The mother of a missing New Canaan woman filed for custody of her five grandchildren, but there were no changes to custody during a status conference on Wednesday morning.
Jennifer Dulos has been missing since May 24 and her mother, Gloria Farber, filed a motion in court for custody of the children on Tuesday, the day after Jennifer’s estranged husband, Fotis Dulos, appeared in court in connection with the missing person case. He remains in police custody, held on $500,000 bond.
The attorneys for Farber, the children and Fotis Dulos appeared in court Wednesday for a status conference about custody and the judge made no major changes in the case but did reference an order barring Fotis Dulos from having contact with his children.
The children have been staying with Farber in New York since their mother disappeared and their representative said Wednesday that the children “are safe” and with a family member.
According to court documents, Jennifer Dulos and the children planned to be with Farber on May 24, the last day Jennifer Dulos was in touch with her children and family.
Farber is asking for custody, at least on a temporary basis.
The documents say she has a “close and substantial” as well as “parent-like relationship” with the children and argue that primary residence with their father would be “detrimental to the minor children.”
Jennifer and Fotis Dulos have been going through a divorce since Jennifer filed in June 2017.
In the initial 2017 affidavit, Jennifer Dulos wrote that she was “terrified for (her) family’s safety” and said her “husband has a history of controlling, volatile and delusional behavior.”
But in a court filing from his attorney, Fotis denied those allegations. And the day before being served with divorce papers in June of 2017, he called 911 with his own concerns.
“I’m worried about my wife and kids because they left to go to New York and I haven’t been able to get in touch with them,” Fotis said in a 911 call. Jennifer moved from their shared home in Farmington to New Canaan around the same time she filed for divorce.
The court documents Farber filed state that the children have resided primarily with their mother and the court issued a decision in March that the children’s father was allowed only supervised access to them.
Farber is asking that the children remain with her while their father is incarcerated but said it would be detrimental to the children to leave her custody upon his release from police custody.
“(E)ven if the defendant is released, on bond or otherwise, it would be detrimental to the children, particularly in the midst of the investigation into the disappearance of their mother, to be forced to leave
Mrs. Farber’s custody and return to the defendant’s custody, with whom they have not resided for more than two years. …”
Another hearing will be scheduled on custody of the children.
Fotis Dulos, and his 44-year-old girlfriend, Michelle C. Troconis, have both been charged with tampering with or fabricating physical evidence and hindering prosecution in the first degree in connection to the missing person case. Both appeared in court on Monday, where bond was set at $500,000. Fotis remains in police custody while Troconis was released after posting bond.
The charges were filed after police searched Jennifer Dulos' home and found blood in the garage as well as on a vehicle, according to arrest warrant applications.
Arrest warrants released Monday also say that blood was found on clothing and other items dumped in several locations in Hartford where two people matching the description of her estranged husband and his girlfriend were recorded on video disposing of trash bags.
The state lab determined that blood found was Jennifer Dulos’ according to court documents.