WFSB - Eyewitness News

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"We want to resolve this in a safe way:" Police plead with UConn student linked to murdersWILLINGTON/DERBY, CT (WFSB) - A search for a University of Connecticut senior linked to two murders, an abduction and other crimes continued on Tuesday. According to state police, 23-year-old Peter Manfredonia killed 62-year-old Theodore Demers in Willington on Friday and knew Nicholas Eisele, who was found dead in a home in Derby over the weekend. During a news conference Tuesday afternoon, CT State Police pleaded with Manfredonia, saying they want to resolve this in a safe way. "My message is to Peter directly -- Peter, we've talked to your family, your friends and your roommates. All of them have said the same thing. That this behavior is out of the ordinary for you. We know this is not who you are. Peter, I want you to know that we are continuing our investigation. The one thing we are missing is you. We want you to be able to tell your story. We are here to listen to you, your parents, your friends, all of us here in CT. We want a peaceful end to this. Your family has hired an attorney on your behalf and your rights will be safeguarded. We are waiting to hear from you, we want to hear from you. Please call 911. Let us know where you are. We want to resolve this in a safe way. Please call us. We are waiting here to listen to you," said State Police Lt. John Aiello. On Tuesday morning, Pennsylvania State Police released new information on Manfredonia's whereabouts, saying the latest sighting of him was when he was dropped off by an Uber in front of a Walmart in East Stroudsburg, PA. Troopers were able to determine that after he was dropped off, Manfredonia walked behind Walmart and other businesses onto a set of train tracks, still in possession of a black duffel bag full of guns he reportedly stole during a home invasion in Willington over the weekend. <a href="https://www.wfsb.com/news/timeline-manhunt-continues-for-willington-derby-murder-suspect/article_a90f1e10-9f83-11ea-9e02-57055a6deb89.html" target="_blank">TIMELINE: Manhunt continues for Willington, Derby murder suspect</a> "It is believed that Manfredonia does not have ties to the area and does not have a vehicle. He may attempt to solicit ride sharing services, possibly through third-party means, to flee the area," police said Tuesday morning. 🚨UPDATED INFORMATION🚨IF SEEN, DO NOT APPROACH ➡️ CONSIDERED ARMED &amp; DANGEROUS!ANYONE WITH INFORMATION IS ENCOURAGED TO CONTACT PA CRIMESTOPPERS at 1-800-472-8477⤵️ <a href="https://t.co/XbEiaZ6dun">pic.twitter.com/XbEiaZ6dun</a>&mdash; Trooper Petroski (@PSPTroopNPIO) <a href="https://twitter.com/PSPTroopNPIO/status/1265284522687504384?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 26, 2020</a> Later in the day, Pennsylvania state police said they are looking for a Black Hyundai Santa Fe bearing Pennsylvania registration KYW-1650. While not confirmed that Manfredonia stole it, it was taken from the area he was last seen. The manhunt started last Friday in Willington, where state police reported that two men had been attacked by a suspect with an "edged weapon." That suspect was later identified as Manfredonia. The incident happened in the Mirtl Road area. Theodore Demers died as a result of the attack, and another person was injured. <a href="https://www.wfsb.com/news/suspect-in-willington-assault-that-left-one-dead-another-man-seriously-injured-identified/article_698a3e7c-9c37-11ea-a853-37cafda51c31.html" target="_blank">RELATED: Suspect in Willington assault that left one dead, another man seriously injured identified</a> Demers' wife Cindy said her husband didn't know the suspect. She said her husband left to take a look at the suspect's motorcycle at Theodore's barn down the road. The motorcycle was later found by police, but Peter Manfredonia was not. Then on Sunday morning, police were called to a home invasion, also in Willington, on Turnpike Road. Troopers reported that Peter Manfredonia took off after stealing pistols, long guns and the homeowner's car. That vehicle was later found ditched in Derby at a state park. While searching for Manfredonia in Osborndale State Park in Derby, state police learned that 23-year-old Nicholas Eisele, whom was described as an acquaintance of Manfredonia, was found murdered at a home on Roosevelt Drive in Derby. On Tuesday, officials said Eisele's cause of death was gunshot wounds to the head. <a href="https://www.wfsb.com/news/police-continue-to-search-for-suspect-wanted-for-murders-in-willington-derby/article_21ccf918-9dbc-11ea-b722-8b0704aef78b.html" target="_blank">RELATED: Police continue to search for suspect wanted for murders in Willington, Derby</a> Derby police revealed Monday morning that Nicholas Eisele's girlfriend was found safe in Paterson, NJ, after being taken against her will, saying Manfredonia was her “captor.” The woman and her 2016 black Volkswagen Jetta were found by New Jersey State Police at a rest stop. She was unharmed. Troopers said even though they don't believe there's an immediate threat, they asked the public to not approach Peter Manfredonia and immediately call 911. They described him as "armed and dangerous." Pennsylvania State Police released a photo of Peter Manfredonia on Monday after he was seen on Sunday in East Stroudsburg, Monroe County, PA. He was wearing dark-colored shorts, a white t-shirt, and carrying a large duffel bag. Over the weekend, police in Newtown said they stepped up their manpower in the town after it was reported that Manfredonia has strong ties to the area. Law enforcement continue to actively search for Peter Manfredonia. Connecticut State Police acknowledged that there are a lot of posts on social media and a lot of misinformation they are vetting. They said they will only release valid information. Family’s Plea The attorney for the family of Peter Manfredonia held a press conference Monday evening. “Peter, if you’re listening, you’re loved, your parents, your sisters, your entire family loves you. Nobody wants any harm to come to you. It’s time to surrender,” said family attorney Michael Dolan. Dolan said the Manfredonia family gave their condolences to all of those who suffered as a result of Peter Manfredonia's actions. Dolan mentioned that Peter Manfredonia had a history of mental health issues, and that he'd worked with therapists in the past. Manfredonia's background Sandy Hook Promise confirmed that Peter Manfredonia participated in a triathlon in 2019, and chose Sandy Hook Promise as one of his fundraising recipients. The organization said he raised more than $1,800. Derby neighbor remembers what he heard A neighbor of Eisele said he heard a fight early Sunday morning. "I heard a loud bang, I heard a loud scream, and then I heard two people arguing, I couldn't really decipher what it was," said the neighbor, who only identified himself as Jessie. Jesse said he heard the argument between 5 a.m. and 6 a.m. "When I heard the fighting and stuff going on, I didn't call [the police]. I heard everything upstairs, but I thought it was a young couple arguing, they argued before. To me it felt normal," Jesse said. As the incident started in Willington, the first selectman said, in part, "I will be engaging with representatives of the Connecticut State Police, local and state leaders to help us understand what took place and how we can better serve our community moving forward. While we may not receive all the answers, we will work diligently to obtain the information we need to allow for decisions that will impact any future situations, and to help residents feel safe." A GoFundMe page was set up to raise money for the family of Ted Demers. You can find it <a href="https://www.gofundme.com/f/deMers-family" target="_blank">here</a>. A GoFundMe page was also set up for Nicholas Eisele, which can be found <a href="https://www.gofundme.com/f/funeral-fund-for-the-family-of-nicholas-eisele?utm_source=twitter&amp;utm_medium=social&amp;utm_campaign=p_cp+share-sheet" target="_blank">here</a>. Stay with Channel 3 for continuing coverage.
INTERVIEW: Law enforcement analyst discusses search for UConn student linked to CT murdersLaw Enforcement Analyst, Retired State Police Lieutenant J. Paul Vance discusses the case involving Peter Manfredonia.
PD: Hartford deadly shooting leads to multi-town pursuitHARTFORD, CT (WFSB) – Hartford police said a deadly shooting led to a pursuit into the towns of Wethersfield and Newington Tuesday afternoon. The shooting happened near 530 Wethersfield Ave., just before 3 p.m. Hartford police said an adult male victim was pronounced dead at Hartford Hospital. He's only been identified as a 29-year-old Hartford resident. Police said a pursuit happened moments after the shooting, with the driver fleeing into the town of Wethersfield and Newington, and then back to the scene of the shooting in Hartford. The driver was taken into custody. A handgun was recovered on I-91, police said, adding that they will be looking into if it was connected or not. This is the 11th homicide of 2020 in the city of Hartford.
Gov. Lamont concerned about casinos reopening next weekHARTFORD, CT (WFSB) – It’s been nearly a week since the state has partially reopening and on Tuesday, Governor Ned Lamont talked about where the state stands. The state continues on a positive path. Around 6.5 percent of the state’s population has been tested. Connecticut is still making big strides in daily hospitalizations. They were slightly up on Monday, but overall, they are down 65 percent since mid-April. Lamont also discussed the tribes as they are about to reopen their casinos in less than a week. The casinos are still going full steam ahead and there’s not a lot the state can do about it, but it is going against the recommendations of the governor. On Tuesday, the governor’s team got a private tour and Lamont is still asking the tribes to either wait a couple of weeks or reopen on a “safer basis.” “They were responsive. We had some specific issues that we’ve said would definitely enhance the public health there in a dramatic way. Rather me go back and forth in those discussions, let’s see how it sorts out in the next couple of days,” Lamont said. The eyes of the northeast will be watching. Other governors have said that if Connecticut reopens its casinos, it would really twist the arms of other states in the area to reopen their casinos sooner than they were hoping to. The governor’s team has threatened to prohibit alcohol servings at Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun if they do open, but that’s not a guarantee.
Recreational businesses seeing a spike this summerNORWICH, CT (WFS) – As stores and restaurants slowly reopen during Phase 1, some businesses are seeing unusual spikes in business. A lot of businesses are reporting that people want to get out, get exercise, and keep their distance. The phone has been ringing off the hook at Treats Pools and Spas. Sales are up 5-0 percent, but people who now want to get a new above ground pool or spa will have to wait. Stacy Gould says families aren’t comfortable going to the beach yet, so they’ll bring the beach to their homes. “Anybody who came in today for a new installation is looking at the end of July because our manufacturers are just starting back up now,” Gould said. Bike shop owner, Apollo Ciembroski, is repairing bikes people have dusted off because they want to ride, or their spin classes have been canceled. Some are buying bikes to get their exercise. After you get a new bike, you can load it into your new towable RV because families are heading back on the road, anxious about flying and staying in hotels. “We’re seeing a surge of first-time couples and families looking to travel in the USA, which is a great thing in their own camper,” Colleen Botello said. The lightweight towable RV’s have all the bells and whistles. “Air conditioning, heat naturally, propane cooking. This is a traveling trailer, so it’s a little lower profile, less weight,” Botello said. People still want to get out, but are finding new ways to do that while staying comfortable.
TIMELINE: Manhunt continues for Willington, Derby murder suspectWILLINGTON/DERBY CT (WFSB) -- The manhunt for 23-year-old Peter Manfredonia continues to span several states now. He's accused in the murders of 62-year-old Theodore Demers in Willington, and 23-year-old Nicholas Eisele, who was found dead in a home in Derby over the weekend. Friday, May 22 9 a.m. – CT State Police were called to the area of Mirtl Road for the report of a serious assault. 3 p.m. – 62-year-old Theodore Demers in Willington later died as a result of injuries sustained in the assault, and another man was seriously injured. Police said the suspect was described as wearing dark clothes and a multi-colored (possibly red and white) helmet and operating a red sport-style motorcycle. He is considered armed and dangerous. Saturday, May 23 10 a.m. -- Police identified the suspect in the deadly assault as 23-year-old Peter Manfredonia, a UConn student. Police continued searching the Willington area in an effort to locate Manfredonia Saturday morning. 5 p.m. – UConn releases a statement on Manfredonia, saying he’s enrolled in the School of Engineering / School of Business MEM (Management and Engineering for Management) program. He’s a senior and was not attending summer courses, and was not living on the UConn campus at the time of the Willington assaults. 5:45 p.m. – Newtown police say Manfredonia has ties to their town. While police didn’t believe he was in Newtown, they asked residents to be aware and on the lookout. Sunday, May 24 7:30 a.m. -- State police notified about a stolen car was found abandoned in the area of Osbornedale State Park in Derby. The car appeared to have been in a crash, and was registered in the town of Willington, not far from where the assault happened Friday. Troopers conducted a well-being check and found that there had been a home invasion in the area of Turnpike Road in Willington, where pistols and long guns were stolen. The suspect was identified as Manfredonia, who also took the owners vehicle and traveled to Derby. 8:53 a.m. -- A reverse 911 call was sent out alerting residents that a search was underway in the area of Osbornedale State Park in Derby. 11:04 a.m. -- Derby police receive a 911 call to conduct a well-being check at a home on Roosevelt Drive in Derby. Upon the check, troopers found 23-year-old Nicholas Eisele deceased in the home. 5 p.m. – State Police announced that Nicholas Eisele is an acquaintance of Manfredonia. Police also said a 2016 black Volkswagen Jetta, CT registration plate AU 78524, was taken from the scene in Derby. It was later located in New Jersey near the Pennsylvania border. New Jersey and Pennsylvania law enforcement agencies continued to actively search for the suspect. 6 p.m. – CT State Police release new picture of Manfredonia, saying he was last seen in East Stroudsburg, P.A. Residents are still reminded to not approach him, as he is considered armed and dangerous. Monday, May 25 10:30 a.m. – CT State Police said a woman was at the Derby home where Nicholas Eisele was found dead on Sunday morning. State troopers said they were drafting a silver alert when authorities from Patterson, N.J. notified them that the woman was located in their city. She was not injured and was brought back to Connecticut, identifying their captor as Peter Manfredonia. State police also clarified that local surveillance showed Manfredonia walking toward the Roosevelt Drive homicide scene early Sunday morning, between 5 and 6 a.m. The scene was located about 1 mile from where the stolen truck was found abandoned near Osbourndale State Park. 6 p.m. -- Attorney for family of Peter Manfredonia <a href="https://www.wfsb.com/news/video-attorney-for-family-of-peter-manfredonia-speaks-out/video_0d67ecbe-751f-542c-83f4-28a99ed48be7.html" target="_blank">makes statement to media</a>, saying Peter has a history of mental health issues. Tuesday, May 26 10 a.m. – Pennsylvania State Police said Manfredonia had been dropped off by an Uber in front of the East Stroudsburg Walmart sometime Sunday afternoon. Through interviews, police said they determined that Manfredonia walked behind Walmart and other businesses onto a set of train tracks, still in possession of a duffle bag full of guns. Police also said he may be trying to solicit ride sharing services, possibly through third-party means, as a way to flee. He’s not believed to have any ties to the area. 4 p.m. -- PA State Police are looking for a Black Hyundai Santa Fe bearing Pennsylvania registration KYW-1650. While not confirmed that Peter Manfredonia stole it, it was taken from the area he was last seen