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Nicholas Eisele & Ted DeMers killed: U Conn student fugitive wanted in 2 homicides

Peter Manfredonia
Pictured, Peter Manfredonia UConn student. Images via social media.
Peter Manfredonia
Pictured, Peter Manfredonia UConn student. Images via social media.

Peter Manfredonia University of Connecticut student wanted in the slayings of two men, Nicholas Eisele & Ted DeMers along with abduction of woman. 

Police have launched a manhunt for a 23 year old University of Connecticut student alleged to have hacked a 62-year-old man to death with a machete, murdered an acquaintance along with abducting a woman and fleeing in a stolen car.

The crime spree involving Peter Manfredonia is alleged to have occurred over a 3 day window from Connecticut to New Jersey and Pennsylvania on Sunday, state police said.

Connecticut troopers said Manfredonia was last seen in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, on Sunday. Police described the 6ft’3 UConn senior as armed and dangerous.

Manfredonia’s weekend crime spree began on Friday, when local police were called to a residential area in Willington following reports of a murder and an assault, the Connecticut Post reports.

Manfredonia is suspected of killing 62-year-old Ted DeMers and assaulting another man at around 9am on Friday. 

UConn murder fugitive who compared himself to Sandy Hook shooter caught after 6 day manhunt

‘It could have been any of my neighbors’ husbands. It just happened to be mine.’

DeMers’ wife, Cynthia DeMers, said 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 told The Hartford Courant.   .

‘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.

‘We do know a weapon was used,’ Trooper Josue Dorelus told WTNH-TV.

‘We believe it to be an edged weapon, however the exact description I would not be able to provide.’ 

GoFundMe page has been started to help the DeMers family. As of early Monday morning, EST, $47,665 of a $10K goal had been raised.

3 day crime scree over 3 state lines

The attack comes hours after state police were called to a home on Turnpike Drive in Willington, Sunday morning where the homeowner had been held against his will. 

Manfredonia is alleged to have taken the homeowner’s food, three shotguns, a pistol, and his truck. The victim was not injured.

State police said Manfredonia drove the stolen truck to Derby, where authorities received a report of a one-vehicle crash near Osbornedale State Park.

Officers arrived on the scene and found an abandoned vehicle at around 6:45am on Sunday. It was the same truck that was stolen from the Willington home, police said. 

Investigators then learned that Manfredonia had an acquaintance who lived in Derby. The acquaintance was 23-year-old Nicholas J. Eisele.

When police arrived at Eisele’s home, they found him dead. The medical examiner is conducting an autopsy to determine cause of death. 

Nicholas Eisele
Pictured, Nicholas Eisele of Newtown and a woman believed to be the victim’s girlfriend.

Suspect knew Eisele from the same hometown of Newtown

Manfredonia is then alleged to have abducted Eisele’s girlfriend and stolen a 2016 black Volkswagen Jetta from their home. 

Both Manfredonia and Eisele are originally from Newtown, CT. 

Manfredonia fled to Pennsylvania on Sunday hours after killing Eisele, according to state police. 

A car Manfredonia is suspected of stealing from Eisele was found in New Jersey at the Pennsylvania border on Sunday afternoon, police said.

Connecticut State Police on Sunday released a photo of the 2016 black Volkswagen Jetta which bears a Connecticut license plate with the number CT AU78524.

Police said that the driver’s side of the car has a bumper sticker paying tribute to the 26 victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre, which took place in Newtown.

Police in New Jersey recovered the car as well as a woman who was abducted from Eisele’s home in Derby. She is safe and is being interviewed by authorities.

Police have not released the woman’s name. 

Manfredonia was a student at Newtown High School in 2012 when 20 students and six educators were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in his hometown. Since then, Manfredonia has been active in raising money and awareness for anti-gun-violence groups, his social media pages show.

Peter Manfredonia
Pictured, Peter Manfredonia UConn student. Images via social media.

Unlikely double homicide suspect now subject of manhunt

Local press described Manfredonia as being a 2015 graduate of Newtown High School and a senior at the University of Connecticut majoring in finance and mechanical engineering. 

Police described the wanted man as being 6ft’3 tall and weighing 240 pounds with black disheveled hair and last seen wearing a gray T-shirt and gray sweatpants.

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. 

‘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, Reitz said the university couldn’t discuss specific individuals and cases.

Reitz added 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.’

To date authorities have yet to say what might have motivated the un-seeming candidate in going on a three day crime spree across three state lines.