A nearly week-long search for a University of Connecticut Senior suspected in two killings and a series of crimes across four states ended in a safe arrest Wednesday, CNN reports.
Peter Manfredonia, 23, was taken into custody Wednesday evening in Hagerstown, Maryland, Connecticut State Police tweeted.
The spree began Friday in Willington, Connecticut, where the suspect is accused of killing Theodore DeMers Sr., 62, and injuring another “with an edged weapon,” Connecticut State Police said in a statement. Manfredonia was identified as the suspect within hours, and that same day local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies launched their investigation.
On Sunday, Willington police-reported Manfredonia was accused of breaking into a home and stealing multiple firearms. Hours later, CNN reports police received a 911 call requesting a welfare check on a house in Derby, Connecticut. Nicolas Eisele, 23, was found dead upon arrival. A Volkswagen Jetta was stolen from the location, and the suspect kidnapped another victim who was later found unharmed in Paterson, New Jersey.
That victim identified Manfredonia as the suspect. The Jetta was found in New Jersey near the Pennsylvania border, but Manfredonia was no longer with it.
Newton Public Schools Superintendent confirmed Eisele and Manfredonia graduated from the same high school in 2015.
Authorities continued to pursue their search and worked with his cooperating family. Family calls were sent out to Manfredonia to ask that he surrender.
“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, who love you, please turn yourself in,” the attorney for Manfredonia’s family, Michael Dolan, said in a news conference Monday night.
According to Daily News, Manfredonia, who was a senior at UConn joint School of Engineering/School of Business Management and Engineering for Management program, has been struggling with mental health issues but was in therapy, Dolan said.
The family expressed their condolences to the victims’ families as well.⠀⠀⠀
However, the family’s plea did not end the chase, so police sent out their own message. “We want you to be able to tell your story. We are here to listen to you. Your parents, your friends, all of us back here in Connecticut, want a peaceful end to this,” Aiello said at a news briefing Tuesday.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
A break in the case came when witnesses’ statements, photos, and a video came in from a Pennsylvania convenience store on Tuesday that matched the suspect’s description. The man in the images got in an Uber and was driven to Hagerstown, Maryland.
The six-day search ended when Manfredonia was found in the woods by a gas station in Hagerstown. A firearm that is believed to be the murder weapon was also found. He was arrested and taken into custody by US Marshals and the FBI. A motive is still unclear.
“No injuries to any law enforcement personnel or Manfredonia,” the tweet said. Police said more information would be provided Thursday.