Log in Fall Special

Search for escaped Pennsylvania murderer enters eighth day


WEST CHESTER, Pa. (AP) — A murderer who made a brazen escape from a suburban Philadelphia jail yard last week was still on the lam Thursday, but some schools that had closed due to the extensive manhunt planned to reopen, along with a tourist attraction that was shuttered when the escapee was spotted on its property.

Danilo Souza Cavalcante, 34, escaped from the Chester County prison on Aug. 31. He scaled a wall, climbed over razor wire and jumped from a roof in a breakout that wasn’t detected by guards for a full hour, authorities have said. He has since been spotted at least six times, and authorities continue to move and expand their search perimeter — now a vast area filled with forests and thick brush — while residents remain on edge.

Cavalcante received a life sentence last month for killing his ex-girlfriend in front of her children in 2021. He escaped while awaiting transfer to state prison. Prosecutors say 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 her killing and authorities believe he was trying to return to Brazil.

One suburban Philadelphia school district which had shuttered this week said it planned to open five schools Thursday that are located outside the search perimeter. Another neighboring district said it reopened three schools late Wednesday and they would be open for classes on Thursday.

Longwood Gardens, one of the nation’s premier botanical gardens, planned to reopen Thursday morning. A trail surveillance video captured Cavalcante walking through the garden’s grounds on Monday night.

The escape and search have attracted international attention and became big news in Cavalcante’s native Brazil. The main newspaper in Rio de Janeiro ran a lengthy story Wednesday with the headline “Dangerous hide-and-seek.”