Pennsylvania Authorities Close Schools Amid Ongoing Search for Fugitive Killer

In Pennsylvania, the search for Danelo Cavalcante, a 34-year-old convicted murderer who escaped from prison on August 31st, has entered its sixth day, prompting the closure of two school districts. Cavalcante, a Brazilian national, was sentenced to life in prison just last month for the murder of his ex-girlfriend. He was spotted twice overnight on Monday, according to police, leading to heightened concerns in the area.

Authorities are broadcasting messages from Cavalcante’s mother, urging him to surrender, while the US Marshals service is offering a $10,000 reward for information that leads to his capture.

Initially, the search was focused on a heavily wooded area within a two-mile radius of the Chester County Prison in West Chester. However, the search area was expanded after Cavalcante was caught on surveillance cameras at Longwood Gardens twice on Monday night. CCTV footage showed him navigating dense foliage while carrying an over-the-shoulder bag and wearing a dark-hooded sweatshirt.

Robert Clark, the supervisor of the US Marshal task force for eastern Pennsylvania, described Cavalcante as “desperate and dangerous, and probably exhausted.” It is believed that he is moving at night and hiding during the day in an area with thick underbrush, which has made the search challenging. The area also contains various potential hiding spots, complicating efforts to locate him.

Authorities are employing thermal imaging technology, drones, and dogs in their hunt for Cavalcante. They have also obtained a federal arrest warrant in case he attempts to cross state lines into Delaware or Maryland.

As a precautionary measure, two school districts within the expanded search area have canceled classes. Authorities have also begun using helicopters and patrol cars to broadcast an audio message recorded by Cavalcante’s mother in Brazil, hoping it might persuade him to surrender peacefully.

Cavalcante was sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty of fatally stabbing his ex-girlfriend, Deborah Brandao, in April 2021, in front of her two young children. He was apprehended just hours after the murder while attempting to flee to Virginia. Investigators are still probing how he managed to escape from prison and whether he received assistance from others in his escape.

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