Fotis Dulos clings to life after apparent suicide attempt
FARMINGTON — Fotis Dulos was clinging to life late Tuesday at a New York hospital after police say he was found unresponsive at his home when he missed an emergency bond hearing where a judge could have sent him back to jail.
Fotis Dulos, 52, accused of killing his estranged wife, Jennifer Dulos, was flown in critical condition to Jacobi Medical Center in Bronx, N.Y., after suffering carbon monoxide poisoning in an apparent suicide attempt in his garage.
Initial reports indicated Fotis Dulos had died, and state police even notified his relatives in Greece and Jennifer Dulos’ family of his death, sources confirmed.
Carrie Luft, a spokeswoman for Jennifer Dulos’ family, said late Tuesday that it “would not be appropriate for us to comment at this time.”
Fotis Dulos went into the garage after a woman who had been at his house left to get groceries Tuesday morning, a source close to Dulos said. According to the source, Fotis Dulos sounded disoriented when he answered a call from a bail bondsman at 10:34 a.m. Tuesday.
Farmington police officers discovered Fotis Dulos inside a running car in his garage around noon Tuesday when they conducted a welfare check because he was not at the bond hearing in Stamford. An issue with the insurance on his $6 million bond was likely going to send him back to jail until it was sorted out, sources close to his case said.
"The officers could see Mr. Dulos in his garage and could see that he was in medical distress," Farmington police Lt. Tim McKenzie said.
Officers forced entry into the vehicle by breaking the windows and began life-saving measures, including CPR, McKenzie said.
McKenzie declined to comment on whether his medical condition was related to a suicide attempt, but confirmed carbon monoxide was involved.
Fotis Dulos was taken to the UConn Health center in Farmington, where he remained for several hours before being flown late Tuesday afternoon to New York where he was on life support, sources said.
At Jacobi Medical Center, a hyperbaric chamber, where air pressure is increased to three times higher than normal air pressure, will be used to pump oxygen into Fotis Dulos’ body, particularly his brain.
“This is a shocking and truly sad day,” his criminal defense attorney Norm Pattis said. “My heart goes out to his children and his family. It’s just a horrible day.”
Fotis Dulos was alone at the property at 4 Jefferson Crossing when he was found, according to police, who declined to comment if a note was found.
"You never see anything like this coming," said State’s Attorney Richard Colangelo, who is prosecuting the Dulos case.
Attorney William Murray, who represents Fotis Dulos in the $2.5 million lawsuits filed by his mother-in-law, said he was “shocked and saddened” by Tuesday’s events.
"From our conversations day to day, from what I know, he's a fighter," Murray said. "It's very unfortunate. It does give you some idea of what the stress of going through something like this can do to a person."
Murray had only known Fotis Dulos for about 10 months, but the attorney said he was surprised that his client "would put himself in that place."
"I am very saddened, because at the end of the day, everyone deserves their day in court," Murray said.
The bond hearing was postponed to 2 p.m. Wednesday in state Superior Court in Stamford. According to sources, the insurance company, Palmetto Surety Corporation, might not be able to support the high bond for murder, felony murder and first-degree kidnapping charges in the May 24 death and disappearance of Jennifer Dulos.
Last week, Judge Gary White ordered Fotis Dulos to be on strict home confinement after Colangelo said he removed items from a memorial for his estranged wife that was set up near his home.
White, who was filling in for Judge John Blawie, threatened to double the bond amount if Fotis Dulos violated the terms of his release again, pointing out he was previously warned about the battery running too low on the electronic device that is monitoring his movements.
This month, 469 pages of search warrants in the case were unsealed for the first time since the investigation began eight months ago.
The documents outline how police believe Fotis Dulos and his former girlfriend, Michelle Troconis, 45, and his close friend and former lawyer, Kent Mawhinney, 54, allegedly conspired to kill Jennifer Dulos and clean up the crime.
Fotis Dulos and Troconis were charged last year with two counts of tampering with evidence and hindering prosecution. On the same day Fotis Dulos was charged with murder this month, Troconis and Mawhinney were charged with conspiracy to commit murder.
Troconis has been released on house arrest on $1.5 million bond, while Mawhinney remains jailed in lieu of $2 million bond.
According to arrest warrants, Jennifer Dulos was last seen on a neighbor’s security camera at 8:05 a.m. May 24, returning to her Welles Lane home after dropping off her children at a nearby school.
Police believe Fotis Dulos was “lying in wait” and attacked her in the garage, the warrants indicate.
Fotis Dulos and Troconis were caught on video that night in Hartford dumping bags that were later determined to contain Jennifer Dulos’ blood and clothing, according to arrest warrants.
Jennifer Dulos’ blood was also found on the seat of a pickup truck belonging to an employee of Fotis Dulos, according to arrest warrants. Police say Fotis Dulos used the truck on the day his wife was killed, arrest warrants said.
The search warrants revealed that Fotis Dulos’ 2015 black Chevrolet Suburban was was spotted on a residential security camera parked on Thurton Drive, a dead-end street about 600 feet from the backyard of Jennifer Dulos’ home.
Police took 19 swabs from that vehicle, including ones from what appeared to be “bloodlike” stains, the warrants said.
Troconis and Mawhinney are each due in court on Feb. 20.
Attorney Andrew Bowman, who represents Troconis, could not be reached for comment on Tuesday. Lee Gold, who represents Mawhinney, also could not be reached.