2 School Districts Closed as Hunt for Escaped Murderer Expands After He Was Spotted Outside the Previous Search Area, Authorities Say

Wire Service
By Wire Service
September 5, 2023USshare
2 School Districts Closed as Hunt for Escaped Murderer Expands After He Was Spotted Outside the Previous Search Area, Authorities Say
Danelo Cavalcante. (Chester County Prison/AP)

The manhunt for escaped murderer Danelo Cavalcante has expanded after he was sighted outside the area police have been searching since he escaped from prison Thursday, Pennsylvania authorities said.

A large police presence had been searching the heavily wooded area in Pocopson Township and Chester County—within 2 miles of the prison.

Police have now expanded the area after a security camera sighting of the inmate at Longwood Gardens Monday evening, south of where the previous established perimeter was, Lt. Col. George Bivens said at a news conference Tuesday.

Mr. Cavalcante, 34, broke out of the Chester County Prison, about 30 miles west of Philadelphia Thursday evening, the Chester County District Attorney’s Office said.

He was convicted of first-degree murder on August 16 of killing his former girlfriend, 33-year-old Deborah Brandão, in 2021. He was sentenced to life without parole.

Two school districts in the area announced they will be closed Tuesday after authorities said the manhunt had widened.

Kennett Consolidated School District, which is about 9 miles from the prison, and Unionville-Chadds Ford School district, about 5 miles from the prison, both announced they will be closed Tuesday.

“We were informed early this morning by law enforcement that the search situation has evolved and out of an abundance of caution, schools and offices will be closed today,” said the superintendent of Kennett Consolidated School District.

“The district has received information that the status of the situation with the escaped prisoner has changed. Schools and offices are closed today and the district will operate on a Flexible Instructional Day,” Unionville-Chadds Ford School district announced.

The police dragnet had previously focused on a deeply wooded area with a 2-mile radius near the prison, Robert Clark, supervisory deputy US Marshal for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, said at a Monday afternoon news conference. There had been four sightings of the escaped inmate within a 1.5- to 2-mile radius of the prison, said Mr. Clark.

Mr. Cavalcante is also wanted in a 2017 homicide case in Brazil, which led to him fleeing the country, said Mr. Clark. Authorities previously said they were looking into whether Mr. Cavalcante had inside help to escape.

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