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Student Suspected In 2 Murders, Kidnapping Last Seen Hiking Along Train Tracks In Pennsylvania As Family Pleads For Surrender
University of Connecticut student Peter Manfredonia has been on the run since Friday, when he allegedly attacked and killed 62-year-old Theodore Demers with an "edged weapon."
The family of a University Of Connecticut student wanted for murder, kidnapping, and other crimes has issued a message asking him to turn himself in to police.
Peter Manfredonia, 23, is suspected of first murdering one man and assaulting another on Friday in the Willington area, the Connecticut Police Department said in a news release. He fled the scene and is suspected of carrying out another murder, as well as a home invasion and a kidnapping, while on the run, according to authorities.
Manfredonia's family issued a statement calling for his surrender on Monday night, reassuring him that he has their love and support, CNN reports.
"Peter, from your parents, who love you, please turn yourself in," Michael Dolan, an attorney for Manfredonia's family, said on Monday night, according to the outlet
"Now Peter, if you're listening, you are loved," Dolan's statement continued. "Your parents, your sisters, your entire family loves you. Nobody wants any harm to come to you. 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."
The family also shared their condolences for the victims.
Authorities who were called to the scene of the initial assault on Friday morning began life-saving measures on the two men, but only one survived, NBC Connecticut reports. Police have identified the deceased as 62-year-old Willington resident Theodore Demers; the second man's name has not been released.
The nature of the altercation is unclear, but police allege that Manfredonia used an "edged weapon" in the attack, according to NBC Connecticut.
Following the slaying, Manfredonia fled, leading authorities on a search that has, thus far, spanned three states: Connecticut, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, according to another NBC Connecticut report. He allegedly broke into a home in the Willington area on Sunday, making off with pistols and long guns and stealing the homeowner's car; the car was later abandoned in Derby.
Manfredonia is also wanted in connection to the death of an acquaintance, 23-year-old Nicholas Eisele, who was found dead in his home in Derby, according to the outlet. Police also discovered that Eisele's girlfriend was missing from their home; she was found safe in Patterson, New Jersey, and told authorities that Manfredonia had abducted her.
Manfredonia was last seen walking along train tracks in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, police said according to ABC News. He is considered armed and dangerous, according to law enforcement officials.
Manfredonia is a senior in the UConn joint School of Engineering/School of Business Management and Engineering for Management program, but he was not attending classes during the summer or living on campus, school officials told CNN.
A motive for the alleged crimes has not been released, but during Monday's statement, Dolan said that Manfredonia has struggled with mental health issues for a number of years, according to CNN.
"He sought the help of a number of therapists and he's had the support of his parents and loved ones to help him through those struggles," Dolan said.
Numerous agencies are involved in the search for Manfredonia, including the FBI, who shared the number for their tip line via their Twitter page on Monday. Those who come in contact with Manfredonia have been instructed not to approach him but call 911 for assistance.