Full timeline of Jennifer Dulos’ disappearance as her love rival faces trial over murder

Jennifer Dulos was officially declared dead last year  (New Canaan Police Department)
Jennifer Dulos was officially declared dead last year (New Canaan Police Department)

It’s a tragic, twisted case involving murder, suicide, infidelity – and, bizarrely, the novel Gone Girl.

And it’s one that – after almost five years of delays – has finally made its way into a courtroom in Connecticut.

It was May 2019 when Jennifer Dulos was last seen alive, waving her children off to school in the wealthy enclave of New Canaan that they called home.

Though her body has never been found, the beloved mother-of-five and acclaimed New York writer has been officially declared dead – with police finding that she died a violent death at the hands of Fotis Dulos, the estranged husband who she had spent years fearing would harm her.

Now, Fotis will never face justice in court as he killed himself while awaiting trial for her murder.

But, his two alleged accomplices could.

His girlfriend Michelle Troconis and friend and attorney Kent Mawhinney are both still facing charges over Jennifer’s disappearance and death.

Here’s a timeline of the case:

2004 – Jennifer Farber, a New York writer from an affluent family, and Fotis Dulos, a Greek real estate developer, get married. They go on to have five children together.

June 2017 – Jennifer Dulos files for divorce from her husband. In court filings, she describes Fotis Dulos as “dangerous” and describes his “irrational, unsafe, bullying, threatening and controlling behavior”.

She reveals that she is fearful of her husband. “I am afraid of my husband. I know that filing for divorce, and filing this motion will enrage him. I know that he will retaliate by trying to harm me in some way. He has the attitude that he must always win at all costs,” she writes. “I’m afraid for my safety and the physical safety and emotional well-being of our minor children.”

Jennifer alleges that Fotis threatened to kidnap their children and take them to Greece. She also alleges that Fotis had been having an affair with Michelle Troconis, who worked at his real estate firm, and had wanted to move her and her daughter into the family’s Farmington home. In the court documents, Jennifer also says she learned that her husband had bought a gun.

Jennifer and the five children move out of the Farmington family home into a property in New Canaan.

February 2018 – Jennifer Dulos’ family sues Fotis Dulos saying he owes them $2.5m – money that he had borrowed for his real estate company.

24 May 2019 – The day Jennifer Dulos is last seen alive. The mother-of-five drops her children off at their elite, private school in New Canaan, Connecticut, and disappears.

Investigators believe she returned home from the school run to find Fotis Dulos lying in wait in her home. He violently attacked her in the garage, killing her, according to authorities.

Later that day, Fotis and Michelle Troconis are captured on surveillance footage driving through Hartford, investigators say. Fotis is allegedy seen dumping garbage bags containing Jennifer’s blood and DNA in dozens of different trash cans.

Friends report Jennifer missing at around 7pm that evening. Jennifer’s 2017 black Chevrolet Suburban is later found close to Waveny Park in New Canaan – with no sign of her inside.

A missing persons investigation is launched. Days later, Connecticut State Police carry out searches through the trash at the Materials Innovation and Recycling Authority in Hartford.

1 June 2019 – Fotis Dulos and his girlfriend Michelle Troconis are arrested and charged with tampering with physical evidence and hindering prosecution.

Prosecutors say that Fotis’ DNA has been found mixed with Jennifer’s blood on the kitchen sink of her home and that the items Fotis was seen dumping in trash cans were found to contain her blood.

They both plead not guilty and are released on bond days later.

Jennifer’s mother Gloria Farber files for custody of the couple’s five children – aged 8 to 13.

Fotis’ attorney Norm Pattis throws out a wild, alternate theory about what has happened to Jennifer – claiming that the mother-of-five actually orchestrated her own disappearance in a Gone Girl-style plot to frame her estranged husband.

Mr Pattis claims that the defence has found a “very dark” novel written by Jennifer which mirrors the plot of the Gillian Flynn novel turned movie, where a woman fakes her own death to frame her husband for his infidelity. He claims Jennifer has the “imagination, means and motive to disappear”. Jennifer’s family and friends slam his “false and irresponsible” comments – and also point out that her novel was written 17 years ago.

2 July 2019 – Fotis Dulos gives a sit-down interview with NBC News in which he professes his innocence of his wife’s murder and insists he is not a “monster”. “I know what I’ve done, I know what I haven’t done. I have to stand and fight and hope the truth is going to come out,” he says.

4 September 2019 – Fotis Dulos is arrested again and hit with new charges of hindering prosecution and tampering with evidence. He pleads not guilty and is released on bond.

7 January 2020 – Fotis Dulos is charged with the murder of his missing wife. The 51-year-old faces charges of felony murder, murder and kidnapping. Ms Troconis is also charged with conspiracy to commit murder.

Kent Mawhinney, an attorney and friend of Fotis’, is also arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit murder. He is accused of trying to provide Fotis with a fake alibi for the morning of the murder.

28 January 2020 – Fotis Dulos is scheduled to appear in court for a bond adjustment hearing after the state found issues with his $6m bond. He will almost certainly have his bond revoked and be returned to jail.

But, he fails to show up in court, prompting law enforcement officers to go to his home. There, Fotis is found unresponsive in his garage after attempting suicide. Emergency responders perform CPR on him at the scene and he is rushed to hospital.

Fotis leaves behind a hand-written suicide note where he continues to profess his innocence and says “I refuse to spend even an hour more in jail for something I had NOTHING to do with“.

30 January 2020 – Fotis Dulos never regains consciousness and dies at the Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx, New York. His death is later ruled a suicide. His family – including the children he shared with Jennifer – visit him before he dies.

3 March 2020 – The case against Fotis Dulos is dropped because he is no longer alive to stand trial.

While the state seeks to nolle the murder charges, Fotis’ attorney Norm Pattis says he wants to continue to fight for his client’s innocence. The judge nolles the charges.

24 October 2023 – Jennifer Dulos is officially declared dead in probate court in Connecticut.

26 October 2023 – The jury for Michelle Troconis’ trial is seated.

11 January 2024 – Michelle Troconis goes on trial in Stamford, Connecticut.