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Cops captured UConn student accused of killing two men when they heard he was near a truck stop

UConn senior, Peter Manfredonia (pictured), who is suspected of killing two men, was arrested in Maryland without incident

The University of Connecticut senior suspected of killing two men and abducting a young woman was arrested near a Maryland truck stop after a five-day manhunt when an officer noticed him standing 20ft away while being briefed on his description.

Peter Manfredonia, 23, was located in Hagerstown, Maryland on Wednesday, Connecticut State Police announced. 

Connecticut authorities said their Eastern District Major Crime Unit was on the scene and no officers were injured. Manfredonia was taken into custody also without injury. 

Local news station WDVM reported that Manfredonia was detained by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and U.S. Marshals near the Pilot Travel Center gas station.

According to Connecticut State Police, one of the members of law enforcement arrived at the truck stop and was being briefed on the suspect’s description.

Connecticut State Police Lt. Michael Pendleton said that the investigator who just arrived on the scene was told that law enforcement agencies were looking for a man standing at 6f4in tall and wearing red sneakers. 

That’s when the investigator noticed an individual who fit the description standing about 20ft away, Pendleton said.

A side view of the suspect’s profile also appeared to match that of the man standing nearby, according to Pendleton.

The team of investigators quickly went over to Manfredonia with guns drawn and ordered him to get on the ground. He did as he was told and was taken into custody without incident.

After his arrest, investigators began searching a wooded area.

Manfredonia was detained by the Washington County Sheriff¿s Office and U.S. Marshals near the Pilot Travel Center gas station in Hagerstown, Maryland

Manfredonia was detained by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and U.S. Marshals near the Pilot Travel Center gas station in Hagerstown, Maryland

Manfredonia was noticed by an investigator who was briefed on the suspect's description - a male, 6ft4in, wearing red sneakers. The above image of Manfredonia is an undated stock picture

Manfredonia was noticed by an investigator who was briefed on the suspect’s description – a male, 6ft4in, wearing red sneakers. The above image of Manfredonia is an undated stock picture

Pendleton said that Manfredonia took investigators to an area about 200 yards away from the spot where he was arrested and pointed out a black bag with a weapon in it. 

The officer declined to specify the weapon found inside the bag.

In his remarks to the press, Pendleton would not state what investigators believe Manfredonia’s motive was for the killings. 

He also declined to say what specific charges Manfredonia faces.

Pendleton credited the work of local law enforcement agencies as well as federal investigators from the FBI and the United States Marshals Service.

‘We talked to the family members of the victims,’ Pendleton said. 

‘They were very appreciative of our efforts and bringing him to justice. I think they were relieved that he was finally in custody.’ 

In a Twitter post from Wednesday, Connecticut State Police tagged the FBI, Maryland State Police, Pennsylvania State Police and the FBI of New Haven, Connecticut.

‘There are a plethora of crimes involved,’ CBI agent Charles Grady told Hearst Connecticut Media on Wednesday. 

Connecticut authorities said their Eastern District Major Crime Unit was on the scene and no officers were injured

Connecticut authorities said their Eastern District Major Crime Unit was on the scene and no officers were injured

Authorities expanded the manhunt for Manfredonia across four states: Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Connecticut 

Manfredonia allegedly killed Ted DeMers, 62, in Willington, Connecticut, on Friday. Ted's wife, Cyndi, said Manfredonia was in their neighborhood looking for a young woman who was considering getting a straining order against him

Manfredonia allegedly killed Ted DeMers, 62, in Willington, Connecticut, on Friday. Ted’s wife, Cyndi, said Manfredonia was in their neighborhood looking for a young woman who was considering getting a straining order against him 

Police said his second victim came two days later when the body of Nicholas J. Eisele (pictured) was found inside his Derby Connecticut home on Sunday. Police said Manfredonia kidnapped Eisele's girlfriend and drove to Paterson, New Jersey, where she was found safe

Police said his second victim came two days later when the body of Nicholas J. Eisele (pictured) was found inside his Derby Connecticut home on Sunday. Police said Manfredonia kidnapped Eisele’s girlfriend and drove to Paterson, New Jersey, where she was found safe

‘The federal nexus is the kidnapping.’ 

Police had renewed pleas multiple times for Manfedonia to turn himself in and his family hired an attorney on his behalf as they begged him to cooperate. 

‘His family is relieved that Peter has brought this to a peaceful conclusion,’ Michael Dolan, an attorney for Manfredonia’s family said.

The Governor praised authorities for their work.

‘Thank you to law enforcement members from the Connecticut State Police and local police departments, as well as those from each of our neighboring states, for their dedicated commitment regarding this matter,’ Gov. Ned Lamont said in a statement Wednesday. ‘

We are appreciative of their unified approach to this disturbing situation.’ 

Manfredonia was last spotted at a convenience store in Pennsylvania on Tuesday morning before taking an Uber to Maryland.

This image was taken from surveillance footage at a Sheetz in Chamberburg, Pennsylvania

Police said Manfredonia is believed to have traveled to Hagerstown, Maryland

UConn senior, Peter Manfredonia, 23, who compared himself to Adam Lanza and is suspected of killing two men, was spotted at a Pennsylvania store (surveillance image above) before taking an Uber to Maryland

Manfredonia was seen Sunday afternoon walking along railroad tracks in Monroe County, Pennsylvania, wearing dark shorts and carrying what appears to be a duffel bag

Manfredonia was seen Sunday afternoon walking along railroad tracks in Monroe County, Pennsylvania, wearing dark shorts and carrying what appears to be a duffel bag 

A stolen Hyundai Santa Fe (like the one above) was also recovered in the area of Sheetz. Police were unable to confirm on Tuesday if the Hyundai had been stolen by Manfredonia

A stolen Hyundai Santa Fe (like the one above) was also recovered in the area of Sheetz. Police were unable to confirm on Tuesday if the Hyundai had been stolen by Manfredonia

He had been on the run since Friday when cops say he killed his first victim, Ted DeMers, 62, in Willington, Connecticut. 

Police said his second victim came two days later when investigators found the body of Nicholas J. Eisele inside his Derby, Connecticut home on Sunday. From there, police said Manfredonia kidnapped Eisele’s girlfriend and drove to Paterson, New Jersey, where she was found unharmed. 

He then fled to Pennsylvania and was seen on Sunday afternoon walking near railroad tracks in East Stroudsburg. 

On Wednesday, police revealed that Manfredonia had been spotted at a Sheetz convenience store in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. 

Police said they received a tip that Manfredonia was in the area and reviewed surveillance footage that matched the suspected killer’s description.  

A stolen Hyundai Santa Fe was also recovered in the area of Sheetz. Police were unable to confirm on Tuesday if the Hyundai had been stolen by Manfredonia. 

According to the statement, the ‘individual in the surveillance images obtained an Uber drive and was driven to Hagerstown, Maryland’.

Police said a black duffel bag believed to be carrying stolen weapons was still in Manfredonia’s possession, adding that he was wearing red sneakers. 

Manfredonia has also reportedly compared himself to Sandy Hook killer, Lanza, who in 2012 shot and killed 26 people: 20 children between six and seven years old and six adult staff members. 

The South Passaic Daily Voice reported that Manfredonia made the comparison in messages that were found inside a dorm room where he stayed while attending the University of Connecticut. 

‘We saw what happened when Adam snapped,’ one message said, according to YourContent.com.

‘Now they see what happens when I snap,’ another message continued. 

Peter Manfredonia

Adam Lanza pictured in 2005

Manfredonia (left) has also reportedly compared himself to Sandy Hook killer, Adam Lanza (right), who in 2012 shot and killed 26 people: 20 children between six and seven years old and six adult staff members

Authorities have not publicly confirmed either of these reports. A DailyMail.com request for comment to the Connecticut state police was not immediately returned.

Records do show that Manfredonia grew up in Newtown just a few houses away from Lanza. 

On Tuesday, Sandy Hook Promise released a statement 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 read. 

Authorities expanded the manhunt for Manfredonia across four states: Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Connecticut.

Police began their search for Manfredonia on Friday when he is accused of killing DeMers and critically injuring another man with a machete. 

Peter Manfredonia manhunt timeline  

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:  

Sunday morning

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.

Sunday morning: 

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. 

Sunday afternoon:

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:  

Monday morning:  

Second victim is identified by police as Nicholas J. Eisele. 

Monday evening:  

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. 

May 27, 2020 morning: 

Police release image of a man believed to be Manfredonia at a Sheetz in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. 

Authorities said Manfredonia caught an Uber to Hagerstown, Maryland. 

May 27, 2020 evening: 

Manfredonia is located in Hagerstown, Maryland and is taken into custody without injury. No officers are injured. 

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.

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 were told by police not to return to their home until he was captured, she said. 

Law enforcement had pleaded for Manfredonia to give himself up. 

‘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 on Tuesday. 

‘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 also 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 had driven the truck near the home of Eisele on Sunday.  

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.

Manfredonia’s family have also been 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’.  

A motive for the slayings has not been determined.  

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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