DERBY, Conn. (WTNH) — The UConn senior accused of two brutal homicides, a kidnapping and a home invasion had been on the run since Friday morning. It was a six-day multi-state manhunt that came to an end Wednesday night in Maryland.
Police captured 23-year-old Peter Manfredonia, but it was on Sunday where 24-year-old Nicolas Eisele was found dead in his apartment here on Roosevelt Drive in Derby.
A neighbor tells News 8 he heard arguing and loud yelling coming from the apartment upstairs on Sunday. Police say Manfredonia abducted Eisele’s girlfriend and stole a car from the home after allegedly killing his 23-year-old high school classmate from Newtown.
Manfredonia dumped the car in New Jersey on the Pennsylvania border. The girlfriend was found safe and uninjured. Last night, News 8 talked with the Eisele family. The mother told News 8 her son did not have to die. His father, a first responder at Sandy Hook Elementary during the 2012 shooting, knows tragedy well. Their family says they will not stop fighting for justice for their son.
Police say Manfredonia also killed 62-year-old Ted Demers and wounded another in Willington. Community members gathered together to remember Demers and offer support to his family at a vigil in Willington last night.
People have been coming to the town green and placing candles by a memorial. Demers’ wife Cindy says her family feels supported in this time of need.
“I think it’s unbelievable the support that this town has shown myself and my family,” Cindy Demers said.
“Well just the act of reaching out, just them sharing their pain and witnessing your pain, that is what is helping the family,” Pat Jones, sister-in-law.
During the attack Friday, police say Manfredonia also severely injured another man who was with Demers – 80-year-old John Franco. Last night, News 8 talked with his wife at the vigil. She tells us he had surgery on his left hand because of all the damage when he was fighting off Manfredonia. He is still in the hospital recovering.
Manfredonia was captured walking out of a wooded area behind a Maryland truck stop. The UConn senior represented himself in a court appearance Thursday. Manfredonia is being held without bond and will be extradited back to Connecticut next week.
A lawyer for Peter Manfredonia’s family told News 8 he could be sent back to Connecticut to face charges on June 8.