Missing Mom Jennifer Dulos Declared Dead Nearly 5 Years After Disappearance

Jennifer Dulos—the mom-of-five who went missing in 2019—was declared legally dead ahead of a trial against Michelle Troconis, a suspect connected to her disappearance, per authorities.

By Gabrielle Chung Jan 12, 2024 10:05 PMTags
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Jennifer Dulos is considered dead in the eyes of the court nearly five years after her disappearance.

A Connecticut judge recently granted a request filed by Jennifer's mom—the guardian of her five kids—to have the 50-year-old declared legally dead to protect the family's assets, according to NBC Connecticut. A declaration signed by Judge William P. Osterndorf and obtained by the outlet said that "over-whelming evidence submitted to the Court supports the claim that Jennifer sustained non-survivable injuries."

"Extensive efforts have been made by local and State Police authorities to locate her body," the document read. "To date, more than four years have passed and the body of Jennifer has not been located. Neither Jennifer's mother, children or other family members and friends have been contacted by Jennifer since May 24, 2019. The inescapable conclusion is Jennifer is dead."

The legal ruling came ahead of the trial against Michelle Troconis, who has been accused of helping Jennifer's late estranged husband Fotis Dulos cover up her presumed murder.

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Michelle, who was dating Fotis at the time of Jennifer's disappearance, is facing charges of conspiracy to commit murder, tampering with physical evidence and hindering prosecution. She has denied the allegations and pleaded not guilty to her charges.

Jennifer was last seen dropping her children off at school in New Canaan, Conn., around 8 a.m. on May 24, 2019. She had moved to the town almost two years prior after filing for divorce from Fotis.

Fotis and Michelle were arrested in June 2019 after police discovered clothing and sponges stained with Jennifer's blood in city trash cans in Hartford, according to a warrant previously obtained by NBC News. Police said there was also surveillance footage from city security cameras showing a man matching Fotis' description disposing of multiple trash bags in different dumpsters, while a woman who appeared to be Michelle waited in a pickup truck.


Upon further investigation, authorities said they found traces of Jennifer's blood in the passenger seat of a truck belonging to Fotis' co-worker that he and Michelle took to get washed and detailed. 

Fotis was charged with murder and kidnapping in connection to Jennifer's disappearance. He pleaded not guilty, but died of carbon monoxide poisoning in an apparent suicide attempt in January 2020.

Michelle's trial began on Jan. 12. In a statement read outside the courtroom, her father maintained her innocence.

"On behalf of my daughter who we know that she is innocent," he told reporters, per NBC Connecticut, "we are trusting the fair trial and we hope the result will be favorable for everybody."

(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)

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