Convicted Pennsylvania murderer on the run for sixth day


By Brendan O’Brien

(Reuters) – A Pennsylvania fugitive convicted of murder was spotted on security cameras overnight near the prison from which he escaped six days earlier, prompting area schools to cancel classes and authorities to expand their search, police said on Tuesday.

Danelo Cavalcante, 34, has eluded a manhunt since he broke out of the Chester County Prison, about 50 miles (80 km) west of Philadelphia, on Aug. 31. He was waiting to be transferred to a state correctional institution to begin serving a life sentence for killing his ex-girlfriend.

On Monday night, a security camera on a public garden trail about 5 miles (8 km) south of the prison captured images of Cavalcante, said Lieutenant Colonel George Bivens, deputy commissioner of operations for the Pennsylvania State Police, during a Tuesday news briefing.

The sighting prompted school districts in the area to cancel classes for at least the day while authorities shifted and expanded the original two-mile perimeter, Bivens said.

“That pressure we put on him is working. We squeezed him hard enough in a period of a few days where he couldn’t get some relief, and he squeezed out,” Bivens said. “I wished we could’ve got him, but it’s a large, dark area, with difficult terrain.”

Bivens urged residents and businesses around the area to lock their doors and check their security cameras.

“You are dealing with someone who is desperate and does not want to be caught,” he added.

Cavalcante, a Brazilian national, is also a suspect in a 2017 murder in Brazil, the U.S. Marshals said.

There have been several credible sightings of the fugitive in the area over the last several days, Bivens said.

Sunday’s photographs showed Cavalcante has not changed his appearance, but now has two backpacks and is wearing a hooded sweatshirt. They showed him heading north and then south about an hour later, Bivens said.

(This story has been corrected to say the camera that captured the images of Cavalcante was to the south, not north of the prison, in paragraph 3)

(Reporting by Brendan O’Brien in Chicago; Editing by Richard Chang)

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