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Fotis Dulos declared dead; Attorneys intend on clearing name

THE BRONX, N.Y. — Defense Attorney Norm Pattis confirmed Thursday evening that Fotis Dulos had died. Fotis had faced multiple charges, including murder, i...

THE BRONX, N.Y. -- Defense Attorney Norm Pattis confirmed Thursday evening that Fotis Dulos had died.

Fotis had faced multiple charges, including murder, in the disappearance of Jennifer Dulos. Jennifer was last seen on surveillance cameras after dropping her children off at school on May 24th in New Canaan.

On Tuesday, police said they responded to his Jefferson Crossing home after Fotis failed to appear for an emergency bond hearing in Stamford. When Farmington police arrived, they said they saw Fotis in a vehicle, and in "obvious medical distress from an attempted suicide". They forced their way into the garage and immediately began rendering medical aid.

Fotis was taken to nearby UConn Hospital and then was flown by LifeStar to Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx. At Jacobi, he was treated for carbon monoxide poisoning in a hyperbaric chamber. Pattis had described Fotis' condition the next day as "dire".

Police said that at 5:32 p.m. January 30th, Dulos was pronounced dead.

If you or a loved one are struggling with thoughts of self-harm, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

Reaction

Pattis said during the news conference Thursday evening that it was a "difficult day" for the family, filled with medical tests and decisions. One of those decisions was to donate Dulos' organs "So that he will live on in some form and the assistance that he can provide to others in their own individual struggles."

Pattis also had a message to anyone who felt that Dulos' suicide was an act or admission of guilt:

"We say no. We say it was a conscious worn with the weight of a world that was too busy to listen and that wanted a story more than It wanted the truth."

A statement was later released that said:

"Mr. Dulos was tried and convicted in the court of public opinion. Now he has been executed. We remain committed to demonstrating he did not murder Jennifer."

Carrie Luft, a friend of the family of Jennifer Dulos, also released a statement regarding Fotis' death:

This is a horrific tragedy all around. Please respect the privacy of the families and loved ones involved.

Timeline of Investigation

According to a court motion filed Thursday by Dulos' defense team, Dulos had left a note behind insisting he was innocent.

Read the motion:

The investigation began on May 24th, 2019 when a missing person alert quickly turned into a criminal investigation. Jennifer hadn't been seen since dropping off her five children at school that morning. Around 7 p.m. that evening, friends contacted police to report her missing after she had missed several appointments during the day.

New Canaan police said they went to Jennifer's home but she wasn't there. They later found her vehicle on Lapham Road near Waveny Park. Jennifer was nowhere to be found. K9 units were unsuccessful in finding Jennifer, and a Silver Alert was put out a short time later. At the time, police said as, with all missing person cases, they have a criminal investigation also conducted to see if the person was the victim of foul play or intentional harm.

Jennifer's disappearance soon led to her estranged husband, Fotis, and his girlfriend at the time, Michelle Troconis.

Court documents released a couple weeks ago revealed how Jennifer was fearful of Fotis, which led to their contentious divorce and custody proceedings. In December, Fotis had asked for access to his children and for the divorce case to be dismissed. The five children are currently in custody of their grandmother, Gloria Farber.

Evidence had led investigators to a trash facility in Hartford. Police said that Fotis and Troconis were seen the night Jennifer disappeared dumping evidence into trash bins on Albany Avenue. Investigators also scoured ponds and lakes, and Waveny Park where Jennifer's vehicle was originally found.

More on the disappearance of Jennifer Dulos.

Fotis and Troconis were originally charged with tampering with evidence and hindering the investigation into Jennifer's disappearance. A warrant that was released by police reported that Troconis had originally lied to police during an interview on June 2nd. The warrant also stated that Troconis and Fotis wrote "albi scripts" detailing where they were on may 24th and 25th, but Troconis had later admitted the details were false.

On January 7th, Fotis, Troconis, and a third person, Kent Mawhinney, were arrested and charged in connection with the disappearance with Jennifer. 

Fotis Dulos was charged with felony murder, murder, and kidnapping. He faced a court-set bond of $6 million. He later posted bond, and was ordered on house arrest with limited permissions to leave. A week later, his release conditions were further restricted after he was seen removing items from a memorial dedicated to Jennifer.

Court officials said Fotis was scheduled to appear in Stamford court Tuesday due to issues related over his $6 million bond. Sources told FOX61 the bondholder was being questioned about whether the real estate assets that Dulos put up to secure his bond and release have enough equity due to liens and mortgages. Fotis did now show up to court that afternoon, and police later found him unresponsive in his garage from carbon monoxide poisoning.

You can read his arrest warrant here:

Troconis has been charged with conspiracy to commit murder and had a court set bond of $2 million. She later posted bond. 

Mawhinney, a Bloomfield-based lawyer and personal friend of Dulos, was also charged with conspiracy to commit murder and was also charged with $2 million. He was unable to post bond, and remains at a correctional facility in Cheshire. Read his arrest warrant here:

In an almost-500 page search warrant released by police, they outlined what led them to eventually charging Fotis, Troconis, and Mawhinney in connection with Jennifer's disappearance.  You can read the warrant here.

A gag order was placed on the investigation, limiting what investigators and those involved with the case could share with the public and media.

What's Next?

Police had executed a search warrant Wednesday evening at the Jefferson Crossing home. They say the warrant has been sealed. On Thursday, lawyers for Jennifer's mother, Gloria, moved to appoint a receiver for Jefferson Crossing. Fotis was sued by Farber for millions of dollars she claimed he owned to Jennifer's father's estate.

Farber said Fotis owed her family up to $3 million related to expenses with Fore Group, Inc., a luxury home business.

As Fotis Dulos's attorney announced his death, a new person of interest has surfaced in the story.

Bond records, obtained by FOX61 through a Freedom of Information Request, revealed that a woman from North Carolina, Anna Curry, paid $147,000 to help Dulos post his $6 million bond earlier this month.

Curry was listed on the bond documents as Dulos' "best friend." She also agreed to pay $18,000 a month to the Palmetto Surety Corporation.

 Following the death of Fotis Dulos, both Michelle Troconis and Kent Mawhinney will still have to face their day in court for charges in the Jennifer Dulos case. Kent Mawhinney’s lawyer spoke exclusively to FOX61 with an update on his client Thursday afternoon.

Criminal defense attorney Lee Gold was unable to share a lot of details about his client but said Mawhinney is doing his best to handle his current situation.

Troconis is expected back in court on February 7th. Mawhinney will be in court on February 14th.

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