New photographs of apparent bloodstains in the home of mother-to-five Jennifer Dulos have been shown to jurors in the trial of Michelle Troconis, the woman accused of helping to conceal her murder.
Troconis, 49, a glamorous American-Venezuelan socialite who was dating Jennifer’s ex-husband Fotis Dulos at the time of her death, appeared stony-faced as she arrived for day three of her trial at Connecticut Superior Court on Tuesday.
She watched intently at the police photographs as they were shown and appeared to be listening to a translation of the hearing through earphones.
Fotis and Jennifer were in the midst of acrimonious divorce and child custody battle proceedings when she vanished on May 24, 2019, and he was later charged with her murder.
But he killed himself in January 2020, leaving Troconis to face the music alone. She has denied any involvement with Jennifer’s disappearance.
Troconis’ trial began in Stamford began on Thursday last week before pausing over the weekend and Martin Luther King Jr Day.
Michelle Troconis looked stony-faced as she arrived at Connecticut Superior Court on Tuesday
Troconis’ trial began in Stamford began on Thursday last week before pausing over the weekend and Martin Luther King Jr Day. (Pictured: Troconis arriving at the Stamford court with her mother and a member of her legal team)
Troconis arrived for the Jennifer Dulos trial flanked by her mother (right) and her legal team, including attorney Jon Schoenhorn (left)
Troconis started straight ahead as she approached the court for day three of her trial on Tuesday
Troconis and her attorney Jon Schoenhorn arriving at the Stamford courthouse ahead of day three of her trial. The American-Venezuelan defendant has denied all charges
Michelle Troconis in court for day three of her trial
Troconis conferred with her attorneys at points during the trial in Stamford, CT
On Tuesday, jurors heard more evidence about what detectives have been calling ‘blood-like stains’ on several surfaces in Jennifer’s New Canaan CT home, where she lived with her five children
Evidence of ‘blood-like stains’ on the ground of Dulos’ garage was shown to jurors
Police said they also found red stains in Dulos’ kitchen, including on the inside tubing of a paper towel roll, on the faucet at her sink, and on the edge of a countertop
Former state police detective Matthew Reilly said he spotted red stains on several surfaces in Jennifer’s kitchen, including on a paper towel roll, sink faucet, and counter-top – and in her garage
On Tuesday, jurors heard more evidence about what detectives have been calling ‘blood-like stains’ on several surfaces in Jennifer’s New Canaan CT home, where she lived with her five children who were aged between eight and 13 at the time.
Former state police detective Matthew Reilly said he spotted red stains on several surfaces in Jennifer’s kitchen on May 25, 2019, including on a paper towel roll, sink faucet, and counter-top – and in her garage.
Jurors were also shown photographs of alleged bloodstains on Jennifer’s Chevy Suburban, which was found abandoned around three miles from her home the day after she vanished.
Former detective Reilly said he swabbed the stains and some of the garage samples tested positive for blood. The samples were sent to a lab for confirmation, but none of the witnesses have testified yet about these results.
Troconis’ trial began last week with evidence from several other Connecticut detectives. Jurors were also shown bodycam footage of officers searching her home, and what appeared to be a bloody footprint on the ground.
Police say Fotis transported her body out of the garage and disposed of it later in a friend’s SUV.
Troconis, a former ESPN host in South America, denies charges connected to the suspected homicide – including conspiracy to commit murder, evidence tampering and hindering prosecution.
Jennifer Farber Dulos vanished in May 2019. Her remains have never been found, but police believe she was murdered by her husband Fotis Dulos, and that his new girlfriend Michelle Troconis conspired with him to help him cover up the crime
Jennifer and Fotis Dulos
Troconis – who is accused of helping lover Fotis Dulos kill his wife in 2019 – is currently free on a $2million bond and faces up to twenty years in prison if convicted
Troconis in court for the third day of her trial on Tuesday, January 16, 2024
Troconis looked pensive as she listened to her trial unfold on the third day of hearings
Troconis speaking with her attorneys, including Jon Schoenhorn, during her trial on Tuesdy
A ‘red stain’ on the grill of Jennifer Dulos’ Range Rover on May 24, 2019, the day she vanished. Police searching the house said it stood out to them and did not appear to have been from a deer strike. The state alleges Fotis Dulos killed his wife either in the home or the garage, injuring her so badly that she bled profusely, and then removed her body
Police also found a bloody footprint in the garage where they believe Jennifer’s body was moved
Cops also pointed out what they thought were ‘drops’ of blood in the same garage
Jennifer vanished aged 50 on May 24, 2019, after dropping her children off at school, and her body was never found. Judge William P. Osterndorf declared her ‘officially dead’ on Wednesday.
Prosecutors allege that Fotis, a luxury real estate developer, brutally slayed Jennifer at her New Canaan home before disposing of her body in several trash bags with the help of Troconis.
Jennifer, who made her living as a writer for Patch.com, was last seen returning home at 8.05am on a neighbor’s security camera.
She missed two doctor’s appointments in New York City scheduled for later that day, and two of her friends, including her nanny Lauren Almeida, reported her missing after being unable to get in touch with her.
State police launched an investigation, starting with a search of her home where they found her blood splattered on the exterior of a Range Rover in her garage and on several surfaces in the kitchen.
Officials said there was evidence of an attempted cleanup, and the enormous amount of blood made it apparent Jennifer could not have survived.
She was going through a messy divorce with Fotis at the time, and arrest warrants show that he was also $7 million in debt while living with Troconis and her daughter in the Farmington, Connecticut home he once shared with his wife and children.
The Dulos children – Petros, Theodore, Constantine, Christiane and Cleopatra Noelle – were aged between eight and 13 at the time.
Jennifer Dulos is pictured in a photo released by police when she went missing
Jennifer, a 50-year-old writer and mother-of-five from New Canaan, close to Stamford, vanished after dropping her five beloved children off at school on May 24, 2019
Fotis (pictured) killed himself in his mansion aged 52 while awaiting trial in January 2020, leaving Troconis to face the music alone
Prosecutors believe Fotis drove an employee’s Toyota Tacoma pickup truck from that property to New Canaan before riding a bicycle to Jennifer’s home and attacking her in the garage.
He put her body in her Chevrolet Suburban and drove around three miles, police say, The vehicle was found abandoned near Waveny Park in New Canaan.
That evening at around 7.30pm, Fotis and Troconis were seen on surveillance cameras in his pickup truck stopping at several locations in Hartford. Fotis emerged from the vehicle to dispose of several garbage bags while Troconis remained inside.
Police recovered some of the bags several days later and found bloodied clothing, zip ties and other items containing DNA matching Jennifer and Fotis. One bag also had Troconis’ DNA on, authorities said.
In police interviews, Troconis said she thought the bags contained goods from one of the houses Fotis was selling at the time.
Officers also uncovered what came to be known as ‘the alibi scripts’ – two pages written by Fotis and Troconis which detailed their activities on a nearly hourly basis the day Jennifer was last seen, but did not include the bag disposal time.
Troconis claimed they detailed their actions on the advice of Fotis’ lawyer.
But her arrest warrant also alleges that she presented conflicting stories to police during three interviews about whether she saw Fotis on the morning that Jennifer died.
That morning, Fotis was meant to meet with Kent Mawhinney, his friend and lawyer, but they never actually met. Mawhinney was also charged with conspiracy to commit murder and awaits trial. He has pleaded not guilty.
Jennifer Dulos went missing in May 2019 and her body has never been found despite extensive searches from investigators. Her husband Fotis killed himself the following January after being charged with her murder
Venezuelan socialite Troconis (left with Dulos and right with her daughter) has always denied having any involvement in Jennifer’s death
Meanwhile, Troconis’ lawyer, Jon Schoenhorn, has accused police of lying to and misleading his client during interviews and questioning her in English with no interpreter present when her primary language is Spanish.
Schoenhorn has also challenged much of the evidence in the case. Judge Kevin Randolph recently ruled the police seizure of Troconis’ cellphone was illegal and any evidence obtained from it cannot be used during the trial.
But Randolph allowed other evidence Schoenhorn sought to bar, including video of the police questioning of Troconis and DNA test results.
Dulos’ family and friends hope the trial provides accountability for her death and answers to lingering questions.
‘As this trial begins, it is crucial to remember who is at the center: Jennifer, whose five children have lost their mother and, as an eventuality, both parents,’ said her friend Carrie Luft, in a statement on behalf of family and friends.
‘Jennifer´s family and loved ones have lost a loving daughter, sister, cousin, and lifelong friend.’