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Nationwide Manhunt For Killer College Student, May Be In Stolen Hyundai Santa Fe

Peter Manfredonia may be driving a stolen black 2012 Hyundai Santa Fe, police said on Tuesday.

East Stroudsburg, PA – The multi-state manhunt continues for the University of Connecticut student accused of murdering two people, brutally assaulting a third man with a machete, and kidnapping the girlfriend of one of his dead victims.

Peter Manfredonia, 23, was last seen in East Stroudsburg just after 6 p.m. on Sunday, the Hartford Courant reported.

UPDATE: The suspect was now last seen in Hagerstown, MD and the stolen SUV has been located.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Connecticut State Police (CSP) issued a bulletin announcing that the double homicide suspect may be driving a stolen black 2012 Hyundai Santa Fe bearing Pennsylvania license plate KYW-1650.

It is “NOT CONFIRMED that Peter Manfredonia stole the vehicle, but it was taken from the area where he was last seen,” the CSP’s post read. “Anyone with information should call 911 immediately and DO NOT APPROACH!”

Manfredonia is described as a white male who is 6 feet, 3 inches tall and approximately 240 pounds.

He should be considered armed and dangerous, the Hartford Courant reported.

The CSP held a press conference on Tuesday, urging Manfredonia to surrender, NBC News reported.

“We know this is not who you are,” CSP Lieutenant John Aiello said. “Peter, we’ve talked to your family. We’ve talked to your friends and your roommates. All of them have said the same thing, that this behavior is out of the ordinary for you.”

“We want you to be able to tell your story,” Lt. Aiello added, according to WINS. “We are here to listen to you. Your parents, your friends, all of us back here in Connecticut want a peaceful end to this.”

The alleged murderer’s crime spree began on the morning of May 22 in Willington, Connecticut, after 62-year-old Ted DeMers and a friend he was with spotted Manfredonia walking down the rural road near their homes, DeMers’ wife, Cynthia, told the Hartford Courant.

Manfredonia said he was trying to locate a female acquaintance who happened to be one of the DeMers’ neighbors, Cynthia explained during an interview with WTVD on Tuesday.

DeMers and his friend then offered Manfredonia a ride back to the area where Manfredonia had his motorcycle parked, the Hartford Courant reported.

“It could have been anybody who offered him a ride,” Cynthia said. “It could have been any of my neighbors’ husbands. It just happened to be mine.”

Approximately five minutes after DeMers and Manfredonia left on DeMers’ ATV, a neighbor showed up at Cynthia’s home and frantically told her that there had been some sort of accident on Mirtl Road, the Hartford Courant reported.

CSP troopers responded to the scene shortly after 9 a.m. and discovered that DeMers and his unnamed friend had been brutally attacked by someone with a machete or sword, police said.

They immediately began CPR.

Both victims were rushed to a local hospital, where DeMers succumbed to his injuries.

Cynthia said that the second male victim is one of their elderly neighbors, the Hartford Courant reported.

He suffered severe injuries to his hands, but is expected to survive, she told WTVD on Tuesday.

Manfredonia fled the scene on a red motorcycle, according to the Hartford Courant.

Investigators said the alleged killer did not know DeMers or the second victim, and the motive for the grisly attack is unknown, WVIT reported.

Cynthia said she believes that her husband “got in the way” of something sinister Manfredonia had planned for the female acquaintance he was looking for, WTVD reported.

“He was clearly walking to her home with a mission, with a machete in his backpack,” she said.

The young woman’s family had been considering requesting a restraining order against Manfredonia, who had been at their home in the past, WTVD reported.

On the night of May 22, Manfredonia allegedly broke into a residence on Turnpike Road in Willington and held the male homeowner captive until early Sunday morning, when he took off with the homeowner’s truck, the Hartford Courant reported.

He also stole food, a pistol, and three shotguns.

Manfredonia allegedly took the man’s stolen truck to Derby, Connecticut, and abandoned the vehicle in the Osborndale State Park area, WVIT reported.

Investigators learned that Manfredonia had an acquaintance in Derby, 23-year-old Nicholas Eisele, so they responded to Eisele’s Roosevelt Drive home to see if he knew of Manfredonia’s whereabouts.

But when they arrived, they found Eisele dead inside his house.

Police believe he was killed by Manfredonia.

The suspect proceeded to abduct Eisele’s unnamed 23-year-old girlfriend, and fled the state in her 2016 black Volkswagen Jetta, WINS reported.

Investigators later located the stolen vehicle and the kidnapped woman at a rest stop near Paterson, New Jersey.

The woman was unhurt.

She told police that Manfredonia was the man who had abducted her.

According to the CSP, the suspect took an Uber to an East Stroudsburg Walmart, WINS reported.

Security footage from the store showed Manfredonia as he walked behind the building and onto the railroad tracks.

He was wearing a white shirt and dark-colored shorts, and was carrying a large duffel bag believed to contain the stolen firearms.

The black Hyundai was stolen from a nearby area at approximately 9 p.m. on Monday, WINS reported.

Attorney Mike Dolan, who represents Manfredonia’s family, said that the suspect has “sought the help of a number of therapists” due to mental health issues.

“Peter, if you are listening, you are loved,” Dolan said on Monday during a news conference. “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.”

Holly Matkin - May Wed, 2020


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