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

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As police from near and far continue to search for 23-year-old Peter Manfredonia, the UConn student accused of committing two homicides in Conn. before fleeing the state, 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.

Police say Manfredonia killed Ted Demers in Willington Friday morning before killing Nichols Eisele in Derby Sunday and then fleeing the state.

“When they finally released the information and we put two and two together," said Hart. "It was terrifying."

Hart says she and her neighbors believe they saw Manfredonia pass by their homes about seven miles from the scene of the crime not long after the murder.

Police say Manfredonia was riding a red sport motorcycle.

Neighbors shared a doorbell video with us of a motorcycle passing by at 10:45 Friday morning.

They tell us they've shared an image with local authorities. We’ve reached out to State Police to see if they believe it could have been Manfredonia.

Locals we’ve spoken to want to know if they can get an alert for school delays and cancellations, why not to get a heads up about something like this.

“Hours had passed before we realized that anything had even happened,” said Kia Martinson of Willington. “He could have very easily run through my neighbor’s yard and ended up in my yard. That was the frightening part of it.”

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

Dear Willington Friends and Neighbors, As we process the tragedy that took place, let us remember what makes...

Posted by Town of Willington on Monday, May 25, 2020

“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.

As family members mourn the loss of their loved ones, some Willington locals are pushing for change.

“We have all this technology,” said Hart. “The ball was dropped. He could have stopped, come up my driveway, my neighbor’s driveway and killed us.”

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