(WHTM) — The Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office is investigating the escape of Chester County Prison inmate Danelo Cavalcante, according to Acting Prison Warden Howard Holland.
In a briefing on Wednesday, Sept. 6, officials showed video of Cavalcante’s escape — seen in the video player below — as he climbed a prison exercise yard wall to access the roof and pushed through razor wire on Thursday, Aug. 31. Video of the escape has been turned over to criminal investigators.
Video: Danelo Cavalcante’s escape
Officials provided a timeline of Cavalcante’s escape:
- 8:33 a.m. – Cavalcante’s block enters the outdoor exercise yard
- 8:51 a.m. – Cavalcante escapes from the yard by climbing a wall, pushing through razor wire, running across a roof, scaling a fence, and pushed through more razor wire
- 9:35 a.m. – Cavalcante’s block returns from the yard
- 9:45 a.m. – Officers notify officials of a missing inmate and a special count is held
- 9:48 a.m. – Central control is informed Cavalcante was not there
- 9:50 a.m. – Prison is locked down
- 10:01 a.m. – Public escape siren airs, public is notified
A tower officer did not observe Cavalcante’s escape, authorities explained, and his disappearance was discovered as part of the inmate count. The officer is on administrative leave and why they did not see or report the escape is part of the investigation.
Cavalcante has been spotted six times since he escaped, most recently Tuesday, Sept. 5, when he was seen in a residential area but soon disappeared into the woods. He had been spotted Monday, Sept. 4 at Longwood Gardens, where trail surveillance video captured him walking through the garden’s grounds.
That sighting led officials to move the search area farther south Tuesday after they determined Cavalcante had likely slipped through the original perimeter set by hundreds of law enforcement officers, including heavily armed police.
Cavalcante received a life sentence last month for killing his ex-girlfriend, Deborah Brandao, in front of her children in 2021, and escaped while awaiting transfer to state prison. Prosecutors said he killed her to stop her from telling police that he’s wanted in a 2017 killing back in Brazil.
He had been captured in Virginia after Brandao’s killing and authorities believe he was trying to return to Brazil.
Holland said a similar inmate escape in May at the prison led to security upgrades upon the recommendations of a contracted security service, including razor wire. New proposals are being developed to fully enclose all outside exercise yards and policies are being reviewed.
State Police said they are continuing to provide updates to area schools that may close due to the search.
Those who live in the area are asked to review security footage and secure any outbuildings, homes, and vehicles. Those who believe they have seen Cavalcante are asked to call 911.
Rewards for Cavalcante’s capture have increased to $20,000.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.