WILLINGTON/DERBY, CT (WFSB) - Police have captured Willington and Derby murder suspect Peter Manfredonia at a truck stop in Hagerstown, Maryland.
Connecticut State Police detectives aided in the capture of Manfredonia after a short foot chase.
Police said no injuries were reported to law enforcement officials or Manfredonia.
Manfredonia was taken into custody at the Pilot Truck stop on Halfway Boulevard, according to Hagerstown, MD Police.
A search for a University of Connecticut senior linked to two murders, an abduction and other crimes continued on Wednesday.
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.
Wednesday morning, the Associated Press reported that a man matching the description of Manfredonia was seen in northern Pennsylvania, sparking a new search for several hours but came up empty.
Police in Duryea, PA said a firefighter spotted a man with a large backpack behind the Germania Hose Co. shortly after 11 p.m. Tuesday. The man fled toward nearby railroad tracks and a wooded area, officials said. The firefighter asked the man what he was doing, but he did not respond as he left the scene, police said.
The man fit the description of Manfredonia, who was last seen on Sunday about 50 miles southeast of Duryea.
The AP said Duryea officials called in officers from surrounding towns and state police Tuesday night and used a helicopter to help with the search of the railroad tracks and woods, but they didn't find anyone and called off the search after several hours.
Later in the day on Wednesday, Pennsylvania State Police said they received a tip about a possible sighting of Manfredonia at Sheetz in Chambersburg, PA.
A Hyundai Santa Fe, reported stolen out of PA near where Manfredonia had been seen on Sunday, was recovered in the area of Sheetz, police said.
Police also released surveillance video, saying that he obtained an Uber driver and was taken to Hagerstown, Maryland. A black bag was still in his possession and he was wearing red sneakers.
🚨UPDATE🚨New Tip puts MANFREDONIA in Hagerstown, Maryland.The stolen Hyundai Santa Fe WAS recovered in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.If seen, DO NOT APPROACH, HE IS CONSIDERED ARMED & DANGEROUS, CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY!⤵️ pic.twitter.com/qcnwQy4T2l— Trooper Petroski (@PSPTroopNPIO) May 27, 2020
On Tuesday morning, Pennsylvania State Police had said the latest sighting of Manfredonia was when he was dropped off by an Uber in front of a Walmart in East Stroudsburg, PA on Sunday.
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.
"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 & DANGEROUS!ANYONE WITH INFORMATION IS ENCOURAGED TO CONTACT PA CRIMESTOPPERS at 1-800-472-8477⤵️ pic.twitter.com/XbEiaZ6dun— Trooper Petroski (@PSPTroopNPIO) May 26, 2020
Later on Tuesday, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 here.
A GoFundMe page was also set up for Nicholas Eisele, which can be found here.
Stay with Channel 3 for continuing coverage.