Danelo Cavalconte: Convicted murderer who escaped from a Pennsylvania prison was found in a creek bed and fled into the woods



CNN

The A guilty murderer A man who was released from an eastern Pennsylvania prison last week was spotted by a resident in a creek bed Tuesday night, but fled into the woods before officers caught up with him, police said Wednesday.

Danelo Cavalconte’s location was on Chandler Road in Pennsbury Township, about 2.5 miles southeast of the Chester County Jail. Search teams searched the area for several hours but were unable to find him, said Pennsylvania State Police Lt. Col. George Bivens.

Cavalante has been on the run since Aug. 31 when he escaped from the Chester County Jail in a rural area about 30 miles west of Philadelphia. The search for him is currently underway on Thursday, the eighth day Unperturbed district people He was told who he was Very dangerous.

Investigators believe Cavalcante has been seen several times within a few miles of the prison since his escape. But he proved elusive as searchers struggled to navigate the extreme heat, high humidity and terrain.

“We have very dense forested areas, and then multi-story buildings with multiple residences, landscaping, places where someone can hide even when they’re not in the thick of the woods and everything is very easy,” Bivens said.

State police are expected to provide an update on search efforts around 3 p.m. Thursday.

As investigations into how Cavalcante was able to escape from prison are mounting, it has emerged that another inmate escaped using a similar strategy a few months ago.

The escapee was caught on surveillance video “crab walking” between two walls in the exercise yard — with his hands on one wall and his feet on the other — and flashing out of sight, the jail’s acting superintendent, Howard Holland, told reporters Wednesday.

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Cavalcante then ran across a roof, scaled another fence and went through razor wire, Holland said.

A man monitoring the prison’s 160 cameras did not see the escape, and a guard in a tower overlooking the inmates did not see Covalant slip, Holland said. The tower guard is on administrative leave while the man’s actions are investigated.

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Cavalcante, 34, was convicted of first-degree murder in the brutal 2021 stabbing of his ex-girlfriend Deborah Brandão, 33, in Chester County on Aug. 16. Since Cavalcante escaped, Brando’s sister has been living in the area She said she lives in fear What could he do with her or her sister’s two children under her care?

Cavalconte is also wanted in connection with the 2017 murder in Brazil of a U.S. Marshals Service officer. has told.

Hundreds of law enforcement personnel and search dogs were involved in the hunt, which involved the victim suffering from 90-degree heat and receiving medical treatment, Bivens said.

“Everything from the weather to the type of terrain, to the clothing the individual has — how good the dog can be at that scent and following some difficult terrain can come into play,” Bevins said.

However, authorities have seen signs of his presence in the area. Officers found Cavalcante’s footprints, “and we have other indicators that he passed through a certain area,” Bevins said. But they didn’t recover anything Cavalcante left behind, he added.

He was captured on surveillance video at least twice, officials said 1.5 miles from the jail once early Saturday morning. A security camera also recorded Cavalcante on Monday at a botanical garden property nearly 3 miles from the correctional facility, officials said. said.

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A resident of Pocopson Township, where the prison is located, said He saw Cavalcante inside his home on Friday, taking food before leaving, CNN affiliate WPVI reported.

A state trooper also spotted Cavalconte in the area, Bivens said Monday.

Police have advised residents to make sure their doors and cars are locked while Cavalcante is on the loose. Two area school districts Canceled classes At least for part of this week, some will return Thursday.

Five of the six schools in the Kennett Consolidated School District will resume classes Thursday — with one elementary school closed because of the search area. Half of the six schools in the Unionville-Chatsford School District will be closed Thursday.

Steven M. Falk/The Philadelphia Inquirer/DNS/Zuma

Pennsylvania State Police search the woods and creek in Pennsbury Township on Tuesday.

So far, it has taken authorities more than a week to search for Cavalconte. But another inmate who escaped from the same prison in May was found five minutes after escaping, officials said.

Igor Bolt climbed onto the prison’s roof and descended into a low-security area on May 19, court documents obtained by CNN show.

Bolte told police he was able to scale a wall until he pulled himself up onto the ceiling in an exercise area with his feet against one wall and his hands against another wall. He was caught minutes from a mile from the prison.

Authorities said they would investigate whether Cavalcante and Bolte knew each other.

Earlier this week, Chester County District Attorney Deb Ryan said jail officials have taken steps to increase security.

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“The jail is very aware of what vulnerabilities they have, and they’ve made efforts to correct those vulnerabilities,” Ryan said Monday.

Compared to July 2022, the Chester County Jail held about 100 more inmates on average this July, county records show.

Holland, the prison’s acting superintendent, said Wednesday that officers will be under razor wire to prevent escapes.

“Again, one thing we didn’t take into account was failure on the human element side. We only focused on the physical infrastructure, not necessarily the human element,” Holland said.

Other measures are under consideration, Holland said, including adding a guard to the yard.

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