More than a week ago, Jennifer Dulos disappeared after she dropped her five children off at school in a wealthy town in Connecticut. The police soon began investigating her estranged husband, with whom she had been involved in a bitter divorce and custody battle.
On Saturday night, the estranged husband and his girlfriend were arrested and charged with hindering prosecution and tampering with evidence in relation to the disappearance of Ms. Dulos, 50, who remains missing.
Her disappearance has set off a search across the state and focused widespread attention on their marriage, which had been the subject of a lengthy court fight that included more than 400 filings, many about custody and visitation rights.
Ms. Dulos’s husband, Fotis Dulos, also was engaged in a lawsuit with the estate of her deceased father over $1.7 million in loans that Mr. Dulos had failed to pay back, according to court documents.
Late Saturday night, Mr. Dulos, 51, and his girlfriend, Michelle C. Troconis, 44, were taken into custody and charged with hindering a prosecution and tampering with evidence in relation to the disappearance of Ms. Dulos.
The couple are being held on $500,000 bond and are scheduled to appear at Norwalk Superior Court on Monday, the police announced on Sunday morning.
Two lawyers associated with Mr. Dulos, Eugene Riccio and Michael Rose, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Sunday.
Court records show that Mr. and Ms. Dulos have been embroiled in a contentious divorce for two years and are locked in a custody battle involving their five children — three boys and two girls. Mr. Dulos recently claimed in a filing that their children were being kept under armed guard at their grandmother’s apartment in New York.
The New Canaan Police Department had first responded to a report of a missing person the night of May 24, after friends said Ms. Dulos missed several appointments that day.
In the week after Ms. Dulos went missing, the police search focused on the 300-acre area of Waveny Park, Conn., where her black Chevrolet Suburban was found soon after she was reported missing.
Then on Friday evening, the police redirected their efforts to Hartford, moving from house to house searching storm drains, backyards and trash bins for possible evidence, according to local news reports.
“We’re running a missing persons investigation as well as a criminal investigation at the same time,” Lt. Jason Ferraro, a spokesman for the New Canaan Police Department, said on Friday. “As those investigations expand and get more involved, obviously we’re looking at different leads.”
The following morning, the police arrived at Mr. Dulos’s home in Farmington, Conn. They also discovered traces of blood in Ms. Dulos’s New Canaan home, suggesting that she was the victim of a violent crime, according to The Hartford Courant.
Hours later, the police arrested Mr. Dulos and Ms. Troconis.
A spokesman for the New Canaan Police Department did not respond to requests for comment about the arrests.
Mr. Dulos received a master’s degree from Columbia Business School, according to his company’s website. Ms. Troconis works in marketing and event planning, and is a former producer for ESPN in Argentina and Chile, according to her LinkedIn account.
Both Mr. Dulos and Ms. Dulos studied at Brown University, graduating one year apart. Ms. Dulos moved to New York, where she received a masters in writing from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and worked in the city as a writer, according to her biography on Patch.com.
In a blog post from 2012 on Patch.com, she wrote about her life as a 26-year-old in the Village and walking her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Sophie, around Washington Square Park. She wrote that she moved to Colorado in 2000 and was reunited with Mr. Dulos about five years later.
“The best part of my night now, hands down, is when I give our baby, Clea-Noelle a bath and then her bottle, in my arms,” she wrote in the post, which circulated in a Facebook group about her disappearance on Sunday. “And even if we are meeting friends out for dinner, or if I am rushing to a movie with my husband, Fotis, I make sure that I do this first. It’s my passion, my joy, my connection.”
On Sunday evening, friends of Ms. Dulos gathered at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in New Canaan for an interfaith vigil. Classical music from a string ensemble echoed through the church’s nave as a crowd made up mostly of women filled the pews.
Jessica Hill contributed reporting.