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Sep 8 – A murderer made a brazen escape from a suburban Philadelphia jail yard by scaling a wall, climbing over razor wire and jumping from a roof in a breakout that wasn’t detected by guards for a full hour, authorities said Wednesday as the killer eluded a widening manhunt for a seventh day.
The timeline and details of Danelo Cavalcante’s escape — including that he got out using the same route another prisoner took in May — were released as police from various agencies flooded a search zone of increasingly worried residents. A tower guard on duty during the breakout was put on leave as part of the escape investigation.
The escape and search drew international attention and made headlines in Cavalcante’s home country of Brazil. On Wednesday, the biggest newspaper in Rio de Janeiro printed a lengthy item with the heading “Dangerous hide-and-seek.”
At a news conference on Wednesday, Howard Holland, the acting warden of the Chester County Prison, showed a security tape. It shows Cavalcante, 34, standing in a hallway near to the jail yard, bracing his hands on one wall and his feet on another, then ‘crab-walking’ up the walls out of view of the camera.
Holland stated that following the initial escape in May, the jail hired a specialist and put razor wire to that location.
“What was perhaps overlooked was the fact that addressing the single point of physical countermeasures should have been bolstered by additional means. We are addressing that,” Holland said. He said that the prison was fully staffed when Cavalcante escaped.
Holland stated that the jail is considering adding police to the yard during leisure hours, as well as caging in the top of those yards. According to him, the Pennsylvania attorney general’s office has taken up the investigation into the escape.
Holland stated that the inmate who escaped in May was immediately recovered when a tower guard raised the alert. Cavalcante was recognised as missing after a headcount more than an hour after the video was made, according to him. Around 10 a.m., a public siren sounded.
Holland refused to explain why the guard, whose identity was not released, had not spotted Cavalcante jumping from the roof and walking away from the prison’s perimeter.
Cavalcante was sentenced to life in jail this month for murdering his ex-girlfriend, Deborah Brandao, in front of her children in 2021, and he fled while awaiting transfer to state prison. Prosecutors claim he killed her to prevent her from informing police about a 2017 killing in Brazil.
He was apprehended in Virginia following Brandao’s murder, and investigators suspect he was attempting to return to Brazil.
Two suburban Philadelphia school districts were closed Wednesday, and one of the country’s top botanical gardens was closed while authorities continued their investigation.