The family and friends of a missing Connecticut mother dismissed a theory that she staged her disappearance in a manner similar to the plot of popular novel-turned-film, "Gone Girl."
Monday marked one month since Jennifer Dulos, 50, was last seen in her 2017 Chevrolet Suburban in New Canaan. Friends reported her missing on May 24 after she failed to show up for appointments.
Authorities found her car about three miles from the house where she had lived with her five children since splitting from her husband in 2017.
Her estranged husband, Fotis Dulos, and his girlfriend pleaded not guilty to charges of evidence tampering and hindering prosecution in her disappearance. They were released on bond.
Authorities said surveillance cameras captured someone resembling Fotis Dulos dumping garbage bags in trash cans that contained items stained with the missing mother's blood.
State's Attorney Richard J. Colangelo told a judge that investigators found Fotis Dulos' DNA mixed with her blood in a faucet inside her home.
But Fotis Dulos' lawyer offered another explanation for her disappearance.
"We have been provided a very dark 500-plus page novel Jennifer wrote,'' lawyer Norm Pattis 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."
Pattis' publicist told CNN he was unavailable to comment.
In "Gone Girl," the popular Gillian Flynn novel that became a movie, a woman fakes her death as part of a plot to frame her husband in retaliation for his infidelity.
In a statement, Jennifer Dulos' family and friends called the theory "false and irresponsible."
They said her manuscript was written in 2002, before she started dating Fotis Dulos and before "Gone Girl" was published in 2012.
"Jennifer's novel is not a mystery. It's a character-driven story that follows a young woman through relationships and self-discovery over a period of years. Like all of Jennifer's writing, it expresses a deep longing for human connection and the need to be accepted as one's true self," her friend, Carrie Luft, said in the statement on the group's behalf.
"Trying to tie Jennifer's absence to a book she wrote more than 17 years ago makes no sense. Evidence shows that Jennifer was the victim of a violent attack in her New Canaan home," the statement continues.
"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."