More than two-and-a-half years after Jennifer Dulos went missing, police continue to look for her body, and on Monday state investigators searched a corner of Waveny Park.
On Monday morning, state detectives and their search dogs could be seen gathered in the southwest corner of the “mulch pile” off of Lapham Road.
An open area where the town long kept ground-up leaves and debris in neat rows, the mulch pile has been available in the past to town residents seeking to pick up mulch for use on their own properties.
The area also is adjacent to a section of Lapham Road where Fotis Dulos parked a pickup truck on the morning of the murder. He then pedaled a bicycle to Jennifer Dulos’s Welles Lane house and waited for her, investigators have said in police affidavits, bound and killed her, cleaned up the scene and put her body and bicycle into her own black SUV, driving it back to Lapham Road and leaving the vehicle parked there for authorities to find.
The media relations office of Connecticut State Police put out this statement: “On today’s date, Western District Major Crimes detectives are following up on previous investigation information pertaining to the Jennifer Dulos homicide investigation. Detectives are searching in the area of Waveny Park in New Canaan. This is being done out of an abundance of caution to explore every avenue related to the case. These follow-ups are standard procedure as our detectives thoroughly investigate any and all leads.”
During the early days of the investigation and in the weeks and months that followed, dozens of TV crews and reporters camped out or visited Waveny Park—site of the community’s beloved Fourth of July picnic and fireworks, youth soccer and adult softball games, weddings and outdoor concerts—as investigators trawled its grounds for clues.
Though months turned into years without discovery of her body and outside media outlets moved on, the community did not.
New Canaanites not only held candlelight vigils for Jennifer Dulos immediately after she went missing, but have kept a kind of continuous vigil year-round since that time. Rocks painted with the message “Justice for Jennifer” have been placed along a stone wall at the Lapham Road entrance to Waveny—and other public places in New Canaan, such as outside Town Hall—along with flowers and messages.
This fall, the seventh-grade class of the Canaan Parish chapter of the National Charity League decorated the lawn with purple pinwheels in front of the New Canaan Library to mark National Domestic Violence Prevention month. It included an area dedicated to Jennifer Dulos.
More recently, a lawn sign appeared on Lapham Road that makes reference to state legislation passed thanks largely to a New Canaan delegate to the General Assembly. The sign reads: “DV [Domestic Violence] Bill Named ‘Jennifer’s Law’ Signed into Law Connecticut: Jennifer’s Law, named after DV victim Jennifer Dulos, adds ‘coercive control’ to the list of behaviors legally defined as domestic violence.”
Jennifer Dulos has not been seen since May 24, 2019, the Friday headed into Memorial Day weekend.
Police issued a Silver Alert for her the following day. One week later, police charged Fotis Dulos—a man she’d said she feared in divorce and custody filings—and his girlfriend, Michelle Troconis, with felony hindering and tampering.
In January 2020, police charged Fotis Dulos in the capital crime. Troconis and friend and attorney, Kent Mawhinney, each were charged with conspiracy to commit murder. Three weeks later, Fotis Duos killed himself.
Mawhinney two months before the murder had traveled to a wooded hunting club property upstate where unsuspecting club members just days before the violent crime came upon a 3.5-foot-deep, 6-foot-long grave covered over with grill grates and a debris, a blue tarp and two bags of lime inside, according to a state police detective’s affidavit.
Troconis has pleaded not guilty to all charges and is scheduled to appear Feb. 15 in state Superior Court. Mawhinney also has pleaded not guilty and is scheduled to appear Jan. 18, according to Connecticut Judicial Branch records.
Though the town formally relocated the mulch pickup to the Transfer Station across town, it wouldn’t be unusual given local custom to see a person park there with a bag or shovel, especially during the summer. Public access to the mulch pile area is prohibited, though the 13th tee of the frisbee golf course at Waveny—accessible by foot—is located on the northwestern corner of the lot.
[NewCanaanite.com will have more information on the state’s investigation as it becomes available.]