Prosecutors in Connecticut's infamous “Gone Mom” case presented evidence Tuesday that they say links defendant Michelle Troconis to the 2019 disappearance of her boyfriend's estranged wife, Jennifer Dulos.
The evidence included what appeared to be a blood-soaked shirt and bra, as well as zip ties, gloves, plastic ponchos, a box cutter and other things with what State Police Sgt. Kevin Duggan testified was a “blood-like” substance on them. The items were pulled from Hartford, Connecticut, trash receptacles where, according to prosecutors, surveillance video shows Troconis sitting in a vehicle with boyfriend Fotis Dulos as he tossed trash into the same bins shortly after Jennifer Dulos disappeared.
Troconis, 49, is charged with conspiracy to commit murder, tampering with evidence and hindering prosecution. She's accused of helping Fotis Dulos cover up the killing of his wife, whose body has never been found.
Police believe Fotis Dulos killed Jennifer Dulos in the garage of her home in New Canaan, Connecticut, after she dropped their children off at school in May 2019 and then cleaned up the crime scene.
Troconis, who is not seen handling the trash in any of the videos, has pleaded not guilty and denied any involvement.
“Nothing that was in those bags will be shown to have had anything to do with Michelle Troconis or that she knew what was in any of those bags,” Jon Schoenhorn, Troconis' lawyer, told reporters outside of the courthouse.
Jennifer Dulos' family and friends said seeing the evidence in court was “brutal but also crucial,” according to a statement released by her friend Carrie Luft in the evening. They hope the trial provides answers and accountability for her killing.
“Witnessing Jennifer’s blood-soaked clothing, knowing that was the shirt, the bra, she wore on the last day of her life, made us imagine, again, what she must have endured on May 24, 2019,” the statement said. “She died a tragic death, and her loss is felt beyond what words can express.”
The case drew widespread attention and became the subject of the made-for-TV movie “Gone Mom.” Jennifer Dulos, 50, was declared legally dead in October. She was a member of a wealthy New York family whose father, the late Hilliard Farber, founded a brokerage firm. She also was a niece by marriage of fashion designer Liz Claiborne.
Fotis Dulos, a luxury home builder originally from Greece, died by suicide in January 2020 after being charged with his wife’s murder.
According to Troconis' arrest warrant, DNA from Jennifer Dulos and Fotis Dulos was found on items in the trash from Hartford, and Troconis' DNA was found on some of the trash bags. That evidence is expected to come later in the trial.
The surveillance videos from Hartford, which is about 75 miles (121 kilometers) from Jennifer Dulos' home, were recorded the evening she disappeared but not discovered for six days. Police have said they believe some evidence may have been lost because much of the trash in that area was picked up during that week.
Video also showed Fotis Dulos placing near a building what police say resembled a vehicle cargo mat missing from his wife's abandoned SUV and dropping an envelope down a sewer drain. Prosecutors on Monday showed jurors what they said were altered license plates found in an envelope in the sewer drain.
More video evidence was presented Tuesday afternoon from cameras on buses and other surveillance cameras showing Fotis Dulos' vehicle traveling around the Hartford area.
At the time she vanished, Jennifer and Fotis Dulos were going through a contentious divorce and child custody proceedings that had limited his time with their children. Jennifer Dulos had moved out of the family home in Farmington, Connecticut, and Fotis Dulos was living there with Troconis and her daughter.