CHESTER COUNTY, Pa. - As hundreds of law enforcement personnel continue the intense search for escaped convict Danelo Cavalcante, Chester County prison officials gave a detailed description of Cavalcante’s escape from the prison.
In a press conference Wednesday, Acting Warden of Chester County Prison, Howard Holland, described the timeline of Cavalcante’s escape by first telling of a prisoner escape in May, in which that prisoner was caught within five minutes. That escape was the same route taken by Cavalcante.
Holland went on to say a thorough investigation was conducted after the May escape and security procedures and checkpoints were found to be sufficient to keep inmates inside the prison walls.
At 8:33 on the morning of August 31st, Cavalcante entered the exercise yard with the block of inmates. The timeline then proceeds at 8:51, when he climbs an exercise wall, pushes through razor wire, runs across the roof, scales another fence, pushed through more razor wire and is out of the prison.
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Holland explained the tower officer did not see or report Cavalcante’s escape, unlike the situation in May, where a tower officer spotted the inmate attempting to escape. The guard reported that inmate’s escape attempt, and he was captured quickly and easily.
Cavalcante’s block returned to the unit at 9:35 a.m. At 9:45, prison officials were notified of the absence of one inmate, at which point a special head count was conducted. They determined Cavalcante was gone by 9:48. At 10:01, the public escape was sounded and 911 was notified of Cavalcante’s escape.
Holland then stated that not only would an internal investigation of the prison be conducted, but a thorough criminal investigation would be conducted by the Pennsylvania state Attorney General’s Office to determine how or why Cavalcante was able to break out.
There have been five confirmed sightings of Cavalcante since his escape, all within two miles, or so, from the prison. The escaped killer was seen entering property of Longwood Gardens around 8:21 p.m. and exited south around 9:33 p.m., according to authorities, who believe he is still in Pennsylvania as of Wednesday morning.
While officials say his appearance has not changed, video from the sighting shows the fugitive with a backpack, slingback duffle bag and hooded sweatshirt obtained since the last sighting.
A trooper spotted the fugitive Sunday afternoon, but was also unable to capture the fugitive after a brief chase due to terrain in the area.
That area is a two-mile radius of wooded area in Chester County, where police say they have been focusing their search, and are asking residents to avoid until further notice. Now, police say they are expanding the perimeter of their search, shifting slightly south after the latest sighting at Longwood Gardens.
Police swarmed two different locations in Pocopson Township and nearby Birmingham Township on Tuesday night following a pair of reported sightings. Authorities did not confirm if the reported sightings of Cavalcante were legitimate, but the massive police presence suggested that the alerts were being taken seriously.
Authorities on Wednesday doubled the standing reward of $10k for information leading to the arrest of Cavalcante to $20k.