Convicted killer Danelo Cavalcante escaped max security Philadelphia prison by ‘climbing onto roof of exercise yard and down to a less-secure area’ – the exact same way another inmate fled jail just four months ago
- The Brazilian fugitive remains on the run after escaping on Thursday morning
- Authorities say he is ‘extremely dangerous’ and have locked down schools
- Igor Bolte, 30, escaped Chester County prison in the same way in May
A convicted murderer escaped a maximum-security prison by climbing onto a roof and fleeing a less secure area – the exact same way as another inmate.
Danelo Cavalcante, 34, escaped from Chester County maximum security prison on Thursday morning, sparking a seven-day-long manhunt. As of Wednesday afternoon, Cavalcante is still on the run.
Law enforcement sources told the Philadelphia Inquirer that Cavalcante clambered onto the roof of a building at the prison from the exercise yard, before running across the roof and fleeing prison grounds.
He is the second inmate to escape the facility in that way in just four months, with Igor Bolte, 30, successfully fleeing on May 19 but was caught nearby minutes later.
The Brazilian felon was handed a life sentence two weeks ago for the April 2021 murder of his ex-girlfriend Débora Brandao, 34, a mother of two children.
Chester County District Attorney Deborah Ryan and other authorities have declined to comment on how Cavalcante escaped, saying the matter is still under investigation.
During a press conference on Monday, Ryan said: ‘The prison is very aware of whatever vulnerabilities they had, and they have made efforts to correct those vulnerabilities.’
Authorities confirmed that the Pennsylvania State Police are being assisted in the manhunt for the convicted killer by the FBI, as two school districts canceled classes.
Cavalcante was last spotted by cops on Monday night on a public garden trail about 5 miles south of the prison.
Pennsylvania State Police described him as ‘extremely dangerous’ and ‘desperate not to be caught’, while warning residents to remain on high alert with their doors locked.
There have been several credible sightings of the fugitive in the area over the last several days, according to Lieutenant Colonel George Bivens.
‘That pressure we put on him is working. We squeezed him hard enough in a period of a few days where he couldn’t get some relief, and he squeezed out,’ Bivens said. ‘I wished we could’ve got him, but it’s a large, dark area, with difficult terrain.’
Bivens urged residents and businesses around the area to lock their doors and check their security cameras, adding: ‘Even while I was in the house, I would have my doors locked.
‘You are dealing with someone who is desperate and does not want to be caught,’ he said.
He was seen wearing a white t-shirt, with Bevins confirming he was i the area of Longwood Gardens, heading north at 8.21pm and south in the same location at 9.33pm.
‘He has not changed his appearance but has acquired a backpack, a duffel bag and a hooded sweatshirt,’ Bevins added.
Authorities confirmed that they sent out a reverse 911 to residents within a 1.5-mile area of the camera which caught Cavalcante at 5am, and a second to a 3-mile radius at 5.30am Tuesday morning.
State Police confirmed that they had launched an ‘hours-long’ search close to Pocopson township on Monday, but were ‘unable to locate him’.
Bevins confirmed that the FBI had now joined the manhunt for the convicted murderer.
Police believe that he’s been wearing prison-issued pants and prison-issued shorts underneath when he escaped on August 31.
He was spotted by a state trooper on Sunday afternoon, who gave chase but eventually lost him.
There have been six credible sightings since his escape within the search area in Pocopson Township.
Cavalcante was also spotted in a home in Pocopson township on Friday, where he ‘flicked the lights’ at the owner before stealing some food items.
Ryan Drummond claims he saw Cavalcante inside his home on Friday night, flipping the switch a few times after hearing ‘rustling’ downstairs.
He told ABC6: ‘What I decided to do was flip the switch three or four or five times, paused, and then he flipped a light switch from downstairs. This was the moment of, ‘Oh my God this guy is down there.
‘I saw him walk out of the kitchen through our living room, open up that door, (and) walked out. He was wearing a white shirt and had a bag.
‘Peaches, apples, green snap peas were missing. We have a bunch of little steak knives and he could have taken one of those.’
Cavalcante is also wanted for a 2017 murder of a man in Brazil. Prosecutors say he stabbed Brandao dead in front of her two children to stop her from reporting him to United States authorities.
He was apprehended in Virginia after killing Brandao. Authorities believe he was trying to flee to Mexico to return to Brazil.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, he killed Brandao with a kitchen knife he had been using to cut meat in preparation for a barbeque earlier that day.
Jurors heard that he was angry at Brandao because she had threatened to turn him in to police, which came after she found out he had hacked her Instagram account to spy on her.
During his trial, prosecutors claimed the couple were in an abusive relationship where Cavalcante was ‘an angry and jealous boyfriend who needed to be in control.’
On the day of the murder, Brandao was playing with her two children outside her home when she was confronted by the killer, who told her he was ‘going to do something bad to their lives.’
He then stabbed her more than 30 times in her upper torso and neck, according to testimony heard at his trial, while her children screamed for him to stop.
In a recorded confession played at the trial Cavalcante said that there was ‘no reason’ for killing Brandao, however prosecutors claimed the stabbing was the culmination of a long history of domestic violence.
Chester County District Attorney Deb Ryan added: ‘We are requesting that residents in the area of Pocopson Township remain inside. Lock your doors, lock your cars.
‘He is still considered an extremely dangerous individual. There is evidence to suggest that he’s still in that local residence. We do not believe he has gotten more than one to two miles away from the prison.’
Police say a recording of the prisoner’s mother is being broadcast from helicopters flying over the search area.
‘It’s done in Spanish or actually Portuguese, and it’s being broadcast in an effort to facilitate his peaceful surrender,’ said Bivens.