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Crime News

UConn Fugitive Grew Up In Same Neighborhood As Sandy Hook Shooter, Family Lawyer Says

Peter Manfredonia’s family attorney was unable to confirm if his client knew Adam Lanza, but said they were once "neighbors."

By Dorian Geiger

A University of Connecticut student, wanted by authorities in a pair of killings and suspected abduction, lived near Sandy Hook shooter Adam Lanza at one point in his life. 

Peter Manfredonia’s family lawyer confirmed the 23-year-old engineering and finance student once lived in close proximity to the disturbed school shooter.

“At one time they were neighbors,” attorney Michael Dolan told Oxygen.com.

Lanza shot 20 children and six staff members of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut on Dec. 14, 2012. The 20-year-old gunman later took his own life. The rampage remains one of the deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history. 

Dolan was unable to confirm if Manfredonia and Lanza knew each other.

Manfredonia has been on the run since late last week, according to state investigators. He’s accused of carrying out two murders, a kidnapping, and a home invasion. He allegedly used a machete to kill a Willington, Connecticut man who offered to give him a lift on his motorcycle on Friday. 

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Manfredonia’s vehicle was later recovered in New Jersey near the Pennsylvania border. He was last seen getting out of an Uber in an East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania Walmart parking lot on Sunday evening, according to the Hartford Courant. Authorities suspect the 23-year-old is in possession of a number of stolen firearms and “may attempt to solicit ride-sharing services.” 

He’s considered armed and dangerous. The University of Connecticut student could be wearing a gray shirt and gray pants, the FBI said.

The family and their attorney have since made a number of public pleas, urging Manfredonia to turn himself in.

“His parents, his sisters, his aunt, his entire extended family, love and support him and they will continue to love and support him through this,” Dolan added. “They just want him to bring this to a peaceful end and surrender. They will continue to stand by him as the process moves forward.” 

A motive in the killings hasn’t yet been released by officials. However, Dolan explained the university student suffers from psychological issues. He insisted Manfredonia wasn’t known to be violent before last week’s incidents. 

“He’s suffered from depression and anxiety,” Dolan said. “Peter has no history of violence or involvement with law enforcement prior to these recent events.”

Peter Manfredonia Pd

State authorities also appealed to Manfredonia during a press briefing on Tuesday.

“Peter, we’ve talked to your family," Lt. John Aiello said, the Courant reported. "We’ve talked to your friends and your roommates. All of them have said the same thing, that this behavior is out of the ordinary for you.”

Reports surfaced this week that Manfredonia might be hiding out in the rural stretches of northeast Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains, according to the Hartford Courant. Authorities noted he may be traveling in a black 2012 Hyundai Santa Fe, which was reported stolen from an area nearby where possible sightings of him were previously made.

“We know this is not who you are. Peter,” Aiello added. “I want you to know that we are continuing our investigation. One thing we are missing right now is you. We want you to be able to tell your story. We are here to listen to you.”

Anyone with information related to Manfredonia’s whereabouts is urged to call 911 or contact Connecticut State Police at 860-896-3200.