What to Know
- The manhunt for 23-year-old UConn student Peter Manfredonia ended Wednesday night, state police said.
- Manfredonia is a suspect in two murders, a home invasion and an abduction in Connecticut.
- He was last spotted at a Sheetz location in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania before taking an Uber to Hagerstown, Maryland, where he was caught at a truck stop.
The multi-state search for a University of Connecticut student accused of a string of crimes in Connecticut between Friday and Sunday came to an end Wednesday night with state police announcing his arrest in Maryland.
The suspect, 23-year-old Peter Manfredonia, was found in the area of a Pilot truck stop on Halfway Boulevard in Hagerstown, Maryland , according to the Hagerstown Police Department. He was arrested without incident. shortly before 9 p.m. after he was spotted coming out of a wooded area behind the center.
Connecticut State Police said investigators recovered a firearm they believe was used in a homicide in Derby, Connecticut.
Manfredonia was taken to a Maryland State Police barracks for processing and could face state and federal charges, but no charges were formally announced Wednesday.
State police are expected to release more information on Thursday.
Gov. Ned Lamont thanked law enforcement for their efforts in the case, calling it a "disturbing situation."
The arrest came hours after Pennsylvania State Police said Manfredonia had been seen at a Sheetz in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. They said witness descriptions and images from surveillance videos matched Manfredonia.
Police said Manfredonia took an Uber from the Sheetz to Hagerstown, Maryland. According to the surveillance footage, he still had a black duffle bag and was wearing red sneakers, according to police.
The search expanded beyond Connecticut to include four states after a car Manfredonia was accused of stealing was found in New Jersey, and he was spotted walking along train tracks in East Strousburg, Pennsylvania, on Sunday.
Authorities warned that Manfredonia was "armed and dangerous."
He is accused of killing two men, breaking into a home and holding another man against his will, and abducting a woman in Connecticut.
At a news 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."
Manfredonia's Family 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,' Dolan said.
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
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.
Manfredonia 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 on Sunday.
A photo Pennsylvania State Police released showed him along the train tracks, wearing dark shorts and a white T-shirt and carrying a duffel bag.
They issued 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.
Pennsylvania State Police later said Manfredonia had been seen at a Sheetz in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania and took an Uber from the Sheetz to Hagerstown, Maryland
Ted DeMers Killed, Another Man Injured in Attack in Willington
The crimes Manfredonia is accused of include ttacking 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. His death was ruled a homicide.
The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner on Tuesday said the cause of death was "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.
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.
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,” 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 well-being check where they learned about the home invasion.
Some Willington Residents Concerned With Lack of Communication Following Assault, Homicide
Lindsey Hart said 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 posted on Facebook that she would 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,” a state police spokesperson said.
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 in Derby after receiving a 911 call for a well-being 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.
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 were in contact with the FBI in Pennsylvania, who were 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."
UConn President Releases Statement
On Tuesday, UConn President Tom Katsouleas released a statement on Twitter about the search for Manfredonia.
"I want you to know that we at UConn deeply mourn the loss of life and are thinking of the victims and their families," Katsouleas said in part.
"No matter where they occur, such tragedy leaves us with overwhelming sadness for the victims and their families and struggling to make sense of how someone -- in this case, someone from our own community -- could be capable of such carnage," he added in part.
He said the university was working with the Connecticut State Police and others to search for Manfredonia.