, an event coordinator who previously worked at ESPN in Argentina and Chile, were held on $500,000 bail during a court appearance Monday and were ordered to turn in their passports. Troconis posted bond and left court with her parents wearing a GPS ankle monitor, reports the Courant. Fotis Dulos has reportedly not yet posted bond.
More charges are expected, prosecutors have said.
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