On Friday, a goofy-looking robot named Marty celebrated either a birthday or an anniversary or both, after spending the past year maneuvering through the aisles at more than 300 Stop & Shop locations, looking for spills on the floor and trying to identify other potential hazards.
"You might have seen me around your local Stop & Shop but haven’t had a chance to make my acquaintance," Marty 'wrote' on his own website. "There’s no need to be shy. Stop by, say hello, and take a picture with me."
Nobody's going to judge you if you do actually follow a wide-eyed robot through a supermarket, before stopping it to take a selfie. But it's probably for the best if you don't use that picture as part of your alibi, expecting Marty to prove that you weren't helping your one-time boyfriend murder his wife.
Fifty-year-old mother of five Jennifer Dulos disappeared from her Connecticut home last May, and her estranged husband Fotis Dulos has since been charged with capital murder, murder and kidnapping. Fotis Dulos' ex-girlfriend Jennifer Troconis was charged with conspiracy to commit murder, as was his former attorney Kent Douglas Mawhinney.
According to Connecticut Chief Medical Examiner James R. Gill, Jennifer Dulos' death was described as a "homicide of violence," that most likely involved her being restrained with zip-ties before she was bludgeoned or stabbed. Her body has not been found.
"Dulos has provided absolutely no cooperation to law enforcement in their investigation into Jennifer's disappearance," an arrest warrant reads. "Investigators have turned to Dulos' girlfriend, Jennifer Troconis, for assistance."
Troconis made several conflicting statements in her attempt to provide an alibi for Dulos, originally telling police that she had been with him at his home on the morning that Jennifer disappeared. When the cops said that they could prove that he wasn't there, she ultimately admitted that he was not there on the morning in question.
According to the Connecticut Post, Troconis allegedly took several steps to create her own alibi. Jennifer Dulos' time of death was estimated between 8:05 a.m. and 10:25 a.m. During that same time period, Troconis went to a friend's house to "drop off an item," and later that morning, she stopped at a second friend's house.
Between trying to establish those two in-person alibis, Troconis went to the Simsbury Stop & Shop, where she says she took photos of herself with Marty the robot. Although Marty is equipped with cameras, they are only for taking still photographs of the floors to help him identify spills; Stop & Shop says that Marty does not record any video of customers.
Fotis Dulos has been released on $6 million bond. On Thursday, a judge issued a "stern warning" to him after he violated the terms of his release by stopping at a memorial for Jennifer, and removing several items that he believed were placed there to taunt him. He will remain under house arrest until his next court date, which has been scheduled for February 20. Troconis was released on $1.5 million bond, and is also under house arrest.
VICE has reached out to Stop & Shop for comment but has not yet received a response.