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2 years missing | Jennifer Dulos remembered as domestic violence awareness continues

The State Senate recently passed “Jennifers’ Law" which would add coercive control to the definition of domestic violence as well as put child safety as a priority.

NEW CANAAN, Conn. — It’s been two years since New Canaan mother-of-five Jennifer Dulos disappeared without a trace after dropping off her children at school.

Presumed dead, Dulos’ disappearance triggered a lengthy investigation that very quickly turned its focus on her estranged husband Fotis Dulos.

He was charged with her murder, despite the fact, her body has not been found. He died by suicide in January 2020.

Fotis Dulos’ defense attorney Norm Pattis maintains his client was innocent.

However, police are still building cases against his alleged co-conspirators: his girlfriend Michelle Troconis and his former lawyer Kent Mawhinney. Both are charged with conspiracy to commit murder and they have both plead not guilty.

“This is still an active and ongoing investigation,” Josue Dorelus with the Connecticut State Police to FOX61 News in January.

Carrie Luft released a statement on behalf of Jennifer's family addressing the investigation and "Jennifers' Law:"

Monday, May 24, marks the two-year milestone of the disappearance of Jennifer Farber Dulos, an extraordinary woman, a devoted mother and daughter, a brilliant writer, a true friend. We are moved by the continued interest in Jennifer’s case and by the concern for her children and family, all of whom are thankfully healthy and well.

Although this past year has understandably slowed the process, the investigation into Jennifer’s death and disappearance is ongoing. After the courts reopen, the two people charged with conspiracy to murder will stand trial. We remain extremely grateful to the Connecticut State Police, New Canaan Police, and other law enforcement organizations that have worked to bring closure to Jennifer’s case.

On May 18, the Connecticut State Senate passed SB 1091, known informally as “Jennifers’ Law,” after Jennifer Farber Dulos and Jennifer Magnano, who was murdered by her ex-husband in Connecticut in 2007. The legislation expands the legal definition of domestic violence to include nonviolent coercive control, such as psychological, emotional, sexual, and financial abuse.

It is our hope that changing the legal definition can help change the outcomes for people in abusive relationships. Intimate partner violence cuts across the socioeconomic spectrum and affects people of all genders. Jennifer’s case has received a great deal of attention, but the stories of most people affected by partner violence are never told. Our hearts are with all of the victims and survivors, their families, children, and loved ones. 

With purple ribbons and flowers, cards, and a banner, a group of women was back at the MDC West Hartford reservoir To make sure the memory of Jennifer Dulos lives on.

"Last year we started this memorial, and we have a small group of us on Facebook who feel very passionate about honoring Jennifer," said Karin Klarides Marinaro from Oxford, CT, "An amazing mother, and daughter and wife, just truly a beautiful soul."

The Facebook group is called Justice for Jennifer Dulos.

The memorial also highlighting victims of domestic violence. Purple ribbons with the names of women and men taken too soon.

Jessica Edwards, the South Windsor mother recently killed, was just added to the memorial.  Police saying her husband confessed to the crime.

"We do this for them as well," said Klarides Marinaro.

Troconis, who was last in court virtually in February, also tried to get her ankle bracelet removed. Her family released a statement Monday afternoon, claiming her innocence: 

May 24th marks the two-year anniversary of the disappearance of Jennifer Dulos. Our hearts go out to her family while we wait to learn what might have happened to her. But for our family, May 24th also marks the beginning of two years of injustice towards Michelle. Michelle is an amazing woman, mother, daughter, sister, and friend, who has been treated unfairly, contrary to what the American Justice System is supposed to be about: “With freedom and justice for all!” Michelle has been treated as if she were guilty from day one, with police, investigators, the media and members of the public ignoring the presumption of innocence that the United States Constitution claims to offer to all its citizens. Since the start of their investigation, the New Canaan Police and the Connecticut State Police operated with predetermined assumptions and unsupported conclusions. Michelle spent hours meeting with police investigators and prosecutors trying to help solve the mystery of the Jennifer Dulos’s disappearance. Yet the arrest warrants falsify what she told them and reach conclusions without facts to support them. Regardless of the actual facts that are slowly coming out, Michelle has been portrayed as a malicious and calculating woman by the media. The COVID-19 pandemic has delayed Michelle’s case, but our attorney, Jon Schoenhorn, has continued to file motions so that the truth can come out. We would like to remind the community that we are a family of professionals and parents who are raising our own children to embrace equality and inclusion. We value and respect the role of women in our society and oppose domestic abuse and discrimination and therefore support promoting women’s rights and protection. We will continue to support Michelle during this most difficult time for our family and we trust that justice and her innocence will prevail in the end. It is just a matter of time.

Their cases are ongoing. Mawhinney was back in court just last week trying to remove his GPS monitoring ankle bracelet.

RELATED: 'Jennifers' Law' passes State Senate

WATCH ‘THE SEARCH FOR JENNIFER DULOS’ TONIGHT AT 10 PM ON FOX61.

Outside of the courtroom, national interest in Jennifer Dulors remains.

Lifetime is set to air a movie called “Gone Mom: The Disappearance of Jennifer Dulos” on June 5, starring Annabeth Gish and Warren Christie.

Locally, the Senate recently passed “Jennifers’ Law” – which would add coercive control to the definition of domestic violence as well as put child safety as a priority in custody cases by making domestic violence the first factor to consider.

The bill, proposed by State Sen. Alex Kasser, would define coercive control to include psychological, emotional, financial, and legal abuse.

The law is also named in honor of Jennifer Magano, who was killed by her husband in the presence of their children in 2007

RELATED: Kent Mawhinney, charged in connection to Jennifer Dulos disapperance, denied ankle monitoring removal

“We are in a pivotal moment right now where everyone recognizes, hopefully, recognizes domestic violence is a public health crisis,” Kasser said. “Our understanding of domestic violence has to be updated. Ninety percent of the abuse is not physical, but it’s the non-physical abuse that predicts violence.”

The bill attracted national attention with actress Evan Rachel Wood testifying in Connecticut, speaking out about her own experience in an abusive relationship.

According to Connecticut Protective Moms, there have been at least seven domestic violence-related homicides in Connecticut this year, including Jessica Edwards of South Windsor who was last seen on Mother's Day.

Her body was found May 21 and that same night, her husband was arrested and charged in connection with her death.

If you are experiencing violence within the home or know someone who is, please call the proper authorities. 

In Connecticut, a statewide network of domestic violence programs can be reached by calling: 1-888-774-2900 (English); 1-844-831-9200 (Spanish).

You can also learn more information on 211's website.

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