Family, Friends of Missing Conn. Mom of Five Plead for Tips as Estranged Husband Posts Bond
Hours after her husband’s release on bail Tuesday, relatives and friends of Jennifer Dulos issued a touching statement about the missing mother of five, who has not been seen or heard from in nearly three weeks, asking that anyone with any information concerning her whereabouts come forward.
The statement, provided to PEOPLE, acknowledges the “steady stream of love” the family has received in the wake of Jennifer’s mysterious disappearance, noting “these gestures of empathy and kinship have helped keep us going.”
The statement was released hours after a lawyer for Jennifer’s estranged husband, Fotis Dulos, 51, successfully argued for a $400,000 reduction in his bond.
The husband, who pleaded not guilty Tuesday to tampering with or fabricating physical evidence and hindering prosecution charges, was released on Tuesday afternoon after posting $100,000 for his release.
Fotis Dulos spent a week in custody following his and his 44-year-old girlfriend Michelle Troconis’ June 2 arrests.
Troconis, arrested on the same charges, also pleaded not guilty Tuesday. She was released last week after posting bond.
“As the news cycle propels the story of Jennifer’s disappearance forward, we must not lose sight of the enormous human cost of this tragedy: five young children have not seen their mother in 18 days,” the statement continues. “Jennifer is the constant presence in their lives. She has sole physical custody and has devoted her full energies to their care and happiness.
“Jennifer’s family, friends and above all her children are living in limbo—missing her embrace, her lilting laugh, her bedtime backrubs, her gentle strength. Please know that the children are safe and loved and supported in every respect. But more than anything in the world, they long to know where their mother is.”
The statement urges anyone with any information about Jennifer’s disappearance or her whereabouts to come forward by logging onto the website FindJenniferDulos.com, where they can leave tips.
Tipsters can also call the New Canaan Police Department’s dedicated line at (203) 594-3544.
Under the conditions of their release, Fotis Dulos and Troconis must wear GPS-monitoring devices around their ankles.
PEOPLE confirms that on Tuesday, in court, State’s Attorney Richard Colangelo sought a higher bond amount, alleging that Fotis Dulos’ DNA was found mixed in with his wife’s blood on a faucet in the kitchen of her New Canaan home.
His attorney, Norm Pattis, could not be reached for comment. PEOPLE has also left messages at numbers listed to Fotis Dulos.
On Tuesday, after leaving court, Fotis Dulos was trailed by a swarm of reporters, saying nothing for several minutes before finally offering a “Sorry” to the media flock.
State’s Attorney Richard Colangelo argued at a brief hearing that Fotis Dulos’ DNA was found mixed in with his wife’s blood on a faucet in the kitchen of her New Canaan home and that bond should be raised to $850,000. The judget kept it at $500,000.
Jennifer vanished May 24 after dropping her five children off at school. Hours later, her empty SUV was recovered from a park in New Canaan.
Ever since, the search for Jennifer has spanned the entire state, with investigators doing expansive searches in Hartford and the nearby suburb of Farmington.
The Hartford Courant reports that Jennifer alleged in court filings her husband threatened her and her children, telling her he would kidnap them and move to Greece.
Speaking to ABC News, Pattis said he fully expects his client will be exonerated, calling the state’s case “weak” and hinting his client has an “enormous” alibi.
Troconis is due back in court July 18; her attorney, Andrew Bowman, could not be reached for comment. Meanwhile, Fotis Dulos’ next appearance is scheduled for August 2.
Investigators continue to sift through trash at a facility in Hartford.
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Surveillance video allegedly captured Fotis Dulos and Troconis in his black Ford Raptor pickup truck stopping at more than 30 locations in Hartford and disposing of plastic trash bags containing items stained with his wife’s blood on May 24, reads an affidavit previously obtained by PEOPLE.