Escaped Murderer Cavalcante Sightings Stir Southeastern Pennsylvania Communities

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The urgent pursuit for the escaped murderer, Danelo Cavalcante, has intensified and moved slightly south of southeastern Pennsylvania, disrupting the peace in communities once considered as sleepy havens. On Tuesday, state police suggested a new direction in the manhunt, as Cavalcante was reportedly sighted further south from his original escape point.

Last Thursday morning, Cavalcante fled from the confines of Chester County Prison. The search for this fugitive began in the dense woodlands of Pocopson Township and continued within a two-mile radius around Chester County, a rural vicinity situated approximately 30 miles west of Philadelphia.

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Authorities have since broadened the search edges upon discovering a recent security footage of Cavalcante wandering in a nearby botanical gardens, situated nearly three miles from the correctional unit. Pennsylvania State Police Lt. Col. George Bivens conveyed this development during a news conference Tuesday, enhancing the anxiety around the evolving search parameters.

According to Monday night’s security footage from Longwood Gardens, Cavalcante was seen meandering northward at 8:21 p.m., before turning south again almost an hour later. Cavalcante, although unchanged in his appearance, was observed carrying a newly-acquired backpack, a duffel-sling type pack, and a hooded sweatshirt along with him.

The law enforcement had to close down Longwood Gardens on Tuesday and planned to keep it closed on Wednesday as well. Besides holding over 200 acres of beautiful landscapes, the area also provides many potential hideouts.

Cavalcante, aged 34, was declared guilty of first-degree murder on August 16. His crime included the brutal killing of his former girlfriend, a 33-year-old woman named Deborah Brandão, back in 2021. The convict was sentenced to life imprisonment without parole. According to Lt. Col. Bivens, authorities have received five credible sightings of Cavalcante within the prior search area.

The ongoing hunt and the imminent danger represented by Cavalcante led to the closure of Kennett Consolidated School District and Unionville-Chadds Ford School District on Tuesday. Moreover, residents have been advised to lock their doors and vehicles, as Cavalcante’s presence in the vicinity is highly dangerous.

Despite the new search zones being less forested than the previously scrutinized areas, Lt. Col. Bivens stated that there are still plenty of potential hiding spots for Cavalcante. He also cautioned against the desperate nature of the convict, who is highly motivated to avoid capture.

As the search progresses, the local residents remain vigilant yet determined to carry on with their lives. Some reported sightings of the fugitive, including an attempt by Cavalcante to burgle a deserted home. Community members are hoping for a swift conclusion of the manhunt while questioning how the escape was possible in the first place.

To aid with the search efforts, between 200 and 250 individuals are on the ground at any given moment, increasing pressure on Cavalcante. Federal agencies such as the FBI and U.S. Customs Border Patrol have now sent resources to the Chester County area.

In an unprecedented move, police have broadcasted a passionate plea in Portuguese from Cavalcante’s mother via helicopter and patrol cars, urging him to surrender. Cavalcante, who is also wanted in a 2017 homicide case in Brazil, is believed to have fled the country, leading to speculations about whether he had internal assistance during his escape.