The mother of a missing New Canaan woman has been granted custody of her grandchildren as the investigation into her daughter’s disappearance continues.
Jennifer Dulos has been missing since May 24. She was in the midst of a divorce and custody battle with her estranged husband, Fotis Dulos, at the time of her disappearance, and on Thursday the court granted her mother, Gloria Farber, custody of their five children.
Farber has been caring for her grandchildren since Jennifer disappeared two months ago. Fotis Dulos and his girlfriend Michelle Troconis have been charged with tampering with evidence and hindering prosecution in connection with the case.
Fotis declined to testify during the custody hearing.
In the court’s ruling the judge said that it “has inferred from the defendant’s refusal to testify that it would be detrimental to the children to be in the defendant’s custody, particularly while the disappearance of their mother is under active investigation.”
Fotis has pleaded not guilty to the criminal charges and on Wednesday his legal team filed a motion to dismiss the charges.
In response to the Connecticut Judge’s decision to issue temporary custody of the five Dulos children to Jennifer Dulos’ mother, Fotis Dulos’ Attorney, Norman Pattis, released this statement: “Fotis misses his children deeply. The irresponsible manner in which the state has proceeded against him is costing his children the chance for a real relationship with a man who loves them deeply. This is a travesty of justice. We are evaluating his appellate options.
For weeks, the search for Jennifer has spanned the state and authorities have spent days sifting through trash at a facility Hartford after bags containing Dulos’ blood were found. Law enforcement officials said surveillance video captured two people resembling her estranged husband, Fotis Dulos and his girlfriend, Michelle Traconis, throwing out bags that ended up in the trash plant.
Court documents in the case say investigators who responded to the missing person report in May found blood splatter and evidence of cleanup attempts at Jennifer’s New Canaan home.
Police urge everyone with information regarding Jennifer’s disappearance to contact them. In addition to the tip line, 203-594-3544, tips and information regarding Jennifer’s disappearance can be sent to FindJenniferDulos@newcanaanct.gov and submitted anonymously at www.FindJenniferDulos.com.