Pennsylvania Inmate Escapes by Crab-Walking Up Prison Wall, Sparks International Manhunt: NPR

By | September 7, 2023

Pennsylvania State police are searching for convicted murderer Danelo Cavalcante, who escaped from a suburban Philadelphia jail yard by scaling a wall and climbing over razor wire. The escape went unnoticed by guards for an hour, and authorities have been unable to locate Cavalcante for a week. The prison is under investigation and considering additional security measures. Cavalcante, who received a life sentence for killing his ex-girlfriend, has been sighted multiple times since his escape. Two school districts and a botanical garden have closed as the manhunt continues. The Associated Press reported

Pennsylvania State Police Continue Search for Escaped Murderer in Pennsbury Township

WEST CHESTER, Pa. — Pennsylvania State police are intensifying their search efforts as they continue to hunt for escaped murderer Danelo Cavalcante, who made a daring escape from a suburban Philadelphia jail yard last week. The 34-year-old killer managed to scale a wall, climb over razor wire, and jump from a roof, all without being detected by guards for a full hour.

The details of Cavalcante’s escape were revealed at a news conference held by authorities, where it was disclosed that he used the same route that another prisoner had taken to escape back in May. The escape has caused concern among local residents, leading to a large-scale manhunt involving multiple law enforcement agencies.

The escape and subsequent search have garnered international attention, particularly in Cavalcante’s native Brazil. The main newspaper in Rio de Janeiro published an extensive article with the headline “Dangerous hide-and-seek,” highlighting the audacity of Cavalcante’s escape.

During the news conference, Howard Holland, the acting warden of the Chester County Prison, presented a security video that captured Cavalcante’s escape. The footage shows him standing in a passageway adjacent to the jail yard before using a technique known as “crab-walking” to climb up the walls and out of the camera’s view. Holland explained that the prison had taken measures to enhance security following the previous escape in May, including the addition of razor wire. However, he admitted that more comprehensive measures should have been implemented.

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The prison is now considering additional security measures, such as increasing officer presence during recreation times and installing cages at the top of the yards. The Pennsylvania attorney general’s office has taken over the investigation into the escape.

Cavalcante, who received a life sentence last month for the murder of his ex-girlfriend in 2021, managed to escape while awaiting transfer to a state prison. Prosecutors believe he killed his ex-girlfriend to prevent her from reporting his involvement in a 2017 killing in Brazil. He was captured in Virginia after the murder and authorities suspect he was attempting to flee back to Brazil.

The ongoing search for Cavalcante has disrupted the local community, with two suburban Philadelphia school districts remaining closed and one of the nation’s premier botanical gardens shut down. Cavalcante has been sighted six times since his escape, with the most recent sighting occurring in a residential area on Tuesday night. Despite the numerous sightings, he has managed to elude capture.

Authorities have issued warnings to residents, urging them to secure their homes and vehicles and to be vigilant for any signs of Cavalcante’s presence. The search area has been expanded after officials determined that he likely slipped through the original perimeter set by law enforcement officers.

Local residents have expressed their unease and frustration with the ongoing manhunt. Danielle Lawrence, a resident of Pocopson, near the jail, stated that she no longer feels safe in her own backyard and requires her husband’s presence for reassurance. Ryan Drummond, whose home was broken into by Cavalcante, echoed these sentiments, expressing frustration with the length of time the search has been ongoing.

As authorities continue their efforts to capture Cavalcante, residents remain on high alert, hoping for a swift resolution to the unsettling situation..

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