peter manfredonia

Conn. State Police Issue Plea to UConn Student Suspected in 2 Killings, Abduction to Turn Himself In

The search for 23-year-old Peter Manfredonia, who is considered armed and dangerous, is ongoing in several states after he was spotted over the weekend in Pennsylvania

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What to Know

  • The manhunt for 23-year-old UConn student Peter Manfredonia is continuing across several states. Manfredonia is a suspect in two murders, a home invasion and an abduction in Connecticut on Friday and Saturday.
  • His family, through an attorney, urged him to surrender. Police released a tip line number is 203-503-5555.
  • He was last spotted outside a Walmart in East Strousburg, Pennsylvania where he had an Uber drop him off. Police say he likely does not have a vehicle and may continue using ride-sharing services

The multi-state search for a University of Connecticut student who is wanted in connection with a string of crimes across the state between Friday and Sunday continues across Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Police have identified the suspect as Peter Manfredonia, 23, and Pennsylvania State Police said they determined that an Uber dropped him off in front of a Walmart in East Strousburg, Pennsylvania and found footage of him walking along train tracks on Sunday.

On Tuesday afternoon, Pennsylvania State Police issued a Be On The Lookout (BOLO) warning for a stolen car out of the area where Manfredonia was last seen. It's a black Hyundai Santa Fe with Pennsylvania registration KYW-1650, according to police. Troopers stress they do not know if it is connected in anyway to Manfredonia, but are issuing the alert as a precaution.

Manfredonia is accused of killing two men, breaking into a home and holding another man against his will, and abducting a woman.

This is an active investigation, according to Trooper First Class Christine Jeltema.

Manfredonia is considered armed and dangerous.

"Do not approach him," Jeltema said.

Pennsylvania State Police are actively searching Tuesday evening for murder suspect Peter Manfredonia.

Connecticut State Police announced a tip line for anyone to call with information related to the case. The tip line number is 203-503-5555.

At a press conference Tuesday afternoon, a commanding officer with the state police, Lt. John Aiello, issued a statement hoping Manfredonia would hear it:

"We have talked to your family, we’ve talked to your friends and your roommates. All of them have said the same thing. That this behavior is out of the ordinary for you. We know this is not who you are. Peter, I want you to know that we are continuing our investigation. the one thing we are missing right now is you. We want you to be able to tell you story. We are here to listen to you. Your parents, your friends, all of us back here in Connecticut want a peaceful end to this. Your family has hired an attorney on your behalf and your rights will be safeguarded. We are waiting to hear from you. We want to hear from you. Please call 9-1-1. Let us know where you are. We want to resolve this in a safe way. Please call us. We are waiting here to listen to you."

We have talked to your family, we’ve talked to your friends and your roommates. All of them have said the same thing. That this behavior is out of the ordinary for you. We know this is not who you are.

State Police Lt. John Aiello addressing Peter Manfredonia at a press conference Tuesday

Family of Suspect Urges Him to Surrender

On Monday night, Manfredonia's family urged him to surrender.

Michael Dolan, the lawyer representing Manfredonia's parents, asked him to turn himself in to police because "it is time to let the healing process begin."

Dolan, who said Manfredonia will continue to have the love and support of his family, addressed Manfredonia directly in the news conference held Monday night.

From your parents... 'We love you. It's time to turn yourself in.'

Michael Dolan, lawyer for Peter Manfredonia's parents

"From your parents... 'We love you. It's time to turn yourself in,' Dolan said.

An attorney for the parents of Peter Manfredonia urged him to surrender on Monday. Manfredonia, a UConn student, is accused of killings in Willington and Derby.

The family lawyer said Manfredonia has struggled with mental health issues over the past few years and has sought the help of family and therapists.

Manfredonia's parents have not had any contact with him, according to Dolan.

Manfredonia graduated from Newtown High School with high honors, and he was an athlete, according to Dolan. He was accepted into the Honor's Program at the University of Connecticut.

Photos: Manhunt Continues for UConn Student Suspected in Two Homicides

Multi-State Manhunt Underway

The search for Manfredonia became a multi-state manhunt on Sunday after he was spotted in Pennsylvania, near the New Jersey border.

Pennsylvania State Police said Manfredonia was seen carrying a large duffle bag in the Poconos Sunday.

Suspect Seen in Pennsylvania

Manfredonia was last seen Sunday afternoon in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania.

According to Pennsylvania State Police, New Jersey State Police made contact with the kidnapping victim near the Pennsylvania border after she escaped.

A news release from Pennsylvania State Police said an Uber dropped Manfredonia off in front of a Walmart in East Stroudsburg and they spoke with the driver and recovered camera footage.

They were then able to determine that Manfredonia walked behind the store and other businesses and onto a set of train tracks.

The photo Pennsylvania State Police released from Sunday afternoon shows Manfredonia along the train tracks, wearing dark shorts and a white T-shirt and carrying a duffel bag.

They are issuing a warning to people in the area that he might attempt to solicit ride sharing services, possibly through "third party means" to flee the area.

Ted DeMers Killed, Another Man Injured in Attack in Willington

Manfredonia is suspected of attacking two men on Mirtl Road in Willington on Friday morning.

Police responded to the scene just after 9 a.m. and found two injured men on the roadway, according to state police.

One victim, 62-year-old Theodore DeMers, died from his injuries on the way to the hospital, state police said. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner on Tuesday said the cause of death is "Sharp Force and Chop Injuries of Head with Sharp Force Injuries of Torso and Extremities (homicide)."

DeMers' sister-in-law Pat Jones said her brother-in-law drove Manfredonia in his four-wheeler down to a motorcycle parked in a cul-de-sac at the end of the road. 

Neighbors told DeMers’ family that the suspect was wielding a weapon at him and an 86-year-old neighbor came out of his home to stop the attack. 

The neighbor was wounded in the head and hands and is still in the hospital, according to Jones. Police have not released the name of the wounded victim.

Police said as of Tuesday afternoon the second victim is in stable condition.

There’s a federal manhunt for a 23-year-old University of Connecticut student wanted for the deaths of two people and the brutal assault of another. It’s a crime spree that started in Willington, where 62-year-old Ted Demers was killed by the young man he thought needed his help.

Jones said the suspect got on his motorcycle and drove off after another neighbor yelled at him to stop.

This neighbor, their family, they were thinking of getting a restraining order against this person two weeks ago. This was intentional. This was not just some random crazy person who flew off the handle. He had a plan.

Pat Jones, sister-in-law of Willington murder victim Ted DeMers

“This neighbor, their family, they were thinking of getting a restraining order against this person two weeks ago. This was intentional. This was not just some random crazy person who flew off the handle. He had a plan,” Jones said.

Home Invasion in Willington

On Sunday, Manfredonia broke into a Willington home and stole pistols and long guns, state police said.

The homeowner was not injured and refused medical treatment, according to state police.

Manfredonia is accused of stealing the homeowner’s vehicle. Police said he used it to drive to Derby, where police found the stolen vehicle abandoned in the area of Osborndale State Park. Derby police found that the registration on the vehicle connected to a Willington address and notified state police, who did a wellbeing check where they learned about the home invasion.

Some Willington Residents Concerned With Lack of Communication Following Assault, Homicide

Some Willington residents want to know why they were not immediately alerted about the hunt for a murder suspect in their town.

Lindsey Hart says Friday began as a beautiful day for she and her two young children. Hart went on to say she was not happy when she learned much later from a friend that a killer was on the run.

“I’m outside with my kids playing and I had no idea that an hour and 45 minutes before, he had murdered somebody,” she said.

The Willington First selectman posting on Facebook that she will speak with authorities to help make sure residents feel safe.

“A large contingent of troopers remained in the immediate area until the threat was over and that they had to gather all of the facts before alerting residents,” said a state police spokesperson.

Residents in Willington said they are concerned by the lack of information provided to them during the search for murder suspect Peter Manfredonia over the weekend.

State police said the Willington First Selectman was notified about the initial attack at 10:19 a.m. Friday., 71 minutes after troopers first arrived on scene.

Acquaintance Found Dead in Derby, Person Abducted From Home

During their search for Manfredonia, police checked a home on Roosevelt Drive after receiving a 911 call for a wellbeing check at 11:04 a.m. on Sunday. They found 23-year-old Nicholas Eisele, an acquaintance of Manfredonia, dead.

It's not clear how the two men knew each other.

State police said it appears Manfredonia is responsible for the man's death.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner said a gunshot wound to the head killed Eisele.

Upon arriving at the Roosevelt Drive house, Derby Police determined that Eisele's girlfriend was missing from the house.

Officers said they were drafting a Silver Alert when authorities in Patterson, New Jersey, notified them that they had found her.

The manhunt continues for a UConn student suspected in homicides in Willington and Derby, as well a home invasion, is also suspected in an abduction from Derby.

Vehicle Found in New Jersey

Eisele’s girlfriend and her 2016 black Volkswagen Jetta were located by the New Jersey State Police at a rest stop at 1:04 p.m. on Sunday. She was unharmed despite being taken from the Roosevelt Drive residence against her will, Derby Police said.

She was brought back to Connecticut and identified Manfredonia as her captor, state police said.

State Police are in contact with the FBI in Pennsylvania, who are actively searching for the suspect.

New Jersey State Police said the vehicle was found on Interstate 80 in Knowlton Township, Warren County.

Troopers said there is a bumper sticker on the driver's side of the vehicle that says "Sandy Hook Tribute Victim #26."

Suspect Is Student at University of Connecticut

Manfredonia is a senior at the University of Connecticut, where he studies in the joint School of Engineering/School of Business Management and Engineering for Management program, UConn spokesperson Stephanie Reitz said.

He first enrolled at UConn in fall 2015 and he was not living on the UConn campus at the time of the incident in Willington or during recent semesters, Reitz said.

The university said it is in contact with Connecticut State Police and they are providing assistance and information that may assist with their investigation.

Connecticut State Police said they are investigating all of the various possible leads and they are "working aggressively to bring this individual to justice."

Anyone With Information Asked to Call State Police

Anyone who sees Manfredonia is urged not to approach him and to call 911 immediately.

Pennsylvania Crimestoppers are also asking anyone who sees him to call 1-800-472-8477.

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