WEST HARTFORD — A few hours after Fotis Dulos pleaded not guilty Thursday to a new charge in the disappearance of his wife, state police investigators descended on reservoirs near his Farmington home.
There was a heavy police presence at the MDC reservoirs off Farmington Avenue Thursday afternoon as officers and police dogs renewed their search of the area. According to WTNH, officials are using cadaver sniffing dogs — used to detect human remains — to search areas near the water.
The reservoirs are separated by about a half-mile of woods from the back of Fotis Dulos’ house at 4 Jefferson Crossing, and it has been a point of interest for investigators since Jennifer Dulos disappeared on May 24.
As police search efforts re-launched, Fotis Dulos and his attorney Norm Pattis were in Norwalk for his arraignment on a new charge of tampering with evidence.
Earlier on Thursday, Superior Court Judge John Blawie also approved a gag order on the Fotis Dulos case, claiming that comments by attorneys and other involved parties could affect a fair trial.
When contacted about the search in West Hartford, New Canaan Police Lt. Jason Ferraro said the gag order prevented him from commenting on the case.
“No information will be provided from this date forward regarding this case until the order is lifted or additional arrests are made,” he wrote in an email.
Fotis Dulos and Michelle Troconis, 44, were arrested on a new tampering with evidence charges last week.
The latest charges are related to their efforts to clean up a 2001 red Toyota Tacoma that police believe was used in connection with Jennifer Dulos’ disappearance on May 24, according to their arrest warrants.
Police said in a 38-page warrant that they believe Fotis Dulos was driving the red Tacoma, which was caught on camera in New Canaan on the day Jennifer Dulos disappeared.
The truck belonged to a former Fore Group employee who told investigators Fotis Dulos ordered him to swap out the seats in the vehicle, according to the warrant. However, the employee kept the seats without Fotis Dulos knowing and turned them over to investigators who found Jennifer Dulos’ blood on one of them, the warrant said.
Fotis Dulos and Troconis have each pleaded not guilty to the original charges of hindering prosecution and tampering with evidence.
According to arrest warrants, two people resembling Fotis Dulos and Troconis were seen in what appeared to be his Ford Raptor pickup truck making more than 30 stops in a four-mile stretch of Albany Avenue in Hartford the night of the disappearance.
Fotis Dulos was seen dumping bags that were later determined to contain his wife’s blood and video surveillance spotted him stuffing an envelope into a storm drain that contained expired license plates registered in his name, according to arrest warrants.
However, Pattis said there is “no clear video” of his client that night in Hartford. Pattis has also said “there is an explanation” that he would present at trial if it’s proven Fotis Dulos was seen dumping the bags.
Police said they believe Jennifer Dulos was the victim of a “serious physical assault” based on blood spatter and stains found in her garage. State’s Attorney Richard Colangelo also said Fotis Dulos’ DNA was found mixed with his wife’s blood on the faucet of her kitchen sink.