De­tails of day she dis­ap­peared

In­ves­ti­ga­tors be­lieve Far­ber Du­los was the vic­tim of a vi­o­lent act on the morn­ing of May 24. What hap­pened later could of­fer clues to her lo­ca­tion.

Hartford Courant (Sunday) - - Front Page - By Dave Altimari

Af­ter drop­ping her chil­dren off at the New Canaan Coun­try School at about 8 a.m. on May 24, Jen­nifer Far­ber Du­los would only have had a cou­ple of hours to spare be­fore head­ing to New York City, where she was due for at least two ap­point­ments.

But she never made it to New York, and over the last three weeks, the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into her dis­ap­pear­ance has sparked global in­trigue, so­cial me­dia spec­u­la­tion and a mas­sive in­ves­ti­ga­tion, in­clud­ing searches in New Canaan, Farm­ing­ton, Avon, Hart­ford and Pound Ridge, N.Y. Her where­abouts, alive or dead, re­main un­known.

As in­ves­ti­ga­tors dive in ponds in Avon where the fam­ily used to wa­ter ski and search a trash plant in Hart­ford, they have been work­ing to tighten the time frame for the day she dis­ap­peared, with new de­tails emerg­ing in the last sev­eral days about Far­ber Du­los; her es­tranged hus­band, Fo­tis Du­los; his girl­friend, Michelle Tro­co­nis; an em­ployee of Fo­tis Du­los’ Fore Re­alty group and oth­ers with con­nec­tions to the case.

The fol­low­ing ac­count of that day is based on an anal­y­sis of court doc­u­ments, at­tor­ney’s state­ments, in­ter­views with friends and law en­force­ment sources.

May 24, morn­ing

Some­time be­tween 8:30 and 10:30 a.m, af­ter re­turn­ing from drop­ping her chil­dren at school,

in­ves­ti­ga­tors be­lieve Far­ber Du­los was the vic­tim of a vi­o­lent act in­side her Welles Av­enue home.

At about noon, the house­keeper en­tered the home but didn’t no­tice any­thing out of place. Sources said the house­keeper didn’t go into the garage, where there were dark stains on the floor later iden­ti­fied as blood, and splat­ter on a ve­hi­cle.

Nor did she no­tice a piece of ev­i­dence re­vealed by the state — blood on a kitchen faucet. Stam­ford/Norwalk State’s At­tor­ney Richard Colan­gelo said in court last week that Fo­tis Du­los’ DNA “was found in a mix­ture on the faucet in­side of Jen­nifer’s kitchen, in the house where she went miss­ing.”

“So,” Colan­gelo con­tin­ued, “the mix­ture, de­fen­dant’s DNA, Jen­nifer’s blood, on the faucet in the kitchen.”

Fo­tis Du­los and Tro­co­nis, both charged with hin­der­ing pros­e­cu­tion and tam­per­ing with ev­i­dence, have pleaded not guilty to the charges and are each free on $500,000 bond.

Du­los’ new at­tor­ney, Norm Pat­tis, said in court last week that his client could ac­count for his time on May 24 and couldn’t pos­si­bly have been in New Canaan at the time po­lice say Far­ber Du­los went miss­ing. The cou­ple was en­gaged in a bit­ter cus­tody bat­tle and di­vorce.

“What we know is that Jen­nifer went miss­ing some time in the early morn­ing of the 24th and was re­ported miss­ing by late day. We’ve been able to ac­count for Mr. Du­los’ where­abouts with in­de­pen­dent ev­i­dence for al­most all of that time, in­clud­ing an early morn­ing meet­ing at his home with an at­tor­ney,” Pat­tis said.

Pat­tis went on to say Du­los also spoke to some­one from Greece that morn­ing. Pros­e­cu­tors have yet to press him to pro­duce records or af­fi­davits to sub­stan­ti­ate the time­line.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors are con­fi­dent Tro­co­nis, whose re­la­tion­ship with Du­los was cited in the cou­ple’s di­vorce pro­ceed­ings, was not in New Canaan on May 24. They know around 9:15 a.m. that day she was bring­ing a purse back to a friend who had left it at the Jef­fer­son Cross­ing home the night be­fore. Po­lice also know that Tro­co­nis vis­ited another friend in Sims­bury some­time be­tween 10:30 and 11 that morn­ing.

Au­thor­i­ties also know an em­ployee of Du­los’ Fore Re­alty Group was in New Canaan on May 24, work­ing on a Stur­bridge Hill Road home un­der de­vel­op­ment. State po­lice have seized his truck, com­puter and cell­phone as part of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

The Courant is not nam­ing the em­ployee, but his at­tor­ney Lindy Urso has said he isn’t con­sid­ered a sus­pect and has co­op­er­ated with au­thor­i­ties. He was driv­ing a black Ford Rap­tor owned by Fore Group all week be­cause he lives in the Farm­ing­ton area and was trav­el­ing to New Canaan to work each day.

May 24, af­ter­noon

At about 1:37 p.m., ac­cord­ing to in­for­ma­tion re­vealed in Du­los’ ar­rest war­rant, in­ves­ti­ga­tors de­ter­mined that his cell­phone was at a home on Moun­tain Spring Road in Farm­ing­ton that was be­ing de­vel­oped by his com­pany.

The prop­erty has been the site of state po­lice searches over the past few weeks.

The phone was then tracked, two hours later, to Du­los’ home on Jef­fer­son Cross­ing in Farm­ing­ton, then back to the Moun­tain Spring Road home at 5:21 for 13 min­utes.

Some­time be­tween 4 and 5:30, the em­ployee work­ing in New Canaan re­turned the com­pany’s black Ford Rap­tor to Du­los and took back his per­sonal truck.

May 24, even­ing

The next key mo­ments on May 24 both hap­pen about 7 p.m.

In New Canaan, Far­ber Du­los was re­ported miss­ing to po­lice. She never showed up for her ap­point­ments in New York. Over the next sev­eral hours, in­ves­ti­ga­tors en­tered the Welles Av­enue home, found the dark stains on the garage floor and re­al­ized “a vi­o­lent act” had oc­curred. Her car was later found nearby, at sprawl­ing Waveny Park.

In Hart­ford, po­lice say they have ev­i­dence Fo­tis Du­los was throw­ing bags that con­tained tow­els and sponges with his wife’s blood on them into trash cans as he drove down Al­bany Av­enue in the black Ford Rap­tor with Tro­co­nis.

The trip, they say, was cap­tured on the city’s ex­ten­sive ar­ray of video cam­eras.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors have re­cov­ered video from Hart­ford po­lice show­ing a ve­hi­cle that matches Du­los’ driv­ing down the street and a man re­sem­bling Du­los — wear­ing a light col­ored T-shirt — drop­ping mul­ti­ple garbage bags into trash cans.

State po­lice re­cov­ered some of those garbage bags and found the bloody sponges and tow­els in them, and DNA test­ing matched the blood to Far­ber Du­los. They also say they have ev­i­dence track­ing Du­los’ cell­phone on Al­bany Av­enue for about 31 min­utes, leav­ing at 7:41 p.m.

Du­los’ last act, po­lice say, was stop­ping at the cor­ner of Al­bany Av­enue and Gar­den Street, where he dropped a FedEx box into a storm drain. Po­lice re­cov­ered the pack­age and found two Connecticu­t li­cense plates that had been al­tered with ad­he­sive tape.

When po­lice checked the ac­tual li­cense plate, it came from a 2007 Chevro­let Sub­ur­ban reg­is­tered to Fo­tis Du­los.

Du­los and the Rap­tor were cap­tured on a neigh­bor’s se­cu­rity cam­era ar­riv­ing home at 8:10 p.m. He was seen get­ting out and get­ting his mail wear­ing a light-col­ored T-shirt, the war­rant says.

Since Jen­nifer Far­ber Du­los ’ disa ppeara nce, there have been no signs of the 51-year-old mother of five de­spite an un­prece­dented search by law en­force­ment of­fi­cials that has spanned two states, at least four com­mu­ni­ties and led them to a trash plant.

Her fam­ily con­tin­ues to ask for help in find­ing her.

Far­ber Du­los

NICK RONDI­NONE/HART­FORD COURANT

State po­lice search a storm drain on Al­bany Av­enue in Hart­ford in front of Scotts’ Ja­maican Bak­ery for clues re­lated to the dis­ap­pear­ance of Jen­nifer Far­ber Du­los.

PA­TRICK RAYCRAFT/HART­FORD COURANT

Some­time be­tween 8:30 and 10:30 a.m. May 24, af­ter re­turn­ing from drop­ping her chil­dren at school, in­ves­ti­ga­tors be­lieve Far­ber Du­los was the vic­tim of a vi­o­lent act in­side her Welles Av­enue home in New Canaan, pic­tured here.

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