Fotis Dulos, who is accused of murder in connection with the disappearance of his estranged wife Jennifer Dulos, was declared dead Thursday, two days after attempting suicide in his Farmington home, according to his attorney Norm Pattis.
On Tuesday, police found Fotis Dulos in medical distress in the garage of the Farmington home after he failed to show up in court in Stamford for a bond adjustment hearing. He had suffered carbon monoxide poisoning.
He was taken to Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx, New York for treatment, where he was declared dead at 5:32 p.m. on Thursday. His family has opted to donate his organs, Pattis said.
In a motion filed Thursday, Pattis said he believes Fotis Dulos wrote a note proclaiming his innocence before his suicide.
What to Know
- Fotis Dulos was facing murder charges in connection with the disappearance of his estranged wife Jennifer Dulos, who vanished in late May after dropping her children off at school
- Fotis Dulos was found in medical distress at his Farmington home on Jan. 28 before an emergency bond hearing
- Fotis Dulos was declared dead Thursday evening, according to attorney Norm Pattis.
Investigators found the note while investigating the suicide, according to a filing from Pattis, which requests that the note and any other evidence found in the home be preserved.
The search warrant in the case has been sealed.
Pattis said his family is "adamant" that his name be cleared, and so they have filed a motion asking to substitute an estate for Fotis Dulos as a defendant.
“We’re asking for the right to clear his name. We intend to proceed on as if he were alive to vindicate him because we think he is wrongfully accused,” Pattis said.
Carrie Luft, a spokesperson for Jennifer Dulos' family and friends, released the following statement:
"This is a horrific tragedy all around. Please respect the privacy of the families and loved ones involved."
SUICIDE PREVENTION HELP: The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800-273-8255) is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Fotis Dulos was charged with murder, commission of felony murder, kidnapping in the first-degree, hindering prosecution in the first degree and two counts of tampering with physical evidence in connection with the disappearance of Jennifer.
He pleaded not guilty to the charges and had been on house arrest after posting bond for the most recent charges.
January 29: Fotis Dulos' Bond Hearing
According to Dulos' attorney, the court appearance originally scheduled for Tuesday was an emergency hearing to address questions about the $6 million bond in the criminal case.
The bonding company has filed to rescind the $6 million bond over technicalities and the hearing was moved to Wednesday, where the judge raised the bond from $6 million to $6.5 million.
Wednesday, at the rescheduled hearing, the state’s attorney and the defense attorney agreed to remove the motion over bond and decided to revisit it if or when Dulos is medically able to return to Connecticut.
"Today's agreement is a recognition of the difficulty of his medical condition," Pattis said after the hearing. "We have agreed that he can be in rearrest status when and if he is capable of returning to court."
Pattis added that the court is open to hearing a motion to vacate the rearrest and the state will not seek an increase in bond.
"At that point, we will address the issues in the bond revocation motion, including the claim that there is inadequate security to hold the bond," Pattis said.
January 28: Attorneys React to Fotis Dulos' Suicide Attempt
On Tuesday, Pattis said he was in Washington, DC on Tuesday for another case when he received word that there would be an emergency bond hearing and they were ordered to appear in court at noon Tuesday.
"When Mr. Dulos did not arrive in court at noon, his GPS device was tracked and it determined he was in his home," Pattis said. "Officers arrived and found him non-responsive in his garage."
"Obviously, the potential for a bond revocation was devastating news to him, but throughout, he has been a fighter and resolute. In our review of the discovery, we very much liked our options for trial and we very much liked our possibility of success, so this development comes as stunning news to me," Pattis said.
Pattis said he has represented people for more than 30 years and "not once did it ever occur to me that he might be a risk of suicide."
Fotis Dulos' civil attorney, Rich Rochlin, also said he was shocked by his client attempting to take his own life.
"It's sad to see that somebody you spend so much time with who is always fighting for his kids and someone who maintained his innocence decided that the pain was too great and that's a hard thing to process, frankly,” Rochlin said.
Carrie Luft, a spokesperson for Jennifer Dulos' family and friends, declined to comment on the situation.
The Disappearance of Jennifer Dulos
Jennifer Dulos, a mother of five, has been missing since May 24. The last sighting of her was when she dropped her children off at school in New Canaan that morning.
Officers who went to her home to investigate the missing person case found bloodstains on the garage floor and on a vehicle in the garage, which led them to believe the home was a crime scene, according to an arrest warrant. They said there was also evidence of attempts to clean it up.
Dulos and Jennifer Dulos, were going through a divorce and child custody proceedings when she disappeared.
Gag Order in Place
A gag order was issued for the case, which Pattis is trying to get dropped. The case is in the state Supreme Court.
"The Connecticut State Police would like to take this opportunity to remind the media and the public that the court-issued gag order is still in effect, which prevents us from commenting on the specifics of our investigation," state police said in a news release on Thursday.
Conditions of Fotis Dulos' Release Modified
When Fotis appeared in court last week, the judge changed the conditions of his release to strict house arrest after prosecutors filed a motion saying Dulos violated terms of his release by getting out of his car and removing items from a memorial for Jennifer.
Pattis said last week that he was disappointed in the decision.
Pattis also said there is no evidence that Jennifer is deceased.
"I remind the supporters, Jennifer is missing. She may be presumed dead as far as they're concerned, we've yet to see persuasive evidence of that," Pattis said.
Fotis Dulos’ girlfriend, Michelle Troconis, and his friend, attorney Kent Mawhinney, have are both been charged with conspiracy to commit murder.