Chester County, Pennsylvania
Manhunt Danelo Cavalconte Communities in southeastern Pennsylvania were on high alert after a fugitive killer was spotted south of the original search area, state police said Tuesday.
Cavalcante escaped from the Chester County Jail Thursday morning and authorities began searching a heavily wooded area within 2 miles of the jail in Pocopson Township and Chester County — a rural area about 30 miles west of Philadelphia.
Law enforcement has now expanded the scope of the search after Cavalcante was recorded on a security camera Monday evening at the popular Botanical Gardens, nearly 3 miles from the correctional facility.
“We believe he’s south of that (original search) perimeter and that’s why, again, we’ve changed that perimeter now to include that area,” Pennsylvania State Police Lt. Col. George Bivens said during a news conference Tuesday.
Cavalconte was seen walking north by a security camera at Longwood Gardens at 8:21 p.m. Monday, and he was back south again at 9:33 p.m.
Although Cavalcante’s appearance was unchanged, Bivens said he recovered a few items, including a backpack, a “duffel-sling type pack” and a hooded sweatshirt. There is Cavalcante described A 5-foot, 120-pound man with pale skin, shaggy black hair and brown eyes.
Longwood Gardens The 200-acre site features “lush, formal gardens, open lawns and winding paths.” The attraction was closed Tuesday as police searched the area and the surrounding area, where the thermometer was hotter than the low 90s. The gardens will remain closed on Tuesday evening and on Wednesday, officials said.
Cavalcande34, was convicted on Aug. 16 of first-degree murder in the 2021 slaying of his ex-girlfriend, 33-year-old Deborah Brando. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
There were five “credible sightings” of Cavalconte in the previous search radius, Bivens said.
The Kennett Consolidated School District, 9 miles from the jail, and the Unionville-Chats Ford School District, 5 miles from the jail, were closed Tuesday.
In a message on its website, the Kennett district said it would do just that It will be closed again on Wednesday.
The Unionville-Chatsford district sent a message to parents saying five of its six schools would remain open Wednesday, but later updated its website: “We are aware that circumstances have changed since our last message. We will review the conditions in the morning and provide an update at 5:00 am.”
Police issued a reverse 911 call Tuesday morning to residents within 3 miles of the area where Cavalconte was found. Authorities have warned Cavalcante is extremely dangerous and have advised residents to lock their doors and cars.
If his own home was close to the search area, “even when I was home, my doors would be locked,” Bivens said.
The new search zone is more open than the heavily wooded area police previously focused on, Bivens Cavalcante said, with plenty of places to hide.
At any given time, about 200 to 250 people are assisting in the search efforts from the ground. The police are trying to put pressure on the inmate, who is now believed to be “on the wing” by taking advantage of the opportunity to get out of jail.
“You’re dealing with someone who is desperate and doesn’t want to be caught,” Bivens said.
Pennsylvania State Police
Danelo Cavalconte is seen in this image from security footage released by the Pennsylvania State Police.
said Ryan Drummond of Beaucopson Township CNN affiliate WPVI He believes he saw Cavalcante inside his house. Drummond said he woke up to investigate after hearing noises coming from downstairs around 11:45 p.m. Friday.
“What I decided to do was flip the light switch on and off three or four or five times, pause, and then he flipped the light switch three or four times from the bottom, which was like, ‘Oh my God, this guy’s down,'” Drummond said. .
Drummond said he noticed Cavalconte leaving his home and took the food. U.S. marshals returned to the home Sunday, searching the woods along with his property, Drummond said.
The Chester County District Attorney’s Office said Cavalante was seen again on a surveillance camera just after midnight Sunday, about 1.5 miles from the jail. Facebook registration Saturday morning — and received a report of an attempted burglary Sunday in nearby Pocopson Township, the Facebook post says.
Bivens said during a news conference Monday that a state trooper also spotted Cavalconte in the area.
Hair salon owner Aimee Young-Wilson said it was business as usual on Tuesday. Hours before, you wouldn’t have known the escaped inmate at the famed Botanical Gardens as cars drove past his business on a busy main artery in Chester County.
“Our book is very quiet today,” Young-Wilson said. “It’s crazy. I don’t understand how someone can run for so long.
Young-Wilson said she’s not scared but alert. Although she didn’t see anything out of the ordinary, her salon, Fa Shears, was closed on Sundays and Mondays, so Tuesday was her first day.
“Everybody’s worried because he’s here, he’s dangerous and there’s a lot of elderly people living around the area,” she said. “But we can’t shut down. We can’t stop our lives.”
Law enforcement officials are searching for escaped inmate Danelo Cavalconte.
Jennifer Briggs and her family live in Poughkeepsie Township, about 1.5 miles from the Chester County Jail.
Briggs has a 4-year-old and a kindergartner who started school last week at Poughkeepsie Elementary School. The family received a 5 a.m. notice from the school district that classes would be virtual Tuesday.
“It’s a little confusing,” Briggs told CNN.
The wooded area authorities are searching backs onto the family’s neighborhood, Briggs said, and has several trails through the woods, including one that loops around the jail.
“There’s a lot of helicopter activity, it’s a little neurotic, with young kids,” Briggs said. She keeps her children indoors and sleeps in her bedroom at night with the doors locked, she said.
Police have been swarming the neighborhood for two days, searching vehicles after a number of homes in the neighborhood were burglarized. “They set up a command post at the entrance to our neighborhood. There’s one way and one way only,” Briggs said.
Briggs said police searched his car Saturday afternoon.
“Whenever you left, they searched your car to make sure he wasn’t in it,” she said. “I had my kids in the car with me, so it was probably a very unsettling moment.”
Nancy Sanchez, manager of GuGu Asian Table, a restaurant in neighboring Kennett Square, said staff are also taking extra precautions.
“We allow our younger workers and women to park near the building, not in the back of the lot, so the security camera can see. We have lights so they’re not scared,” Sanchez told CNN.
Sanchez said the back door of their basement, which they usually keep open for deliveries, is now closed.
Briggs said her family recently moved from Atlanta to the Pocahon Township area because they’ve heard how safe the area is.
“The big question on everybody’s mind right now is how did he get away?” Briggs said. “Will this happen again? How come they didn’t catch him?”
Hundreds of law enforcement officials, including U.S. Marshals, local, state and other agencies, were dispatched to assist in the search. Additional federal agencies, including the FBI and US Customs Border Patrol, have now sent evidence to the Chester County area, the DA said Tuesday.
Using a helicopter and patrol cars, police tried to broadcast a message in Portuguese from Cavalcante’s mother, encouraging him to surrender, Robert Clark, a supervising deputy U.S. marshal for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, said at a news conference Monday.
Cavalconte is wanted in Brazil in connection with a 2017 murder, which led to him fleeing the country, Clark said. Authorities previously said they were investigating whether Cavalconte had inside help in his escape.