Pennsylvania authorities have expanded their search in the Poconos for UConn student, Peter Manfredonia (pictured), suspected of killing two men and kidnapping a woman
Pennsylvania authorities have expanded their search in the Poconos for a University of Connecticut student suspected of killing two men and kidnapping a woman over the weekend.
Police searched for Peter Manfredonia, 23, for nearly three hours in a wooded area in Lacawanna County.
He was last seen walking near railroad tracks in Monroe County, Pennsylvania, wearing dark shorts and a large duffel bag.
Photos of the search area showed state troopers gathered at Lehigh and Jubilee Roads in Covington Township after they covered a five-mile area looking for Manfredonia, who allegedly killed Ted DeMers, 62, and 23-year-old Nicholas J. Eisele before abducting Eisele’s girlfriend and fleeing Connecticut.
Manfredonia has been on the run since Friday when he is accused of killing DeMers and critically injuring another man with a machete.
Francine Edmondson, a resident living in the area, told Fox 61: ‘He could hide in these woods forever. There’s hunting cabins all over the place that are empty.’
On Tuesday, DeMers’ wife, Cyndi, revealed that her husband went to speak with Manfredonia when they saw him walking down the rural road in front of their Willington home wearing a motorcycle helmet.
Manfredonia said that his motorcycle had broken down.
‘He said to my husband, “I know so-and-so,” who is one of our neighbors, which then opened up the door to trusting this person,’ she said.
Scroll down for video
Manfredonia was last seen walking along railroad tracks in Monroe County, Pennsylvania, wearing dark shorts and carrying what appears to be a duffel bag
Police searched for Peter Manfredonia, 23, for nearly three hours in a wooded area in Lacawanna County (pictured)
Photos of the search area (above) showed state troopers gathered at Lehigh and Jubilee Roads in Covington Township after they covered a five-mile area looking for Manfredonia, who allegedly killed Ted DeMers, 62, and 23-year-old Nicholas J. Eisele
After giving Manfredonia a ride back to his bike, Ted was killed with a machete, Cyndi said in an interview. Ted’s friend suffered severe wounds.
‘I think he got in the way of what he was going to do,’ she said. ‘He was clearly walking to her home with a mission, with a machete in his backpack.’
Cyndi said she talked with the young woman’s father over the weekend and discovered the family had been considering getting a restraining order against Manfredonia, who had been to the home in the past.
Her neighbors have been told by police not to return to their home until he is captured, she said.
Early Wednesday morning, police in Duryea, Pennsylvania, said in a Facebook statement that two officers were dispatched to the picnic grounds of Germania Hose company on Foote Avenue ‘for a suspicious person’.
‘When officers arrived on scene the witness a member of the fire department provided a description of the male who was carrying a large backpack who fled from the area towards the wooded area and railroad tracks,’ the statement reads.
According to Duryea police, the suspect was hiding behind the ‘dumpster to the rear of the property possibly laying behind the dumpster’.
‘The male didn’t respond to the fireman asking him what he was doing prior to leaving the scene. The description provided by the fireman was very similar to the wanted person from Connecticut.
Duryea police said they don’t have enough information to confirm it was Manfredonia.
Duryea, Pennsylvania, is just 40 miles from the Poconos area where authorities have been searching for Manfredonia for the last two days.
Cyndi DeMers said that her husband, Ted DeMers (both pictured), went to speak with Manfredonia on Friday when they saw him walking near their home
Cyndi revealed that Manfredonia was in their neighborhood looking for a young woman who was considering getting a restraining order against him
Manfredonia is also accused of killing 23-year-old Nicholas J. Eisele (left and right), who was found dead at his home in Derby. Eisele’s neighbor said he heard arguing and loud banging that was followed by screams and then silence from the apartment above him on Sunday
Law enforcement renewed their plea to get Manfredonia to give himself up on Tuesday.
‘Peter we’ve talked to family, we’ve talked to your friends and roommates all of them have said the same thing; that this behavior out of ordinary for you. We know that this is not who you are,’ Lt John Aiello, Commanding Officer of Eastern District HQ said.
‘I want you to know that we are continuing our investigation. The one thing missing right now it you. We want you to tell your story. Your family has hired an attorney on your behalf and are there to safeguard you.
‘We are here to listen to you. Your parents, your friends, all of us back here in Connecticut want a peaceful end to this. We are waiting to hear from you. Please call 911 and let us know where you are. We want to resolve this in a safe way.’
Police clarified the timeline of events in a press conference Tuesday. After the first slaying, police said Manfredonia fled the scene and broke into a nearby home where he held the homeowner captive before stealing his guns and a truck.
The truck was later found abandoned near Osbornedale State Park in the early hours of Sunday morning. Authorities said Manfredonia drove to the home Eisele on Sunday.
Police describe Manfredonia as someone who should be considered armed and dangerous
Connecticut state police and the FBI have been desperately searching for Manfredonia across three states: Pennsylvania, Connecticut and New Jersey
On Tuesday afternoon, police released another update that said a stolen black Hyundai Santa Fe had been reported near the area where Manfredonia was last seen. According to police, the vehicle bearing Pennsylvania registration KYW-1650 was stolen around 9pm on Monday
Manfredonia is suspected of killing Eisele before forcing Eisele’s girlfriend into her car and fleeing to New Jersey with her.
The 23-year-old woman was located in her Volkswagen Jetta near Paterson, New Jersey, on Sunday and was not hurt, police said. Authorities have not named her.
State police described Eisele, who worked with his father in a landscaping business, as an acquaintance of Manfredonia’s. The medical examiner is conducting an autopsy to determine cause of death.
It was revealed Tuesday that Manfredonia’s father, Robert (pictured), was arrested in April on charges of second-degree sexual assault, risk of injury to a child, and sale/delivery of liquor to a minor
It was also revealed on Tuesday that Eisele’s neighbor told WTNH he first heard arguing and loud banging followed by screams and then silence from the apartment above him on Sunday.
The neighbor said he and his roommate did not call police.
‘I feel guilty for not making that phone call. Maybe it wouldn’t have saved them, but it would have caught him at least. That’s my guilt. I have to live with that,’ the neighbor told the station.
Connecticut state police and the FBI have been desperately searching for Manfredonia who they said should be considered armed and dangerous.
Police said Manfredonia was last seen entering a Walmart in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, on Sunday.
Manfredonia was seen carrying a duffel bag near train tracks in the area.
Authorities said in a press release on Tuesday that they were able to confirm that Manfredonia was dropped off by an Uber in front of the East Stroudsburg Walmart.
‘Through interviews with the driver and recovered security camera 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 duffel bag full of guns he stole from a home invasion in Connecticut,’ the release reads.
The alleged killer (pictured) is thought to be armed with several guns stolen during a home invasion
Police in Willington, Connecticut, on Friday are seen gathering evidence near the area where the grisly murder and assault took place
Peter Manfredonia has been on the run since May 22 as manhunt continues
Peter Manfredonia has been accused of killing two men and abducting a young woman. His alleged rampage began on Friday. Below is a timeline of his movements since May 22:
May 22, 2020:
Authorities were called to Mirtl Road in Willington Friday morning and found two men suffering from severe wounds.
Victim Ted DeMers died from his injuries while his neighbor, who has not been identified, was rushed to a local hospital in critical condition.
May 23, 2020:
Police identified the suspect as Peter Manfredonia, a University of Connecticut senior majoring in finance and mechanical engineering.
May 24, 2020:
Connecticut police respond to the home of a Willington man who said Manfredonia broke into his home and held him captive before stealing food, firearms and a truck from the homeowner.
5am-6am – May 24, 2020:
Surveillance footage reportedly showed Manfredonia walking to his acquaintance’s home in Derby.
6:45am – May 24, 2020:
Police discover the stolen truck on Hawthorne Avenue in Derby.
11am – May 24, 2020:
The body of 23-year-old man is found by police. His cause of death was not released.
Authorities also report that Manfredonia abducted the victim’s girlfriend and fled the state in her 2016 black Volkswagen Jetta.
Police said Manfredonia let the woman go unharmed in New Jersey.
She was located in her Volkswagen Jetta near Paterson. Authorities have not named her.
Police said Manfredonia had been spotted in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania state police release an image of Manfredonia walking near railroad tracks carrying a large duffel bag.
May 25, 2020:
Second victim is identified by police as Nicholas J. Eisele.
Manfredonia’s family pleads for him to surrender to authorities.
May 26, 2020:
Ted DeMer’s wife, Cyndi, reveals that Manfredonia was in their neighborhood looking for a young woman.
Cyndi said the woman’s father was considering get a restraining order against Manfredonia.
‘It is believed that Manfredonia does not have ties to the area and does not have a vehicle. He may attempt to solicit ride sharing services, possibly through third party means, to flee the area.’
On Tuesday afternoon, police released another update that said a stolen black Hyundai Santa Fe had been reported near the area where Manfredonia was last seen.
According to the statement, the vehicle bearing Pennsylvania registration KYW-1650 was stolen around 9pm on Monday.
‘At this point a connection cannot be confirmed,’ authorities said.
Manfredonia’s family are also pleading with him to surrender. Through their lawyer, Mike Dolan, Manfredonia’s parents said: ‘We love you. Please turn yourself in.’
‘You have your parents’ and your sisters’ and your family’s entire support. It is time to let the healing process begin,’ Dolan added.
Dolan said Manfredonia had struggled with mental health issues and ‘sought the help of a number of therapists’.
According to NBC, Manfredonia’s father, Robert, was arrested in April on charges of second-degree sexual assault, risk of injury to a child, and sale/delivery of liquor to a minor.
He was released on a $50,000 bond and is scheduled to be in court on July 1.
On Tuesday, Sandy Hook Promise released a statement to Fox 61 confirming that Manfredonia participated ‘in an athletic event in 2019 and chose Sandy Hook Promise as one of his fundraising recipients’.
‘We hope he surrenders peacefully to the authorities and that no one else is hurt or killed, the statement reads.
Eisele’s family set up a GoFundMe page to help cover funeral expenses.
On the page, friends and family shared memories, including his love of his mother’s German shepherds, Trooper and Sandy.
A GoFundMe page was also set up for the DeMers family.
The University of Connecticut on Sunday released a statement confirming that records show Manfredonia is enrolled as a student in the joint school of engineering/school of business program.
Manfredonia first enrolled at UConn in the fall of 2015, and is a senior.
‘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,’ UConn spokesperson Stephanie Reitz said.
Reitz said the university is in contact with authorities to provide assistance that might help the investigation.
‘The university expresses its deepest, most heartfelt sympathies to the victims and their families in this horrible, incomprehensible tragedy,’ Reitz said. ‘They are all in our thoughts.’
When asked if the university knew of any problematic behavior by Manfredonia in years past, she said the university couldn’t discuss specific individuals and cases.
She did say, however, that ‘UConn strives to do everything possible to identify and engage with students of concern and to provide them with all the assistance and resources we can both for their own well-being and that of the wider community’.
A motive for the slayings has not been determined.
Anyone with any information is asked to call Derby police at 203-735-7811, state police at 860-896-3200 or the FBI at 1-800-CALLFBI. Tips can also be sent to 203-503-5555. Any sightings of Manfredonia should be called in to 911.
Source: dailymail US