Missing mom Jennifer Dulos' husband is charged in connection with the case
The lawyer for the accused estranged husband of missing Connecticut mom Jennifer Dulos seemed to imply she staged her disappearance by claiming she once wrote a manuscript similar to the bestselling novel and movie Gone Girl, about a woman who fakes her own death to frame her husband.
But the lawyer admits he never even read the manuscript — and a close friend of the woman says he mischaracterized it, saying his claim “makes no sense” while describing it as “false and irresponsible.”
Jennifer, 50, vanished on May 24, just after dropping her five children off at school at 8 a.m. in New Canaan, Connecticut, in the midst of a contentious divorce and custody battle with her estranged husband, Fotis Dulos, 51, a luxury home builder.
On June 1, Fotis and his girlfriend, Michelle Troconis, 44, were arrested and charged with tampering with or fabricating physical evidence and hindering prosecution in connection with the case.
Jennifer moved to New Canaan with her children in 2017 after learning that her husband had allegedly been having an affair with Troconis for more than a year. In her divorce filing, she said she feared for her life, but Fotis has denied the accusations.
Fotis and Troconis were arrested after surveillance cameras allegedly captured footage of a man and woman matching their descriptions dumping garbage bags at 30 different trash bins in Hartford the night Jennifer went missing, court records show.
At least two of the bags allegedly contained clothing and sponges stained with Jennifer’s blood, court records show.
Released on $500,000 bail each, the two have pleaded not guilty.
On Sunday, Fotis’s lawyer Norm Pattis told the New York Post he recently learned that Jennifer had once penned the manuscript for a novel he claims is similar to Gone Girl, the 2012 bestselling novel by Gillian Flynn.
“This is a person who has a pretty florid imagination and motives to use it to hurt Mr. Dulos,” Pattis told the Post. (Pattis did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.)
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On Monday, Jennifer’s longtime friend and family spokesperson Carrie Luft released a statement to PEOPLE refuting Pattis’s claims.
“I read Jennifer’s novel in installments as she was completing the manuscript,” Luft says in the statement. “She finished the draft around 2002. (This was before she was dating Fotis Dulos.) Her book has nothing to do with Gone Girl (published in 2012).
“Jennifer’s novel is not a mystery. It’s a character-driven story that follows a young woman through relationships and self-discovery over a period of years. Like all of Jennifer’s writing, it expresses a deep longing for human connection and the need to be accepted as one’s true self.
“Trying to tie Jennifer’s absence to a book she wrote more than 17 years ago makes no sense. Evidence shows that Jennifer was the victim of a violent attack in her New Canaan home. As of today, she has been missing for a month.
“This is not fiction or a movie. This is real life, as experienced every single day by Jennifer’s five young children, her family, and her friends. We are heartbroken. Jennifer is not here to protect her children, and these false and irresponsible allegations hurt the children now and into the future.”
In the meantime, Jennifer’s family continues to wait as authorities search for her.
“Each and every day, I am inspired by the dedication, professionalism and determination that our multijurisdictional team exemplifies in this very dynamic and complex investigation,” New Canaan Police Chief Leon Krolikowski tells PEOPLE.
“Our team is committed to (1) Finding Jennifer and (2) Bringing those responsible for Jennifer’s disappearance to justice,” Krolikowski added. “We will not rest until we find Jennifer.”