3-state manhunt for 'dangerous' UConn student who killed two men, kidnapped woman and is armed to the teeth
WILLINGTON, CONNECTICUT: Police are on the lookout for a 23-year-old University of Connecticut senior who is suspected to have killed a man, 62, using a machete, murdered an acquaintance and abducted a woman before fleeing in a stolen car. The search for the suspect stretches from Connecticut to New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
The authorities have also warned that he is armed with several stolen guns and have termed him dangerous. Connecticut troopers shared that the suspect Peter Manfredonia had last been seen in East Stroudsburg in Pennsylvania on Sunday, May 24. Manfredonia had reportedly started his crime spree on Friday, May 22, when local police were called in to check in a residential area in Willington over reports of a murder and assault, the Connecticut Post revealed.
The authorities shared that Manfredonia killed Ted DeMers, 62, and had also assaulted another man at around 9 am on May 22 in Willington. DeMers' wife, Cynthia spoke to the Hartford Courant and revealed that the two men had been attacked after they found Manfredonia walking on the road and offered him a ride back to his motorcycle. The state police said that DeMers was pronounced dead at a local hospital while the other man suffered from severe injuries and wounds from what is believed to be a sword or a machete.
DeMers' wife, Cynthia shared, "It could have been anybody who offered him a ride. It could have been any of my neighbors´ husbands. It just happened to be mine."
Trooper Josue Dorelus spoke to WTNH-TV and said, "We do know a weapon was used. We believe it to be an edged weapon, however the exact description I would not be able to provide."
On May 24 morning, the state police had been called to a home in Turnpike Drive where a homeowner was being held against his will. Manfredonia is believed to have forcefully taken the homeowner's food, three shotguns, as well as a pistol and his truck leaving the victim uninjured. After he stole the truck, Manfredonia made his way to Derby where the police were notified of a one-vehicle crash close to Osborndale State Park. When the police arrived at the scene, they found an abandoned vehicle that had been the same stolen truck from Turnpike Drive. They learned that Manfredonia had an acquaintance in Derby and went to check on the acquaintance.
The investigators arrived at the home of his acquaintance, 23-year-old Nicholas J Eisele, but they found him dead. It is believed that Manfredonia allegedly abducted Eisele's girlfriend as well and then stole a black Volkswagen Jetta from their home. Just hours after he killed Eisele, Manfredonia fled to Pennsylvania. The car that Manfred is believed to have stolen from Eisele was found in New Jersey at the Pennsylvania border on May 24 afternoon.
The police revealed that the driver's side of the vehicle had a bumper sticker that paid tribute to the 26 Sandy Hook massacre victims which had taken place in Newtown in 2012. The police in New Jersey were able to recover the car as well as Eisele's abducted girlfriend. She is safe and is currently being questioned by the police who have not released the woman's name or identity.
Manfredonia is a senior at UConn after having enrolled in 2015. UConn spokesperson Stephanie Reitz said, "He is not attending summer courses, and had not been living on the UConn campus either at the time of the incident in Willington or during recent semesters."
"The university expresses its deepest, most heartfelt sympathies to the victims and their families in this horrible, incomprehensible tragedy. They are all in our thoughts."
DeMers' family has started a GoFundMe campaign to help with the funeral expenses.
A post by the Connecticut State Police read, "Most current photos of the suspect, Peter Manfredonia. Last seen in East Stroudsburg, PA. PA law enforcement agencies are actively looking for the suspect. Do NOT approach, he is ARMED AND DANGEROUS, call 911 immediately." Manfredonia is 6-foot-3 and 240 pounds and was last seen wearing a gray T-shirt, gray sweatpants.