Manhunt continues in NJ, Pa for armed killer, cops say
The search for a 23-year-old University of Connecticut senior suspected in two slayings and believed to be armed with several stolen guns had stretched from Connecticut to New Jersey and Pennsylvania over the weekend and continued into Monday, state police said.
Connecticut troopers said Peter Manfredonia, suspected in a deadly assault in Willington on Friday and a homicide in Derby on Sunday morning, is believed to be armed with several weapons stolen during a home invasion.
A car Manfredonia is suspected of stealing from the Derby victim was found in New Jersey at the Pennsylvania border Sunday afternoon, police in Connecticut said on Twitter.
However, a Hartford Courant report Monday quotes police saying that when Manfredonia fled Derby, he abducted the dead man's girlfriend and stole a 2016 black Volkswagen Jetta from their home. That report says the woman and the Jetta were found in Paterson, which is not along the Pennsylvania border It said the woman is safe and has returned to Connecticut.
The FBI has since joined the search, ABC 7 reports.
Police said Manfredonia is suspected of killing 62-year-old Ted DeMers and assaulting another man in Willington. DeMers’ wife, Cynthia DeMers, tells the Hartford Courant that the two men had been attacked after they found Manfredonia walking along a road and offered him a ride back to his motorcycle.
“It could have been anybody who offered him a ride,” she said. “It could have been any of my neighbors’ husbands. It just happened to be mine.”
DeMers was pronounced dead at a local hospital. The other man suffered severe wounds described as sword or machete wounds, state police said.
Connecticut Trooper Christine Jeltema said police were called to a home in Willington early Sunday morning. A man reported he had been held against his will by Manfredonia, who then left with food, several guns and the man's truck, which was found abandoned at 6:45 a.m. near Osbornedale State Park, police said.
Police investigators then went to the Derby home of an acquaintance of Manfredonia and found him dead, police said. He was identified Sunday afternoon as 23-year-old Nicholas Eisele.
Manfredonia is a 2015 graduate of Newtown High School and a senior at the University of Connecticut majoring in finance and mechanical engineering, the Connecticut Post reported. Police describe him as a 6-foot-3 white man who should be considered armed and dangerous.
(Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Includes additional reporting by New Jersey 101.5 staff