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Howard Holland Appointed Chester County Prison Warden

(From a press release.)

At its public meeting Monday, the Chester County Prison Board of Inspectors unanimously approved the appointment of Howard Holland as Warden of Chester County Prison.

“In the eight months that Howard Holland has served as Acting Warden, Chester County Prison has seen improvements in safety and security systems, with plans to continue strengthening security measures,” said Josh Maxwell, chair of the Chester County Prison Board.

“At the same time, Howard has recognized the importance of prison staff strengths and the value of a comprehensive training program to develop corrections officer and leadership skills, as well as recruit new corrections officers and prison support staff.

“Howard’s ‘hands on’ experience in overseeing all correctional and operational functions of the prison, along with 27 years of experience in law enforcement and security, assured all members of the Prison Board that he is the right person to serve as warden,” added Maxwell.

Chester County Prison Board of Inspectors members are Commissioners Josh Maxwell, Marian Moskowitz and Eric Roe, President Judge John Hall, District Attorney Christopher de Barrena-Sarobe, Sheriff Kevin Dykes, and Controller Margaret Reif.

In response to the appointment by the Prison Board, Warden Holland said, “I am honored that the members of the Prison Board place their confidence in me to serve as warden. Together with the prison leadership, and with oversight by the Prison Board, we will continue our focus on safety and security improvements.

“I also look forward to building upon the relationships I have established with prison staff and the local community over the past eight months, as those connections are an important part of the role as warden.”

Community connections include updates with the residents of Pocopson Township, who live within close proximity to Chester County Prison.

Speaking on behalf of the Pocopson Township Board of Supervisors, Chair Elaine DiMonte said, “The Pocopson Township Board of Supervisors is delighted with the appointment of Howard Holland as Chester County Prison Warden.  Over the past eight months, Warden Holland hasmbeen actively engaged with the Board of Supervisors meetings.  We have every confidence in his leadership ability, and we look forward to continuing to build the relationship.”

Prior to his appointment as acting warden in August 2023, Holland was assigned the role of special advisor to the Chester County Prison Board. In that role, he helped to identify operational concerns, developed recommendations in conjunction with correctional consultants, evaluated the effectiveness of staff training and ensured that any recommended changes would comply with all local, state, and federal regulations and statutes.

Holland has been appointed as acting warden just one day prior to the infamous escape of murderer Danilo Cavalcante, an illegal immigrant from Brazil.

Howard Holland served with the Downingtown Borough Police Department from 1997 to 2023 and was appointed chief of police for the last seven of those years. During that time, he also worked as a special county detective.

Holland is a graduate of the Delaware County Police Academy, the FBI National Academy, and holds a B.S. in public safety administration from Neumann University.


Chesco Candidates React to News of Guard’s Warning Before Cavalcante’s Escape

Chester County officials had a heads-up that Danilo Cavalcante might try to escape.

“I am just sending this cause I don’t want this to come back on us or [Officer] Hernandez in anyway [sic],” Chester County Prison Sgt. Jerry Beavers wrote to Cpt. Harry Griswold several hours after the escape on Aug. 31. “He noted back in July that this inmate was planning an escape.” That email was obtained and first reported by ABC News.

Chester County residents spent two weeks living in fear after Cavalcante crab-walked up two walls at the Chester County Prison, climbed to the roof, jumped into a less secure jail section, and walked away.

An intense manhunt brought some 500 federal agents and state police into the county to help county and local police search for him.

Cavalcante, a native Brazilian wanted for murder there, was convicted of killing his former girlfriend in front of her children. When he escaped, he was awaiting transport to a state prison to begin serving a life sentence.

Another inmate had used the same method in May, and authorities added more razor wire.

“If prison officials receive a credible tip that a certain inmate is planning an escape, that inmate should be placed under the highest level of surveillance,” said Eric Roe, a former state representative running for county commissioner. “From emails uncovered this week, it appears the tip was credible enough for prison officials to remember it a month later when Cavalcante escaped.”

“It’s outrageous to me that even after an escape in the spring, the prison got a credible tip about another planned escape, yet they did not prevent it. This just keeps getting worse!” Roe said.

Dave Sommers, a candidate for Chester County commissioner, said, “I think that the overall ‘working’ climate at the county needs to be changed. Clearly, there are issues in multiple departments existing. The morale is low, and the ability to get applicants is affecting the overall safety and effectiveness of the county.”

“We see here a failure on multiple levels,” said Somers, a teacher. “Those who work directly with the inmates at the prison saw that a potential problem was there, and nothing was done to address their concerns.”

“These issues should have been brought to the Chester County Prison Board and addressed in a timely manner. The lack of leadership and direction caused many of our residents undue stress, anxiety, and also a great burden on our first responders,” said Somers. “Not to mention the extraordinary costs, perhaps up to as much as $15 million, I have heard, for the entire search for the escaped fugitive.”

Sommers added, “I support our correctional facility staff, police, and first responders fully. They, like the residents of Chester County, deserve better.”

Rebecca Brain, a spokeswoman for the county, said jail officials had procedures in place for inmates identified as escape risks prior to Cavalcante’s jailbreak. Also, a new acting warden, Howard Holland, had just started the day of the escape.

“Danilo Cavalcante was initially identified as an escape risk when captured in Virginia and committed to Chester County Prison in 2021. During the time surrounding his trial, unsubstantiated information from an unknown source was received, reinforcing Cavalcante’s status as an escape risk,” said Brain.

She said the county’s policy to address escape risks has changed under Holland’s leadership.

There are “strengthened security measures inside the prison as well as during prisoner transport off prison property. This includes the assignment of different color clothing indicating a potential escape risk and monitoring by one correction officer to one inmate – or two corrections officers to one inmate – when outside of the prison cell.”

These changes “bolster security and support the work of the prison’s staff. The prior policy is indicative of why the Chester County Prison Board felt the need to make changes to the prison’s leadership,” said Brain. The Prison Board includes the three county commissioners, the district attorney, the county controller, and the sheriff.

Roy Kofroth, a businessman and former deputy running for sheriff, disagreed.

“The county prison is a medium security facility,” said Kofroth. “Murderers are sent to maximum security facilities. In this case, Cavalcante was held at the prison awaiting transfer to the state maximum security prison…There should have been one absolute precaution taken, whether they knew of his plans or not: this is an inmate that should never be left unattended when out of his cell.”

“The fact is, he had nothing to lose. He was going to jail forever. Forever is a long time. So escaping was his only chance at being free ever again, which is quite an incentive to do so for anyone in that situation. If anyone in that prison was going to escape, the odds were pretty good this was the guy to do so,” said Kofroth.

“As a side note, there was an escape a few months before this one, and if you review the minutes for every Prison Board meeting after the first escape, guess what is never mentioned? Nothing about the previous prison break, nothing about the improvements to be made to prevent future escapes, and nothing about money spent to make any of those improvements. Nothing. Why?”

As for the cost of the Cavalcante manhunt, each law enforcement agency bears its own expenses.

“With regard to Chester County government, all costs incurred, including overtime for county detectives and personnel in the Department of Emergency Services and Sheriff’s Office, are covered by funds in the county’s budget,” said Brain, who did not respond when asked for the amount the county spent to catch Cavalcante.

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UPDATE: Escaped Convict Cavalcante Caught in Northern Chester County

After a 14-day manhunt, specialized tactical teams from the Pennsylvania State Police and U.S. Border Patrol converged on fugitive murderer Danelo Cavalcante just after 8 a.m. Wednesday.

Cavalcante was lying prone in tall grass on top of the rifle he had stolen Monday evening, state police Lt. Col. George Bivens said at a press conference. The tactical teams were able to sneak up on him, but when he realized they were there, Cavalcante tried to crawl away “through thick underbrush, taking his rifle with him as he went.”

“They had the element of surprise,” said Bivens.

A K-9 officer “subdued him,” said Bivens. “He continued to resist…He did sustain a minor bite wound.”

After being interviewed, Cavalcante, who was wearing a stolen Eagles shirt when caught, was taken to a state prison and not returned to the Chester County Prison, where he escaped on Aug. 31. He had crab-walked in a narrow corridor up two walls to a roof, jumped to another roof, then pushed through razor wire to freedom. Cavalcante’s method mirrored the escape of another prisoner in May. That prisoner was caught within minutes because a tower guard saw him. Officials fired the tower guard on duty when Cavalcante escaped.

The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC) announced it had taken custody of Cavalcante as of 3 p.m. Wednesday and he is being housed at SCI Phoenix, a maximum-security prison in Montgomery County.

During his travels, Cavalcante stole various items of clothing he happened upon and also a van from a dairy that he drove about 20 miles from the southern part of the county to the northern section.

Bivens said a burglar alarm went off at a residence near Prizer Road in Pottstown, within the search perimeter. Police went to the house and found no one but decided to stay in that area. Then, a plane circling over the search area found a moving heat signature near 1 a.m. north of Prizer Road. But the thunderstorm that passed through the lightning grounded the plane. They secured that smaller area until additional men and equipment were brought in.

Bivens praised all the law enforcement officials—more than 500—who took part in the search. Cavalcante will now begin serving his life sentence.

“Our nightmare is finally over, and the good guys won,” Chester County District Attorney Deb Ryan said. “We owe a debt of gratitude to all of the first responders for their tireless and dedicated efforts in bringing this fugitive to justice.”

Gov. Josh Shapiro opened the press conference by thanking law enforcement officials who searched for Cavalcante and ultimately captured him. He also praised Chester County residents.

The officers “leave their homes, leave their loved ones to keep us safe,” said Shapiro. “The public has had a chance to see what excellence in law enforcement means, what true, dedicated professionalism is all about.” No one in the public or law enforcement was injured, he said.

Resident Guy Ciarrocchi, a former Deputy Attorney General who has been critical of how authorities managed the Chester County Prison, said, “I join the residents of Chesco in thanking the men and women of law enforcement for their vigilance. Now, first, under no circumstances should he go back to the Chester County Jail. Second, we need a thorough review of how he escaped, prison staffing and policies, and making sure this never happens again. Third, the politicians on the prison board should not be reelected and certainly not elected to become soft-on-crime judges for life.”

Another resident, Ada Nestor, said, “In the near future, we will need to do a very deep postmortem on how this was allowed to happen, which policies permitted this situation to arise, and make decisions to ensure our community is safe in the future.

“Chester County, Pennsylvania, has been recognized over many years for being a beautiful, safe community. One with low crime, great schools, and beautiful wildlife mixed with suburban living. This incident has put Chester County on the map, but not in a good way. Our county Officials should be ashamed of the embarrassment we have become,” Nestor said.

The county commissioners, however, thanked law enforcement, residents, and school districts.

“Prison officials have made some immediate changes to bolster security in the prison, have brought in security contractors to make permanent changes to the exercise yards, and are reviewing and – where needed – changing procedures for both security measures and communication to residents who live close to the prison,” they said in a statement.

Charlotte Valyo, chair of the Chester County Democrats, said, “We can be proud of our elected officials who remained calm and continued to do their jobs under the duress of public scrutiny and criticism. Now, they are free to share the actions and plans being implemented to ensure this situation does not happen again. Our elected officials have governed well through every crisis presented to them, and they will continue to make the decisions that are best for all of Chester County.”

The Chester County Prison Board, which includes the county commissioners, district attorney, and sheriff, is set to meet at 2:30 p.m. on Sept. 20. It will meet at the prison rather than the Government Services Center.

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BREAKING: Escaped Chester County Convict Caught

Note: This article will be updated.

Escaped convict Danelo Cavalcante is now not just dangerous but also armed.

Cavalcante, the convicted murderer who escaped from Chester County prison on August 31, went into an open garage Monday, took a rifle, and encountered the homeowner, State Police Lt. Col. George Bivens said during a Tuesday morning press conference. The homeowner fired some shots from a few feet away. Cavalcante took off and was apparently uninjured, Bivens said.

“He’s extremely dangerous,” said Bivens. “He’s now armed with a .22-caliber rifle with a scope and flashlight mounted on it.”

“We consider him desperate. We consider him dangerous. All this does is confirm for us he has a weapon,” said Bivens. “He’s killed two people previously. I would consider he’s desperate enough to use that weapon.”

“It was a crime of opportunity,” Bivens said. “He went in there to hide. The garage door was open. He did not recognize the owner was in there. He was probably looking for a hiding place and ran through that garage. Saw the firearm, grabbed that, encountered the homeowner, and fled with the firearm.”

Cavalcante has been evading capture — and making headlines — for nearly two weeks. He crab-walked up between two prison walls, onto a roof, and pushed through razor wire to freedom. Another inmate used the same method to escape in May but was captured quickly because a tower guard saw him. Officials fired the guard who failed to see Cavalcante’s exit.

Over the weekend, the escaped murderer stole a van from a dairy and traveled some 20 miles until it ran out of gas. He has also approached people trying to get help, officials said.

As of Tuesday morning, searchers are focused on an eight to 10-mile area of Coventry and East Nantmeal townships. The police sent reverse 911 messages to people in the area and also notified schools. The Owen J. Roberts School District closed its schools. In Pottstown, students were being kept indoors on Tuesday.

“The current perimeter includes PA (Route) 23 to the north, PA (Route) 100 to the east, Fairview and Nantmeal roads to the south, and Iron Bridge and County Park Roads to the west,” said Bivens. About 500 officers from various agencies are searching for Cavalcante, dogs, and equipment.

Danelo Cavalcante is now clean-shaven.

Bivens asked nearby residents to secure their homes, vehicles, and outbuildings.

Answering questions from reporters, Bivens said he does not believe Cavalcante was injured when the homeowner shot at him, although the owner fired several shots.

“I think he’s just trying to survive and avoid being captured right now,” said Bivens.

“We’re not evacuating homes at this point,” said Bivens. “We’re asking residents to be vigilant and lock their doors.”

The area is hilly and wooded, he said. There are streams, tunnels, and ditches.

“He is in that perimeter, and we will actively hunt until we find him,” said Bivens.

The search area is three miles east to west, two miles north to south, and is about eight to 10 square miles.

“No perimeter is ever 100 percent impenetrable. We have stood up a very strong perimeter. We will do our very best to contain him in there and capture him,” said Bivens. “We will continue until we locate him.”

“We’ve been utilizing tactical teams. Just because we’ve found a footprint doesn’t necessarily mean we know what direction he traveled in. He had traveled south and then went back north,” he said.

Bivens said he has been in “regular communication” with Gov. Josh Shapiro’s office.

“The governor has been closely monitoring this situation. He has offered any necessary resources. ”

Guy Ciarrocchi, former Deputy Attorney General and a Chester County resident, said, “Day 13. For residents of Coventry, Nantmeal, the students, and families in Owen J. Roberts Schools, this isn’t just another news story; it’s real life. An armed double-murderer is on the loose and will do anything to survive. We continue to ask without answers: How did this happen, just months after it did before? Why wasn’t the public notified as soon as possible? Why did a short-staffed prison accept a murderer? Why weren’t more K-9s available? Why weren’t the state police and U.S. Marshals called in for almost a week? This is a tragedy. I pray it ends before anyone else is harmed, or worse.”

Bivens defended the search efforts.

“Our law enforcement people have done an amazing job, tracking and locating him. That proverbial needle in the haystack, and they’ve located that needle repeatedly. People have done an amazing job. I’m very proud of the work they’ve done and continue to do. There is nothing gone wrong. Our agencies are all working very well together, and I believe we will be successful in the long run.”

“We’re making every effort to find him as rapidly as we possibly can,” Bivens added.

“It is imperative that anyone with information about Cavalcante contact us immediately so we can act on it in a timely manner,” said Bivens. They can call 911 or the tipline: (717) 562-2987. There is now a $25,000 reward.

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Police Report A Possible Calvalcante Sighting Near Longwood Gardens

Chester County residents remained on high alert for another day as escaped convict Danelo Cavalcante continued evading capture.

State Police Lt. Col. George Bivens told reporters at a press conference Thursday afternoon someone reported they had seen Cavalcante near Longwood Gardens. Searchers, including officers on horseback, were combing that area.

Earlier this week, cameras along Longwood Gardens trails picked up his image.

The total search area is eight to 10 square miles, said Bivens. It is bounded by Route 926 on the north, Route 100 on the east, Route 52 on the west, and Hillendale Road on the south.

It is not easy territory to comb, but he added, “It’s been a very thorough search.”

“I have every reason to believe he is still within that perimeter. We have had no sightings outside that area, and we have maintained as secure a perimeter as we possibly could.”

Law enforcement officers are out in high temperatures and high humidity, but “I have not heard a single complaint,” he said. Searchers are being provided with fluids at their locations. “Morale is high.”

A jury convicted the 34-year-old of brutally stabbing to death his former girlfriend, and he was sentenced to life in prison. He was being held at the Chester County Prison awaiting transfer to a state prison when he climbed walls in a narrow corridor in a crab-like way, made it to the roof, and escaped on Aug. 31.

A massive manhunt has ensued ever since as state, federal, and local law enforcement have sought Cavalcante, who is also wanted for murder in his native Brazil.

Asked about vigilantes who might search independently, Bivens urged Delaware Valley residents not to take matters into their own hands, saying they run the risk of getting into trouble.

“We’ve chased people for a lot longer than this and ultimately brought them to justice,” said Bivens. “As I’ve said before, we’re not going anywhere. We will eventually capture him. And when we do, he’s going to prison.”

“I believe he’s becoming more desperate. I believe he has always been dangerous, and I’ve said that from the start. He’s already murdered two people. One in Brazil and one here in a very brutal manner.”

“We want to end this as quickly as possible. We’ll throw every available resource at him,” Bivens added.

Bivens was also asked about the earlier manhunts he had been involved with, including for cop-killer Eric Frein and escapee Michael Burnham, as DVJournal reported.

“There are similarities between any situation for a manhunt like this,” said Bivens. “We try to learn something from each of those incidents that we handle, taking from that how to run a smoother operation. Our partners, in many cases, are the same. In fact, some of the people here from the federal agencies are some of the same teams and resources on the Warren County search.

“All of us take lessons learned from it; we adapt those to the different circumstances we find. And there are different challenges with every particular search,” he said.

Asked whether they could use thermal imaging technology because it was so hot, he said, “It does not take that technology out of the game at all.”

District Attorney Deb Ryan said Cavalcante would not return to the Chester County Prison after he is captured but would go directly to a state prison.

“Our primary mission is to get this guy in custody,” said Ryan. “That’s where all our attention is focused at this moment.”

Cavalcante has relatives in the general area, and law enforcement has spoken to them. The family of his victim is under guard, authorities said.

Led by their party chair, some Republicans running for county offices spoke at a press conference on Wednesday, criticizing how the Democratic administration has managed Chester County Prison.

“This episode clearly raises many serious questions about the competence of those elected officials in our county who are charged with protecting us,” Chester County Republican Committee Chairman Raffi Terzian said. “How can a convicted murderer, let alone any prisoner, walk out of prison in broad daylight? And now we are learning that this is the second prison break in the past six months.

“Why was there a delay in notifying the public? Why was a convicted murderer housed in a local facility rather than immediately housed in an appropriate state-secured facility?

“What role does the county’s budget planning and oversight have in this entire episode?” Terzian continued. “Once again, this crisis prompts many questions about policy, resources, funding, and the competence of those running our county government. I’ve just listened to the county press conference, and still, many questions remain – fair and reasonable questions that must be answered. And we hope a thorough investigation will provide clarity.”

Lawyer Ryan Hyde, who is running for district attorney, told DVJournal people should be asking questions and demanding transparency from county officials.

“They are entitled to answers,” he said. “However, right now, hundreds of law enforcement officers and thousands of people are in harm’s way, and my thoughts go out to them because I know they are hurting because of this.   I can’t imagine carrying the gear they are carrying through dense undergrowth in 100-degree heat. I just hope no one gets hurt.”

Sheriff candidate Roy Kofroth said, “At this time, our focus needs to revolve solely around the safety of our community and the apprehension of Danelo Cavalcante. We must give our law enforcement officers and first responders, who are working tirelessly to bring this man to justice, any and all the support needed to successfully bring this fugitive into custody. Please keep all of our community in your thoughts and prayers during this very unfortunate time.”

“The bottom line is our county deserves better,” said Terzian.

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Chester County Authorities Release Video of Cavalcante’s Escape

As inmate Danelo Cavalcante continued to elude law enforcement Wednesday afternoon, Chester County authorities and the State Police released a video of his escape, giving what critics say is an embarrassing look into security failures at the county-run facility.

The video showed Cavalcante stretching between two walls to climb out of the Chester County Prison and onto a roof. He then accessed another roof in a less secure area, jumped down, and left the prison on Aug. 31.

Cavalcante, who was in the U.S. illegally at the time of his arrest, was convicted of first-degree murder for stabbing his former girlfriend to death and faces life in prison. He is also wanted for a 2017 murder in his native Brazil.

Acting Warden Howard Holland said after another inmate used the same method to escape in May, officials brought in a consultant who recommended more razor wire, which was added. Holland acknowledged that was insufficient to prevent Cavalcante from escaping during a morning exercise break.

“We’ll move quickly to advance our security measures,” he said.

That will include enclosing the exercise yard and adding additional cameras. District Attorney Deb Ryan said the state Attorney General’s Office is investigating how the escape happened.

When the first prisoner escaped, he was caught within minutes because a tower guard saw him.

Cavalcante, who is 5 feet tall, managed to evade the tower guard’s notice last Thursday, and his 8:51 a.m. exit was not discovered until a count of inmates once his pod members were brought back inside, said Holland. Guards thought he might be in a visitors’ area.

The prison was locked down when he was not found, and a complete prisoner count was ordered. The siren sounded at 10:01 a.m., and officials alerted 911.

State Police Lt. Col. George Bivens said efforts to catch Cavalcante continue with hundreds of law enforcement officers joining the search. There are also canines searching, along with helicopters and drones.

He said one dog became ill because of the excessive heat Wednesday and collapsed. The dog is now being treated.

Cavalcante was sighted on Chandler Road in Pennsbury Tuesday evening.

Bivens again asked for the public’s help and told residents to lock their doors and windows and lock any outbuildings to keep him from taking items. He has grabbed a sweatshirt, backpack, and other supplies.

“It’s important that we keep pressure on him,” said Bivens.

The reward for information leading to Cavalcante’s arrest is now up to $20,000.

Bivens thanked the public for its help and the residents who brought water and food for the officers taking part in the manhunt.

“It’s a very challenging area,” he said. “We’re committed to the search, and we will find him.”

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Chester County Dems Slammed Over Lax Prison Security That Led to Escapes

Having overseen the Chester County Prison, where two prisoners –including convicted murderer Danelo Cavalcante — have escaped since May, Democrats shouldn’t escape their responsibility for this security failure.

That was the message from Republicans holding a press conference Wednesday calling out Democratic county officials, such as the sheriff, district attorney, and the majority commissioners, for their failed oversight of the county prison in the wake of Cavalcante’s escape.

“The residents of Chester County deserve better,” said Eric Roe, the former state representative and a Republican running for county commissioner. “Let me be clear: I am not criticizing the brave men and women of law enforcement who are out there in the heat working tirelessly to find this dangerous and evil man. My frustration is with the people at the highest levels of county government tasked with preventing these escapes, acting quickly in the event of an escape, and keeping our residents properly informed. Several Chester County Prison Board members are on your ballot this November. If you are not happy with the status quo, then I urge you to vote accordingly.”

Cavalcante escaped from the Chester County Prison on Aug. 31 and has not been apprehended as of this writing. There have been multiple sightings, including on trail cameras in Longwood Gardens. A jury convicted Cavalcante of murder for brutally stabbing his girlfriend in front of her children, and a judge sentenced him to life in prison. Cavalcante is also wanted for a 2017 murder in his native Brazil, officials said.

The primary role for any government is the safety and wellbeing of its residents,” said David Sommers, a Republican candidate for county commission. “Chester County Commissioners must keep our communities safe. The escape of an ‘extremely dangerous’ inmate from the Chester County Prison is of great concern. It is the duty and responsibility of the entire Chester County Prison Board, of which the three commissioners are members, to run and maintain the correctional facility. Many questions remain unanswered to date. Residents deserve a full explanation of the events surrounding the escape, response time, and subsequent notification to the public.”

The commissioners “must thoroughly search for a new, qualified, vetted, permanent Chester County Prison warden,” Sommers added.

As of late Tuesday afternoon, Cavalcante was still on the run, apparently having burglarized a home or homes to take food and items he needed to survive. Cameras showed him in Pocopson Township and areas near Longwood Gardens. Then Longwood Gardens officials saw Cavalcante walking on their trails.

“On the morning of September 5, 2023, security at Longwood Gardens notified law enforcement that they had received trail camera footage that was taken on their property, which showed an individual appearing to be Cavalcante,” a press release stated. “This area was just south of the original perimeter. Investigators confirmed it was Danelo Cavalcante, and he had a backpack, a duffle sling pack, and a hooded sweatshirt.

“Cavalcante was seen in the trail camera footage walking north at 8:21 p.m. and back south through the same location at 9:33 p.m. Based on that information, the manhunt has shifted from the original parameter to contain him, moving towards the southern end of the established perimeter,” the statement said.

Longwood Gardens closed. Area school superintendents were notified, leading to the closures of schools in Unionville Chadds-Ford and Kennett Area Consolidated school districts. Residents were notified by reverse 911.

Rep. Craig Williams (R-Chadds Ford), whose district includes the affected area, told DVJournal, “I am in touch with both the State Police and the Governor’s Office of Legislative Affairs. My first priority is the safety of my community by capturing an escaped felon. I am told the FBI, U.S. Marshals, Pennsylvania State Police, the state police of Maryland and Delaware, as well as aviation and canine assets from those agencies, are now added to the hunt. That should bring some comfort to my worried district.”

“When this convict is recaptured, then we will have a conversation about the security of the Pocopson facility,” added Williams, a former U.S. Assistant Attorney General and Marine JAG officer.

Commonwealth Foundation Senior Fellow Guy Ciarrocchi, who served as a state deputy attorney general, is livid about the incompetence of county officials.

“We now have the worst of our fears: An escaped convicted murderer is out and running around southern Chester County,” said Ciarrocchi.

Asked why county officials did not fix problems at the prison after a different inmate escaped in May, Ciarrocchi said, “You’re asking one of those commonsense questions that goes above and beyond law enforcement and politics. It’s a commonsense question. If it happened once, why wasn’t it fixed? And that’s a question somebody better answer. And our sheriff ought to answer that. Our commissioners ought to answer it. Our district attorney ought to answer it. But our sheriff and our district attorney are busy running for county judge, hoping people will vote for them because of their party label.”

A county spokeswoman said the matter is under investigation.

Ciarrocchi said the county prison should not house such dangerous prisoners. It is where inmates are “typically car thieves, con artists, welfare fraud, not, not usually physically harmful, violent, violent people go there as a holding cell until they’re being sent to a more secure prison.”

Longwood Gardens cameras caught the fugitive on a trail.

Cavalcante should not have been there, but since he was, prison authorities should have taken more precautions with him.

“We have one job. Hold this man until he’s put into a maximum security prison. And they failed in that basic duty. This is, this is a horrific failure of leadership. And then it was compounded by not really getting the public engaged so that we could be vigilant to help capture him and protect loved ones in our businesses,” said Ciarrocchi.

Ciarrocchi said, “This was a convicted murderer who is also standing on murder charges in Brazil. He should be the one person that everybody is paying attention to, and he is the one that they should have been building security around…To let him go, uh, is a gross failure in duty. And to let him go this many days and not engage the public is far worse. So that’s what appears to have happened.”

The district attorney’s office said hundreds of law enforcement officers are working around the clock to find Cavalcante. Helicopters, drones, and K-9 units are aiding the search.

Residents should keep their doors and windows locked and be aware of their surroundings.

Anyone with any information on the whereabouts of Danelo Cavalcante is asked to call 9-1-1 immediately. Officials said there is a $10,000 reward for anyone with information that leads to his capture.

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