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Lawyer suggests missing Connecticut mom may have staged 'Gone Girl' disappearance

Jennifer Dulos has been missing since May 24, when the mother of five was last seen dropping off her children at school.
/ Source: TODAY

A lawyer for the estranged husband of a missing Connecticut mother has offered an alternative explanation for her disappearance, suggesting that she staged it like the main character in the hit movie "Gone Girl."

Jennifer Dulos, 50, has been missing since May 24, when the mother of five was last seen dropping her children off at school in New Canaan.

Her estranged husband, Fotis Dulos, 51, and his girlfriend, Michelle Troconis, 44, have pleaded not guilty to charges of evidence tampering and hindering prosecution after being arrested in connection with the case. They are both out on $500,000 bond and required to wear GPS trackers.

Prosecutor Richard Colangelo told a court that DNA belonging to Fotis Dulos was found mixed with Jennifer Dulos' blood on the faucet of the kitchen sink at her home, which she was renting after splitting from her husband.

Police said that Fotis Dulos and Troconis were seen on surveillance video making stops at different trash receptacles in Hartford and discarding items that contained Jennifer Dulos' blood.

Norm Pattis, the attorney for Fotis Dulos, offered a much different explanation for her disappearance.

"We have been provided a very dark 500-plus page novel Jennifer wrote,'' he said in a statement to NBC News. "We are reviewing it now. We are also investigating new information regarding $14,000 worth of medical bills regarding tests just before she disappeared. We don’t know what had become of Jennifer but the 'Gone Girl' hypothesis is very much on our mind."

In "Gone Girl," based on a book by Gillian Flynn, a woman fakes her own death as part of a plot to frame her husband.

Jennifer Dulos is an accomplished writer with a master's degree in writing from New York University, according to a statement released by her family.

"It's a classic act of desperation to slander the victim," Anne Dranginis, the attorney for Jennifer Dulos' mother, Gloria Farber, told The New York Post.

Carrie Luft, a spokesperson for Jennifer Dulos' family and friends, said in a statement to NBC News that the draft of Jennifer's novel was finished in 2002, 10 years before "Gone Girl" was released, and has nothing to do with the story.

"Trying to tie Jennifer’s absence to a book she wrote more than 17 years ago makes no sense,'' Luft said in her statement. "Evidence shows that Jennifer was the victim of a violent attack in her New Canaan home. As of today, she has been missing for a month. This is not fiction or a movie. This is real life, as experienced every single day by Jennifer’s five young children, her family, and her friends. We are heartbroken."

"Jennifer is not here to protect her children, and these false and irresponsible allegations hurt the children now and into the future," Luft said.

State and local police have been working to find Dulos for weeks, sifting through tons of trash with rakes for 15 hours a day at the Materials Innovation and Recycling Authority in Hartford.

The search of the garbage dump comes because the trash had already been collected when authorities said they discovered the surveillance video evidence of Fotis Dulos and Troconis discarding items.

"We know what we are looking for," State Police Sgt. Ralph Soda said during a press conference Saturday. "We can't be specific because of the evidence. We can't release something publicly because there are things as far as what evidence and facts of the case that may be known to the suspect and the victim that no one else knows. That can't be released."

The family released a statement Friday through Luft, thanking authorities for their efforts.

"None of this feels real. We tell ourselves that this kind of nightmare happens to people in stories, not to those we know and love,'' the statement read.

"Please know that the kids are safe and surrounded with love. They are embodying what Jennifer has taught them: to support each other with unity. If she could see them right now, she would be extremely proud."