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Investigators believe that a missing mother of five, who has been embroiled in a custody battle with her estranged husband, may have been the victim of violence after they found blood in her Connecticut home.
Jennifer Dulos, 50, was last seen on Friday evening driving a 2017 black Chevrolet Suburban in New Canaan, according to the New Canaan Police Department. That vehicle was found the same day but with no trace of Dulos.
But investigators did find traces of blood in the mother’s home during a Saturday search, according to a Hartford Courant report. That and other evidence has led investigators to believe she may have been the victim of a violent crime. The home reportedly looks like it’s been cleaned, according to that report. An unnamed law enforcement source told The New York Post and WFSB in Hartford that the case is now being looked at as a possible homicide. The New Canaan Police Department did not return Oxygen.com’s immediate request for comment.
The last time Dulos was seen was when she dropped off her kids at New Canaan Country School. Two of her friends reported her missing after she didn't show for appointments and wasn't heard from for about 10 hours. In addition to her home being searched, a home associated with the family in Pound Ridge, New York is also being eyed, according to the Stamford Advocate.
Dulos filed for divorce from her husband Fotis Dulos, who operates a construction business, in 2017. The couple had been married for 13 years and have five children who range in age from 8 to 13. The missing mom reportedly filed an emergency order for full custody the same year she filed for divorce, the Connecticut Post reports. That was denied. In 2017, Jennifer abruptly left the town of Farmington, where the family lived, and moved to New Canaan with the children, according to the Stamford Advocate.
“I am afraid of my husband,” she wrote in an affidavit tied to an order of custody filed in June 2017, according to the Stamford Advocate. “I know that filing for divorce and filing this motion will enrage him. I know he will retaliate by trying to harm me in some way.”
She also wrote in the same document what she was “afraid for my safety and the physical safety and emotional well-being of our minor children.”
The five children have been staying in New York City with Jennifer’s mother, Gloria Faber. Faber and Jennifer’s estranged husband are also in a legal battle. Faber and the estate belonging to her late husband have accused Fotis of failing to repay $1.7 million in loans to them.
The divorce and custody proceedings have yet to be resolved. A hearing was scheduled Wednesday regarding the safety of the children, the Stamford Advocate reports. A similar hearing was scheduled for last Wednesday, but was postponed, the Hartford Courant reports.
“While news reports have offered the idea that this circumstance is a result of a custody dispute, there is more than sufficient detail in court documents to authentically describe this situation for what it is; domestic violence,” the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence said in a statement released Thursday. “Ms. Dulos offered to the court on more than one occasion that she was fearful of her husband who could be vengeful and dangerous. We know that domestic violence is a pattern of behavior that is centered on power and control. Abusers use various strategies to threaten, harass, control and intimidate their partner, including the practice of continuing this conduct through the family court process. When a victim is leaving a relationship and taking steps to move away from the abuse and coercion, this can be the most dangerous time.”
Fotis has not been charged with anything. He has not immediately responded to Oxygen.com’s request for comment.
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