A nanny who cares for 5 kids whose mother went missing in Connecticut in 2019 recalled in court docket on Wednesday the frantic day Jennifer Dulos vanished, kicking off a search that finally was a homicide investigation.

The nanny, Lauren Almeida, testified in the trial of Michelle Troconis, who was the girlfriend of Dulos’ estranged husband, Fotis Dulos. Troconis is charged with conspiracy to commit homicide and different crimes on allegations that she helped Fotis Dulos cowl up the killing of Jennifer Dulos.

Almeida stated Wednesday she had 4 of their kids along with her — the opposite was at a pal’s — when she was supposed to fulfill up with Jennifer Dulos in Manhattan on the afternoon of Could 24, 2019. She texted and known as Dulos, however she did not reply.

“My abdomen simply sank. She by no means not answered her cellphone,” Almeida testified in Superior Court docket in Stamford, Connecticut.

Almeida went to a physician’s workplace in Manhattan the place Dulos had a scheduled appointment, hoping to search out her there.

“And so when she wasn’t there, .. I used to be shocked but in addition like, OK, I’ve the 4 children in entrance of me and don’t know what to do,” Almeida stated. “I simply walked outdoors, and I began to name individuals who might have heard from Jennifer.”

Police consider Fotis Dulos attacked Jennifer Dulos within the storage of her dwelling in New Canaan, Connecticut, after she dropped off the kids at college that day. Then, authorities stated, he drove off in her personal SUV along with her physique, which has by no means been discovered. Fotis Dulos denied having something to do along with her disappearance. He died by suicide in early 2020, shortly after being charged with homicide.

Troconis has pleaded not responsible and denies the costs, which additionally embrace proof tampering and hindering prosecution.

On the time she vanished, Jennifer and Fotis Dulos had been going by means of contentious divorce and little one custody proceedings that had restricted his time with the kids to once-a-week visitation that needed to be supervised. Jennifer Dulos had moved out of the household dwelling in Farmington, Connecticut, whereas Fotis Dulos continued dwelling there with Troconis and her daughter.

The case drew widespread consideration and was the topic of a made-for-TV film. Jennifer Dulos was a member of a rich New York household whose father, the late Hilliard Farber, based his personal brokerage agency. She additionally was a niece by marriage of dressmaker Liz Claiborne. Fotis Dulos was a luxurious dwelling builder initially from Greece.

Almeida testified that she and Jennifer Dulos had turn out to be afraid of Fotis Dulos, after Jennifer Dulos in 2017 came upon about his affair with Troconis. That 12 months, Almeida stated Fotis Dulos chased Jennifer Dulos outdoors the house with a bit of paper and had a screaming argument along with her contained in the Farmington dwelling, the place she ran right into a room and he tried to barge open the closed door.

Fotis Dulos threatened to take the kids to his native Greece and by no means come again, and he accused Almeida of kidnapping the kids when Jennifer Dulos moved them and herself out of the home in 2017.

When Jennifer Dulos went lacking, Almeida known as buddies and others who would possibly know the place she was. She additionally known as hospitals, however had no luck. She known as her mom, who tried to calm her down, she testified. Then she known as New Canaan police.

“We instructed the police {that a} mom of 5 was lacking and that she was in a really contentious divorce. And I knew that he (Fotis Dulos) had bought a gun, and so I used to be afraid. They usually had been on it instantly,” Almeida stated.

Decide Kevin Randolph struck the remark in regards to the gun from the report, after prosecutor Sean McGuinness stated he was not claiming that Fotis Dulos had a gun. Troconis’ lawyer, Jon Schoenhorn, later known as for a mistrial based mostly on Almeida’s remark, however Randolph denied the movement.

Almeida, 32, continues to be a nanny for the 5 kids, who’ve been dwelling with Jennifer Dulos’ mom, Gloria Farber, in Manhattan since their mom vanished.

Wednesday was the fourth day of the trial. Over the primary days, police testified about blood proof present in Jennifer Dulos’ storage and her SUV, which was discovered deserted at a New Canaan park.

Among the many proof anticipated to be proven to the jury later within the trial is police surveillance video of Fotis Dulos and Troconis driving round Hartford later within the day that Jennifer Dulos disappeared. Fotis Dulos is seen getting out of his pickup truck and disposing of rubbish luggage at varied areas as Troconis sits within the automobile.

Police stated they later recovered a number of the luggage and located clothes, zip ties and different objects with Jennifer Dulos’ DNA on them. Some objects had Fotis Dulos’ DNA on them, and one bag had Troconis’ DNA on it, police stated.

Prosecutors are additionally anticipated to indicate the jury what police dubbed “the alibi script” — a doc they are saying Fotis Dulos and Troconis ready that detailed their actions and areas on the day of the killing and the day after. Troconis instructed police that Fotis Dulos’ lawyer had requested them to checklist their actions on these days.

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