WILLINGTON, Conn. (WTNH) — On Wednesday afternoon, Pennsylvania State Police received a tip that Peter Manfredonia — the UConn student suspected of committing two homicides in Connecticut — may be in Hagerstown, Maryland.
The tip said that witness descriptions in a Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, convenience store matched Manfredonia, and the car stolen from Manfredonia’s last known location was found near the store. The person in the surveillance footage took an UBER from there to Hagerstown.
“At this time, we believe that the suspect was and possibly still is, in the Hagerstown, Washington County area,” Hagerstown police said in a statement Wednesday night. “We are working closely with allied law enforcement agencies and we urge the public to use extreme caution.”
Tuesday evening, Connecticut State Police held a news conference, speaking directly to Manfredonia, wanted in a multi-state manhunt, and begging him to turn himself in. Troopers asked for a peaceful resolution after two violent slayings over the holiday weekend.
Troopers were horrified by the crime scenes they found in Willington and Derby, where the killings, home invasion and kidnapping happened.
Tuesday evening, Connecticut State Police (CSP) reported the victim kidnapped from a Derby home by Manfredonia on Sunday was a female, but they are not releasing her identity at this time.
They also sent a message directly to Manfredonia, saying his family and friends said this behavior is not the person they know.
“This is not who you are…We want you to be able to tell your story. We are here to listen to you…We [all] want a peaceful end to this…We are waiting to hear from you; we want to hear from you…Please call us.”
CSP encouraged Manfredonia to call 911 and let them know where he is.
On Roosevelt Drive in Derby, neighbors of Manfredonia’s second homicide victim, 23-year-old Nicholas J. Eisele, say the tragedy hits close to home and they are uneasy after the events over the weekend.
Juliet Russell told News 8, “It makes you feel uneasy, you know? In your own home like coming home to your own home when you forget to put the light on. You’re scared. Like who knows when this can happen so close.”
Tuesday afternoon, Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) reported a black Hyundai Santa Fe bearing the PA registration KYW-1650 had been reported stolen Monday. It has not been confirmed as of yet that the car was stolen by Manfredonia, but police said it was taken in the area where Manfredonia was last seen.
Manfredonia was believed to be last spotted Sunday afternoon in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. He was wearing dark shorts and a white t-shirt.
According to Newtown police, “Manfredonia is described as a 6’3″ white male, with disheveled, black hair, brown eyes, and weighs approximately 240 pounds. He was last seen wearing a gray t-shirt, gray sweatpants, and carrying some type of bag.”
Early Tuesday, PSP reported that after New Jersey State Police made contact with Manfredonia’s kidnap victim from Derby and recovered the car he stole from a Derby home Sunday.
Manfredonia was spotted on a security camera at a Walmart in PA after being dropped off by a rideshare app.
“Troopers were able to determine that Manfredonia was dropped off by an Uber at the East Stroudsburg Walmart,” PSP said. “Through interviews with the driver and recovered security footage, Troopers were able to determine that Manfredonia walked behind Walmart and other businesses onto a set of train tracks and was still in possession of a duffle bag full of guns he stole from a home invasion in Connecticut.”
Tuesday, News 8 spoke with the family of Theodore Demers, 62, who was killed in Willington on Friday morning.
Demers’ family said he was a retired U.S. Marine who lived on Mirtl Road and reportedly was helping Manfredonia, who had said his motorcycle had broken down and run out of gas.
Demers’ family said that’s when Manfredonia attacked their loved one with a machete, cut off his arm and left him bleeding in the street.
His daughter-in-law, Dr. Molly Demers said he was going to be a first-time grandfather in June.
“Ted was a wonderful human being,” she said. “He was the best father anybody could ask for for both his daughters in law who he treated like his own. Over the past 13 years, to his sons and to his wife, he was an incredible man. And we don’t want this loss the way that he left us to define his life.”
A memorial has been built on Mirtl Road for Demers.
On Monday, Mike Dolan, the attorney for the family of Manfredonia, said his family wants him to surrender.
“Peter, if you are listening, you are loved,” he said during a news conference, conveying the family’s message. “It is time to let the healing process begin. It’s time to surrender. You have your parents’ and your sisters’ and your family’s entire support. So, Peter, from your parents, we love you, please turn yourself in.”
Dolan verified that Manfredonia does have mental health issues, adding that he was seeking professional help.
“You won’t be surprised to hear that Peter has struggled with mental health issues over the past several years,” he said. “He sought the help of a number of therapists, and he’s had the support of his parents and loved ones to help him through those struggles.”
He said Manfredonia was an honors student who graduated from Newtown High School. He was also a senior at the University of Connecticut, studying to be a mechanical engineer.
WEB EXTRA: Attorney for family of Peter Manfredonia’s full message to Peter Monday
Dolan said the family expressed their condolences to those who have been injured and/or suffering from Manfredonia’s “flight from the area.”
In addition to Demers, authorities believe he also killed 23-year-old Nicholas J. Eisele, whose body was found in a home on Roosevelt Drive on Sunday.
On Monday, Connecticut State Police revealed that there was a second individual in that home. While police were attempting to locate that person, authorities in Paterson, New Jersey, found that individual in their city, uninjured. That person positively identified their captor as Manfredonia.
Officials said that they are not releasing their identity at this time to protect their safety and the integrity of the investigation.
Dolan said that there had been no contact between Manfredonia and his family since the incidents occurred.