Updates, search area, sightings in Chester County

State Police say they no longer believe Cavalcanti is in Phoenixville

A Pennsylvania State Police helicopter searches for Danilo Cavalcanti..Read moreCharles Fox/Staff Photographer

Police now believe escaped killer Danilo Cavalcanti — who escaped from the Chester County Jail on Aug. 31 and then recently traveled about 25 miles north — has now fled the Phoenixville area.

Law enforcement officials had zeroed in on that part of Chester County Sunday morning after the 34-year-old appeared on surveillance video Saturday night, shaved and wearing new clothes.

In a statement issued at 11:28 a.m., Pennsylvania State Police advised residents that “you may no longer see a significant law enforcement presence in your area.”

“Investigative leads have emerged indicating that Cavalcanti is no longer in that area,” the statement read. “Thank you for the support.”

The Cavalcanti hunt is now in its eleventh day.

-William Bender

US Marshals are releasing photos of the truck they believe Cavalcanti is traveling in

U.S. Marshals released photos of a white 2020 Ford with Pennsylvania registration ZST8818, stolen from Bailey’s Dairy near Longwood Gardens.

Map: Where officials are currently searching for Danelo Cavalcante

Longwood Gardens says it will evaluate its opening plans

Longwood Gardens, pictured here, was closed on September 5..Read moreCharles Fox/Staff Photographer

Longwood Gardens, the botanical garden where Danilo Cavalcanti has been seen several times, posted a message on its website after Pennsylvania State Police said the search area for the escaped convict had moved north:

The search for the escaped prisoner has moved north of our community. We are assessing the condition of our parks today (Sunday) and will share reopening plans as soon as possible. Thank you to law enforcement for your continued efforts, and to you for your continued support and understanding.

Longwood has been closed periodically throughout the search for Cavalcante and has not opened since September 7.

-Rob Tornow

Cavalcanti is familiar with the Phoenixville area

Danilo Cavalcanti, who managed to elude hundreds of law enforcement officers near Longwood Gardens and travel more than 20 miles north through Chester County, is back in familiar territory.

He and the family of his victim, Deborah Brandao, have ties to the Phoenixville area, where Cavalcanti was last night.

After killing Brandao in August 2021, Cavalcanti received help from friends who lived in the area. He parked a rented construction trailer at a lot in Phoenixville, cleaned himself up and changed his clothes and then headed south to Virginia. He was arrested there hours after the stabbing.

At his trial in August, two of Cavalcanti’s friends testified that they helped wash Brandao’s blood from his hands, changed Cavalcanti’s clothes, and put gas in his car. They testified against him in exchange for immunity from prosecution.

-William Bender and Vinny Vella

Cavalcanti is operating a vehicle stolen from a local dairy

Danilo Cavalcanti was seen late Saturday night or early Sunday morning near Phoenixville, operating a white 2020 Ford with Pennsylvania registration ZST8818. Police said the truck had a refrigeration unit on top and was reported stolen from Baily’s Dairy near Longwood Gardens.

-Diane Mastroll

Cavalcanti has been spotted near Phoenixville, and he has changed his appearance

Pennsylvania State Police announced Sunday morning that escaped convicted murderer Danilo Cavalcanti is now clean-shaven, has changed his clothes and now has a car, and was seen in northern Chester County, near Phoenixville.

Cavalcanti is now devoid of the mustache and beard he had when he scaled the prison wall in the training yard at the Chester County Jail and escaped on Aug. 31, police said. Instead of the white prison-issued shirt, he was last seen wearing a yellow or green hooded sweatshirt, a black baseball-style hat, green prison pants and white shoes, police said in a statement.

Police said he was seen late Saturday night or early Sunday morning near Phoenixville, driving an unknown vehicle that may be white.

Before that, the last reported sightings were on Friday within an eight-square-mile search area near Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square. Phoenixville is located about 30 miles north, between King of Prussia and Pottstown and off the busy East-West Route 422.

-Diane Mastroll

Mushroom Festival crowds don’t fear Cavalcanti escape

Many gather along State Street for the Mushroom Festival in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, on Saturday, September 9, 2023..Read moreTiger Williams/Staff Photographer

A 10-day manhunt for an escaped prisoner has drawn the attention of international media and hundreds of law enforcement officers to a pastoral corner of Chester County.

But police activity did not dampen the crowds drawn Saturday to the 38th annual Mushroom Festival in Kennett Square — just a stone’s throw from the eight-square-mile search perimeter for convicted murderer Danilo Cavalcanti.

The weekend festival is built around the Brandywine Creek Valley’s reputation as the “Mushroom Capital of the World” — the region produces nearly half of the U.S.’s mushroom production each year — and features about 200 vendors and an array of mushroom delights from mushroom cheesesteaks and risotto to cappuccinos. Mushroom and ice cream.

But this year, the celebrations, taking place through Sunday along the town’s historic State Street, are being held against the dramatic backdrop of the search for a 34-year-old Brazilian national who was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of his ex-girlfriend. A week before, he scaled a wall in an exercise yard at the Chester County Jail and ran away on August 31.

» READ MORE: As the hunt for an escaped killer continues nearby, visitors flock to the Kennett Square Mushroom Festival

– Ryan W. Briggs

The prison guard on duty was shot when Danilo Cavalcanti escaped

Chester County Correctional Complex in Pocopson Township, Pennsylvania. .Read moreDavid Maialletti/Staff Photographer

The corrections officer who was on duty at the Chester County Jail when Danilo Cavalcanti escaped on Aug. 31 was fired late Thursday, according to a prison source.

The officer, whose name was not immediately available, had worked at the prison for 20 years, said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the investigation.

The officer was stationed in a guard tower on August 31, when Cavalcanti scaled a narrow wall in an exercise range to escape. Earlier, acting prison director Howard Holland told reporters that the guard did not see Cavalcanti as he escaped and he was placed on administrative leave.

Following Cavalcanti’s escape, prison officials searched the tower officer and found he was carrying his personal cell phone in violation of prison regulations, the source said Friday.

Cavalcanti escaped from the facility in the same way as Igor Polti, another prisoner who escaped in May. After Bolti was arrested again, prison officials placed razor wire over the wall that Bolti climbed, but the source said Cavalcanti managed to push through the barbed wire, slightly injuring himself in the process.

Cavalcanti’s escape is being investigated by the state Attorney General’s Office, according to county officials.

—Vinny Vela

Who is Danilo Cavalcanti?

Danilo Cavalcanti, as seen in photos provided by the Chester County Jail..Read moreChester County Jail via AP

Investigators said Danilo Cavalcante is a Brazilian citizen who illegally immigrated to the United States after a warrant was issued for his arrest for murder in his home country in 2017. He first traveled to Puerto Rico, where he obtained a fake ID, according to evidence presented during his trial earlier this month. .

He settled in Chester County because he had a sister and friends who had arrived here before him, he later told police. Cavalcanti worked for a time in construction and other trades, and rented a storage trailer that he parked in a parking lot in the town of East Peakland, prosecutors said.

Cavalcanti was convicted earlier in August of killing his ex-girlfriend, Deborah Brandao, outside her Schuylkill Township home in 2021. Authorities have released little information about Cavalcanti’s escape, saying the matter remains under investigation.

He was sentenced to life in state prison and was awaiting transfer to a more secure state-run correctional facility when he escaped Thursday, according to Chester County Prosecutor Deborah Ryan.

—Vinny Vela

(tags for translation) Chester County Jail Escape Updates – Danilo – Cavalcanti – Chase –

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