NEWTOWN/DERBY, Conn. (WTNH) — Nicholas Eisele was killed over the weekend by double homicide suspect, Peter Manfredonia. Thursday, Eisele’s family and community mourned his loss and reflected on the arrest of the suspected killer.
In an exclusive interview with News 8, a spokesperson for the family of Eisele, the apparent second homicide victim of Manfredonia, said everyone is focusing on the life and the reason why the accused killer Manfredonia did what he did.
The families feel the community needs to focus on the families who just lost the people they love.
There has been a lot of commentary, comments – especially with social media – about the story and the life and everything about Peter Manfredonia. We wanted the family’s message to come out as well.– Gene Zingaro /Eisele family attorney
On Sunday, May 22, Eisele, 23, was found dead in his Derby home. Police sais his girlfriend was abducted by 23-year-old Manfredonia, Eisele’s Newtown High School friend.
Eisele’s mother, who did not want to speak on camera, 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 and never pictured this for his family.
The family’s spokesperson said this family wants a just punishment for their son’s accused killer.
“For this family, the healing process will not begin, will never begin, until and only until the successful prosecution, just sentence, and denial of any and all appeals of Peter Manfredonia,” their spokesperson said.
For now, the family is asking for their privacy during this very difficult time. Eisele leaves behind two young sisters and a twin brother.
The crimes Manfredonia is accused of pulling off struck fear in the town of Derby.
“It was scary,” said Owney Malerba, who lives across the street of 404 Roosevelt Drive, Eisele’s home at the time of his death.
Only days before Eisele was killed, state police said Manfredonia killed Marine Corps veteran, Ted DeMers, 62, who – at the time of his death – was trying to assist the suspect with a mechanical issue with his motorcycle in the town of Willington.
Troopers Manfredonia also held another man in Willington against his will before stealing that man’s firearms and pickup truck. The truck was later ditched at Osbornedale State Park in Derby.
Thursday, that state park is back open and News 8 found a group of four friends sitting on chairs in a parking lot, once again enjoying their favorite spot to get together now that they know Manfredonia isn’t lurking around.
“Very grateful,” Andy Mancini said. “It’s nice and peaceful up here.”
It was anything but nice and peaceful for Malerba, who said he witnessed his Derby neighborhood turn into “a war zone” as police swarmed the building where they say Manfredonia killed Nicholas Eisele.
“A police officer told us to go back home, pointed get out of here and we did,” Malerba said.
Thursday, the only activity on his street was his neighbor cutting his grass. When News 8 asked Malerba how he feels now that Manfredonia has been captured in Maryland, his reaction seemed to echo throughout the town.
“Relief like you wouldn’t believe,” he said.
Same reaction at Derby City Hall.
“Great relief,” Mayor Richard Dziekan told News8. He says his message now is to reassure Derby residents.
“The alarm is off,” the mayor said. “It’s safer now.”
He also has a message to the families who lost their loved ones during this ordeal: “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families affected by this.”