Children of missing Connecticut mother Jennifer Dulos make emotional statements at Michelle Troconis sentencing

The children of missing Connecticut mother Jennifer Dulos spoke in emotional statements Friday during the sentencing hearing for Michelle Troconis, who was convicted of helping her boyfriend, the ex -husband of Jennifer Dulos, to cover up the murder of Jennifer Dulos.

Petros Dulos, who was 13 when his mother died in May 2019, said in court: “I am left with a hole in myself that I know I can never fill. »

“My mother was everything to me. But during the divorce, I became very bitter towards everyone around me, especially my mother, because she was always trying to help me,” he said. “It meant I had hurt the person closest to me because I didn’t know how else to express my pain. The defendant’s actions mean I will never be able to tell my mother how sorry I am for not being a better son when she needed it. I will never be able to tell mom how proud I am of her courage.

Petros Dulos said Troconis, herself a mother, “desecrated” the meaning of the word mother.

The case began on May 24, 2019, when Jennifer Dulos, a Connecticut mother of five, disappeared amid a contentious custody dispute with her ex-husband, Fotis Dulos.

Prosecutors alleged that Fotis Dulos killed his estranged wife in her garage and that Troconis, his live-in girlfriend, helped him hide the evidence.

On March 1, Troconis was found guilty of all charges against her: conspiracy to commit murder, tampering with physical evidence, conspiracy to tamper with physical evidence, and hindering prosecution. On Friday, Judge Kevin Randolph dismissed one of the counts of conspiracy to tamper with evidence. She faces decades in prison.

At trial, police verified that surveillance footage showed Fotis Dulos driving, with Troconis in the passenger seat, to Hartford later that day, the day Jennifer Dulos disappeared, with Fotis Dulos stopping to throw out the alleged evidence in trash cans, the Hartford Courant reported. In court, jurors were shown ties, gloves and stained clothing that prosecutors said had been removed from trash cans.

Prosecutors said Troconis also helped her boyfriend with an alibi and helped him clean out a truck believed to have been used in the crime, according to The Stamford Advocate.

Troconis maintained her innocence, with the defense saying Troconis never denied being in the car with her boyfriend, but denied any involvement or knowledge of any crimes Fotis Dulos may have committed.

Fotis Dulos committed suicide in January 2020, weeks after being charged with the murder of Jennifer Dulos.

Christiane Dulos, who was 10 when her mother died, told the court that after her parents separated, she asked her father if he was cheating on her mother. She said Fotis Dulos responded, “When you really love someone, sometimes you can’t wait.”

“This affair was why my mother took us and left, why she cried at night and why we were no longer a family,” she said. “From that point on, Michelle was a part of my life with my father. Later, my father told us that Michelle was no longer allowed to be with us and that if we wanted to continue seeing her, we couldn’t tell mom Michelle was at our visits.

Overwhelmed with emotion, Christiane Dulos said: “Michelle Troconis, for me, is the reason why I feel completely lost and alone on nights when I can’t sleep. She is the reason why I blocked my childhood and that day I barely remember it. “It’s because of her that the children at school look at me with pity, and why my teachers say ‘guardians’ and not ‘parents’.”

“The reason I had to sit on the bathroom floor with my little sister and do my best to comfort her. It’s the reason I had to visit my dad at the hospital, knowing what he had done and knowing that he had chosen to leave us.” she says. “It’s because of her that I no longer feel like I have a real beginning, a home to always come back to, parents to whom I will always belong.”

Christiane Dulos said she could only feel her mother’s presence through memories, her mother’s writings and the stories of her grandmother and Jennifer Dulos’ friends.

“I hold on to these moments in her life knowing that she is the one who should be telling me these stories,” she said.

Théodore Dulos, who was 13 at the time of his mother’s death, told the court Friday: “My life is not what it used to be.” I no longer have my mother, my hero, I will never speak to her again. I will never do my homework with her again.

“Michelle, you caused this damage,” he said. “Not only did you know, but you conspired to murder a daughter, a sister, a friend and mother of five children. That day, you took away the source of comfort of five children, our protector. You did not You have shown no remorse and you have shown none yet.” “

Theodore Dulos asked Troconis to reveal what happened the day Jennifer Dulos disappeared and the location of Jennifer Dulos’ body.

“I will never forgive you…and until you give us more answers, you will be considered mean, violent and certainly a coward,” he said.

The children’s nanny, Lauren Almeida, said that after Jennifer Dulos disappeared, she put her own goals on hold and left her career, family, friends and connections in Connecticut to care for the children .

“My relationship ended, I lost the place I called home, I lost friends and time with family. I had to rethink what my life would be like now that I was five children to raise,” she told the court. .

“These children became my whole world and they taught me what unconditional love is,” she said, overcome with emotion.

Almeida said Troconis “took away the most genuine, thoughtful, funniest, kindest person I’ve ever met. She took away a mother who sang silly songs to her children, who was always there when they fell to raise them up.”

She said children’s sense of safety and security was gone.

Almeida speculated about Troconis’ motives.

“To take Jennifer’s place?” Because you never could,” she said. “Living that lavish lifestyle promised by Fotis? We’ll never know, because I don’t think Michelle will ever be honest.”

“We don’t even have the comfort of knowing where [Jennifer Dulos] is,” Almeida said. “Where is she, Michelle?”

Noëlle Dulos, who was 8 when her mother died, said she is now constantly terrified that something bad will happen to her loved ones.

“I feel betrayed by Michelle,” she said. “I remember trusting her. I don’t understand how she can be so selfish and it scares me to trust others.”

Jennifer Dulos “just wanted to give and receive love, and be a loving mother,” her mother, Gloria Farber, said during the sentencing hearing. “She lived in fear for her life. In fear that her husband would take her children.”

“Every year we honor Jennifer on her birthday, September 27, 1968,” her mother said in court Friday. “On this September day, her children, her sister, her friends and I cross the street from my apartment and walk to Central Park carrying purple balloons – Jennifer’s favorite color. We sit on benches and, using markers, we write messages for her. Then we let the balloons go.

“Jennifer filled her children with love, wisdom and humor,” she said. “Jennifer would have been very proud of her children’s accomplishments. They will always remember her, as will I.”

Petros Dulos added in court Friday: “I am upset that I will never know the man I could have become if my mother was still there to guide me. She was my heroine. And now I often feel lost without her comforting smile and without her. “meaningful discussions”.

“I wish she could see me grow from a boy to a young man. I wish I could hug mom again,” he said. “But I can’t now.”

Jennifer Dulos’ body was never found, but a judge declared her legally dead.

Fotis Dulos’ friend and former attorney, Kent Mawhinney, is also accused of helping cover up the crime. He has pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to commit murder and is awaiting trial.

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