Danelo Cavalcante was spotted by a security camera Monday
The search for Danelo Cavalcante, the escaped killer who has put southeastern Pennsylvania on edge, has moved after he was seen on a security camera near a botanical gardens, state police said Tuesday.
Cavalcante broke out of Chester County Prison on Thursday morning and authorities first searched a wooded area in Pocopson Township and Chester County, about 2 miles from the prison and 30 miles west of Philadelphia.
The search area has now grown after a security camera caught Cavalcante on Monday night at Longwood Gardens, almost 3 miles away from the jail.
“We think he is south of the first search area and that’s why we have changed the perimeter to include that area,” Pennsylvania State Police Lt. Col. George Bivens said at a news conference on Tuesday.
Cavalcante was recorded by a security camera at Longwood Gardens at 8:21 p.m. on Monday. He was walking north and then seen again at 9:33 p.m., going back south.
Cavalcante looked the same, but Bivens said he had gotten some items, like a backpack, a “duffel-sling type pack,” and a hooded sweatshirt. Cavalcante is a 5-foot, 120-pound man with light skin, shaggy black hair and brown eyes.
Longwood Gardens has more than 200 acres of “beautiful, formal gardens, open fields, and winding paths.” The place was shut down on Tuesday as police looked over the property and nearby area, where the heat feels hotter than the low 90s.
Danelo Cavalcante, 34, is a convicted murderer who escaped from Chester County Prison on Thursday morning. He killed his ex-girlfriend, Deborah Brandão, 33, in 2021 and got life without parole.
Police have seen Cavalcante five times in the area near the prison, but now they think he is south of that area. They have changed the search zone to south of Route 1.
Two school districts near the prison were closed on Tuesday.
Police called residents within 3 miles of where Cavalcante was seen and told them to lock their doors and cars. They warned that Cavalcante is very dangerous.
Bivens said he would lock his doors even if he was home if he lived near the search area.
The new search area is not as wooded as the old one, but Bivens said there are many places for Cavalcante to hide.
About 200 to 250 people are helping with the search. Police are trying to catch Cavalcante, who they think escaped by chance and is now “making it up as he goes.”
Bivens said Cavalcante is “desperate and doesn’t want to be caught.”
School District Closings
The search for the escaped killer has forced two school districts to close on Tuesday.
Kennett Consolidated School District and Unionville-Chadds Ford School District said they closed their schools and offices because the police told them the situation had changed and they wanted to be cautious.
The students will have a Flexible Instructional Day, which means they can learn online, offline, or both.
Hundreds of officers from different agencies, including the US Marshals, the FBI, and the US Customs Border Patrol, are helping with the search in Chester County.
The police also used a helicopter and patrol cars to play a message in Portuguese from Cavalcante’s mother, asking him to give up. Robert Clark, a US Marshal, said on Monday that Cavalcante is also wanted for a murder in Brazil in 2017 and that he ran away from there.
The police are not sure if Cavalcante had any help to escape.