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The family of a missing writer and mother of five has denounced the suggestion that she may have orchestrated her own “Gone Girl”-esque disappearance.
Dulos, 50, disappeared on May 24 in New Canaan, an affluent area of Connecticut. Her estranged husband, Fotis Dulos, 51 and his 44-year-old girlfriend, Michelle Troconis, have since been charged with evidence tampering and hindering prosecution.
A spokesperson for Jennifer’s family and friends has denounced a suggestion made by Fotis’ lawyer that she may have faked her vanishing
“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,” spokesperson Carrie Luft said, according to Fox News. “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.”
Fotis’ lawyer Norm Pattis — the same lawyer defending controversial radio show host Alex Jones in his Sandy Hook defamation case — had told the New York Post Jennifer once wrote a book manuscript with a similar plot to Gillian Flynn’s 2012 novel “Gone Girl.” That novel, which was also turned into a movie, is about a writer who fakes her own death to frame her husband. Pattis admits he never read the supposed 500-page manuscript penned by the missing woman but said “this is a person who has a pretty florid imagination and motives to use it to hurt Mr. Dulos.”
Jennifer and Fotis, both graduates from Brown University, married in 2004. In an apparent bio on a Patch site, Jennifer describes herself as a former writer from New York “doing journalism, essays, plays and screenplays, and is currently finishing a novel.” She has a bachelor’s degree from Brown University and a masters in writing from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts.
“I read Jennifer’s novel in installments as she was completing the manuscript,” Luft said. “She finished the draft around 2002. Her book has nothing to do with ‘Gone Girl.’
She added that the genre isn’t even the same.
“Jennifer’s novel is not a mystery,” she said. “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.”
Pattis said in a statement to NBC News that he is reviewing that manuscript and said “we don't know what had become of Jennifer but the 'Gone Girl' hypothesis is very much on our mind."
Pattis recently made even more inflammatory claims, claiming that Jennifer “struggled with heroin her whole life"; that she once “had a relationship with a person who would import heroin from Cambodia”; that she suffered “severe psychiatric problems”; and that she even once disappeared from New York and “lived for years under a false name” after an “intrafamilial dispute about money."
Anne Dranginis, an attorney for Jennifer’s Dulos’ family told the New York Post that the shocking claims are a “classic act of desperation to slander the victim.”
Fotis and Troconis were allegedly seen on video disposing of garbage bags, some of which contained bloody clothing, in more than 30 trash receptacles. Police also found blood spatter and evidence of cleanup attempts at Jennifer's New Canaan home, according to the arrest warrants. Both have pleaded not guilty to related charges. Pattis disputes that it was 30 bags and said it was more like two. There may have been 30 stops, he said.
Luft said, “evidence shows that Jennifer was the victim of a violent attack in her New Canaan home."
The last time Jennifer was seen was when she dropped off her kids at New Canaan Country School. Two of her friends reported her missing after she failed to show for appointments and wasn't heard from for about 10 hours.
She filed for divorce from her husband in 2017 after 13 years of marriage; their five children range in age between 8 and 13. The missing mom reportedly filed an emergency order for full custody the same year she filed for divorce after Fotis began having an affair with Troconis.
“I am afraid of my husband,” reads 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.”
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