Suspect Peter Manfredonia, 23, has "sought the help of a number of therapists" for mental health issues, says his family's attorney

By Jeff Truesdell
May 26, 2020 11:29 AM
Peter Manfredonia
Connecticut State Police Facebook

The family of a Connecticut man still at large after allegedly killing two men is pleading for him to surrender.

"Peter, if you are listening, you are loved," Mike Dolan, an attorney for the family of Peter Manfredonia, said at a news conference Monday, reports the Associated Press. "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," Dolan said. "So, Peter, from your parents, we love you, please turn yourself in."

Manfredonia, a 23-year-old senior at the University of Connecticut, is the subject of a manhunt after he allegedly murdered Ted DeMers, 62, on Friday in Willington, Connecticut, according to the Connecticut State Police.

Authorities allege he then broke into a home where he held a man hostage until Sunday morning when he left with three stolen shotguns, a stolen pistol and the man's truck. The truck was found crashed near the Osbornedale State Park in Derby. Police learned Manfredonia knew someone who lived nearby, according to the Associated Press, but when they got to the acquaintance's home, authorities found Nicholas J. Eisele, 23, dead.

A motive for the alleged killings is unknown. The family's attorney said the suspect has "sought the help of a number of therapists" and struggled with mental health issues, but has not had recent contact with his family.

Manfredonia was last seen in eastern Pennsylvania on Sunday afternoon, reports the Connecticut Post, and state police there shared an image of him walking along railroad tracks carrying what appeared to be a large duffel bag.

"Please call 911, do NOT approach, he is ARMED AND DANGEROUS," Connecticut State Police wrote Monday in a Twitter post.

The alleged murder on Friday of DeMers occurred after DeMers and another man offered the suspect a ride as he was walking on the road, DeMers' wife Cynthia told the Hartford Courant. The unidentified man who survived the attack was described as having machete or sword wounds.

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

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On Sunday morning video surveillance showed Manfredonia walking “directly” toward Eisele’s Derby home between 5 and 6 a.m., police said, according to the Post.

After allegedly killing Eisele, Manfredonia allegedly kidnapped Eisele's girlfriend and stole a vehicle from their home before fleeing again, reports the Courant. That car was found abandoned later Sunday at the New Jersey–Pennsylvania border, police said, and the woman was found safe, according to the outlet.

Police described Manfredonia as white, 6 feet 3 inches and weighing 240-lbs. He is believed to be armed with "pistols and long guns."

Anyone with information is asked to call Connecticut State Police at 860-896-3200, Derby police at 203-735-7811 or the FBI at 1-800-CALLFBI.