EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The father of a UConn student suspected of slaying two people in Connecticut was a UTEP football player in the 80s, according to his LinkedIn and old UTEP media guides.
Peter Manfredonia, 23, is wanted by Connecticut state police in the machete killing of 62-year-old Ted DeMers and wounding of another man in Willington on Friday. Manfredonia went to another man’s home, held him hostage, stole his guns and truck, then drove on Sunday about 70 miles southwest to Derby, Connecticut, state police said.
Police say Peter Manfredonia went to the home of a high school classmate, Nicholas Eisele, shot him to death, forced Eisele’s girlfriend into her car and fled the state. The girlfriend was found unharmed with her car at a rest stop on Interstate 80 in Columbia, New Jersey, police said.
According to his LinkedIn account, he received his bachelor’s and master’s from the University of Texas at El Paso. And according to old UTEP football media guides, he was a defensive back from 1984 to 1987.
A police report says Robert Manfredonia turned himself in to authorities after he learned there was an arrest warrant in his name.
A segment about Peter Manfredonia, which aired on Wednesday’s Today Show, shows Peter Manfreonia in a UTEP Football shirt.
Police said following the two slayings, Peter Manfredonia took an Uber to a Walmart in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, not far from the New Jersey border, Pennsylvania State Police said, where he was seen walking in a wooded area on some railroad tracks.
“He’s an intelligent young man, but he’s had no specific training to survive out in the woods,” said Michael Dolan, an attorney for Manfredonia’s family.
Police in Duryea, Pennsylvania, about 50 miles away, said a firefighter spotted a man matching Peter Manfredonia’s description and carrying a large backpack on Tuesday night.
A car that police said might have been stolen there by Peter Manfredonia was recovered in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, on Wednesday at a convenience store where the ride-hailing service picked up someone matching his description and drove to Maryland, police said.
Police released pictures from the convenience store that show a man matching Manfredonia’s general description at the cash register. Police said he was wearing red sneakers.
Dolan said the actions of the last week are out of character for Manfredonia, who was an honors engineering student at UConn. He said the Newtown native had a history of depression and anxiety, but would not say whether he was on any medication for those conditions.
“This came as a total surprise to everybody based on Peter’s past,” he said. “He’s been a kind-hearted person who has no history of violence or any trouble with the law.”