NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A multi-state manhunt continues for a University of Connecticut student suspected of killing two people and kidnapping a third.
Twenty-three-year-old Peter Manfredonia has been on the run since Friday.
The University of Connecticut engineering student was last seen on security camera along train tracks on the New Jersey-Pennsylvania border, walking with a duffel bag that investigators believe is filled with stolen guns.
SUSPECT was last seen yesterday (Sunday) afternoon in East Stroudsburg, Monroe County, PA. Description:
White Male, 23 years old, dark colored shorts, white t-shirt & carrying a large duffel bag.
If seen, DO NOT APPROACH, ARMED & DANGEROUS ➡️ CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY!
— Trooper Petroski (@PSPTroopNPIO) May 25, 2020
Police say a car was stolen Monday from the same area Manfredonia was last seen.
“The suspect was dropped off by a rideshare in front of an East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, Walamrt,” said Connecticut State Police Trooper Christine Jeltema.
Manfredonia is suspected of killing 62-year-old Theodore DeMers with a machete or sword after the Good Samaritan spotted the suspect walking along the road in Willington, Connecticut, on Friday morning and offered him a ride.
“He always knew how to pull somebody out of a difficult spot by making them laugh and making them happy,” said Molly DeMers, the victim’s daughter-in-law.
“He was a huge presence,” said Cindy DeMers, the victim’s widow.
The second victim, 23-year-old Nicholas Eisele, was later found dead in his Derby, Connecticut, home.
Manfredonia is accused of kidnapping the victim’s girlfriend, stealing his car and taking her to New Jersey, where she was later found at a rest stop, uninjured.
“It was about 5, 5:30 in the morning, I heard a loud bang, like something hitting the floor, I heard a girl scream,” said the victim’s downstairs neighbor.
A woman who lives near one of the crime scenes said she saw a man – believed to be Manfredonia – break down in the street.
“I thought whoever the guy was he was having a nervous breakdown,” said Joan Valinski. “I don’t know, I mean you don’t see people out in the middle of the road waving their hands and screaming hysterically.”
Photos obtained by Inside Edition appear to show ominous scribblings on the wall of Manfredonia’s former dorm room, reading, “We saw what happened when Adam snapped. Now they see what happens when I snap.”
Manfredonia is also from Newtown, Connecticut.
A lawyer for the suspect’s family says Manfredonia has a history of mental illness, and they’re pleading for him to surrender.
“Peter, if you are listening, you are loved,” attorney Mike Dolan said Monday. “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.”
Connecticut State Police also had a message for the wanted suspect.
“Let us know where you are. We want to resolve this in a safe way,” Lt. John Aiello said.
***WILLINGTON HOMICDE UPDATE***
Most current photos of the suspect, Peter Manfredonia. Last seen in East Stroudsburg, PA. PA law enforcement agencies are actively looking for the suspect. Do NOT approach, he is ARMED AND DANGEROUS, call 911 immediately. pic.twitter.com/cOnvHh9EiQ
— CT State Police (@CT_STATE_POLICE) May 24, 2020
UConn released a statement Monday, saying Manfredonia is a senior in the joint School of Engineering / School of Business MEM. The school said he is not attending summer classes or living on campus.
“The university expresses its deepest, most heartfelt sympathies to the victims and their families in this horrible, incomprehensible tragedy. They are all in our thoughts,” the statement read in part. “With respect to the student in question, while the University can’t discuss specific individuals or cases, 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.”
Manfredonia is believed to be armed with several guns stolen during a home invasion.
Anyone with information is asked to call Connecticut State Police at (860) 896-3200 or the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI (225-5324). Authorities urge the public not to approach Manfredonia if they spot him.