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Person held captive by murder suspect found in NJ, state police say

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    DERBY, CT (WFSB) — A search for a University of Connecticut senior linked to two murders and other crimes continued on Monday.

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.

Derby police revealed on Monday morning that Eisele’s girlfriend was found safe in Patterson, NJ. The woman and her 2016 black Volkswagen Jetta were found by New Jersey State Police at a rest stop. She was unharmed despite being taken against her will.

The person did positively identify Manfredonia as her “captor.”

Troopers said even though they don’t believe there’s an immediate threat, they asked the public to not approach Manfredonia and immediately call 911.

They described him as “armed and dangerous.”

Police in Newtown said they stepped up their manpower in the town after it was reported that Manfredonia has strong ties to the area.

Friday in Willington, state police reported that the suspect attacked two men with an “edged weapon.” Demers died from the injuries.

It’s unclear what led up to the attack.

The incident happened in the Mirtl Road area, troopers said.

Demers’ wife Cindy said he 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 found by police, but Manfredonia was not.

Sunday, police were called to a home invasion, also in Willington, on Turnpike Road.

Troopers reported that Manfredonia took off after stealing pistols, long guns and the homeowner’s car.

The vehicle was later found ditched in Derby at a state park.

“Connecticut State Police are currently searching for a Peter Manfredonia in the Osborndale State Park in the town of Derby,” a reverse 911 call stated over the weekend.

While searching for Manfredonia, state police learned that Eisele, whom was described as an acquaintance of Manfredonia, was found murdered at a home on Roosevelt Drive in Derby. A cause of death has yet to be determined.

On scene in Derby, the Connecticut State Police said they were able to determine there may have been another individual in the house.

State police said they are purposely not releasing any information of the individual to protect the safety of any potential witnesses and the integrity of the investigation.

Manfredonia took off in another vehicle, a black 2016 Volkswagen Jetta, from that area.

Police found that second vehicle in New Jersey on the Pennsylvania border.

Law enforcement in Pennsylvania and New Jersey said they are actively searching for 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.

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