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Escape of Danelo Cavalcante: Exposing Security Flaws and Raising Concerns in Chester County Prison

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The recent escape of Danelo Cavalcante from the Chester County Prison in Pennsylvania has sparked concern and raised questions about the security measures in place at the facility. Cavalcante, a 34-year-old Brazilian national, managed to scale a wall, climb over razor wire, and jump from a roof to make his escape on August 31.[0] The prison guards did not detect the breakout for a full hour, mirroring a similar escape that occurred in May.[0] Cavalcante had been convicted of first-degree murder in the killing of his former girlfriend, Deborah Brandão, and was sentenced to life without parole.[1]

The escape was captured on newly released surveillance video, which shows Cavalcante using his arms and legs to crawl up two walls and reach the roof.[2] This method of escape was similar to that used by another inmate, Igor Bolte, who briefly escaped in May.[3] Bolte was captured just five minutes later in a nearby residential neighborhood.[4] The fact that two inmates were able to escape in the same manner raises concerns about the effectiveness of the prison's security measures.

After Bolte's escape, razor wire was installed on the roof in an attempt to prevent further breakouts.[5] However, Cavalcante managed to overcome this obstacle and successfully flee the prison. The video footage shows him navigating the razor wire before making his way to freedom.[6] Acting prison warden Howard Holland admitted that the measures put in place after Bolte's escape were not sufficient to prevent Cavalcante from escaping.[7]

The manhunt for Cavalcante is still ongoing, with law enforcement believing that he is still within the search perimeter of 8 to 10 square miles.[8] Several sightings of Cavalcante have been reported, including at Longwood Gardens, a popular botanical garden in the area.[9] The gardens have been closed until further notice as a precaution.[8]

The escape has also led to scrutiny of the prison guards and their role in detecting and preventing such incidents. One guard who was on duty at the time of Cavalcante's escape has been fired, and an investigation is ongoing. It is unclear how the guard failed to notice or report the escape for a full hour.

The escape has had a profound impact on the victim's family, particularly her sister, Sarah Brandao.[10] Sarah has been taking care of Deborah's two children and her own daughter since the tragic murder.[11] She expressed her fear and concern about Cavalcante's escape, worrying that he could come after her. Sarah described Cavalcante as an extremely jealous individual who would become a different person when he drank alcohol.[11]

In response to the escape, the prison is considering additional security measures, such as enclosing the exercise yards, adding more cameras, and repositioning guards.[7] These measures are aimed at preventing future escapes and enhancing overall prison security.[12] However, there are concerns that the vast and varied landscape surrounding the prison makes it difficult to contain a search area and apprehend the escapee.

As the manhunt continues, residents in the area are urged to secure their property, check on their neighbors, and report any suspicious activity to the police.[13] Law enforcement agencies are working tirelessly to locate and apprehend Cavalcante, emphasizing that he is a dangerous individual who should not be approached.

The escape of Danelo Cavalcante from the Chester County Prison has exposed flaws in the prison's security and raised concerns about the safety of the surrounding community. The ongoing manhunt serves as a reminder of the importance of robust security measures in correctional facilities and the need for constant vigilance to prevent such incidents in the future.

0. “Danelo Cavalcante update: Officers swarm area near Longwood Gardens in search for Chester County Prison escapee” WPVI-TV, 8 Sep. 2023,

1. “Bedroom sharing and the buddy system. How a Pennsylvania community is coping during a manhunt for an escaped killer” CNN, 7 Sep. 2023,

2. “Chester prison escape: Video shows convicted killer ‘crab walk' walls” Insider, 7 Sep. 2023,

3. “Search For An Escaped Murderer in PA Has Entered 9th Day. How Did It Happen And Why?” TODAY, 8 Sep. 2023,

4. “Pennsylvania prison guard on duty when convicted murderer escaped is fired” NBC News, 8 Sep. 2023,

5. “Video shows murderer escape from Pennsylvania prison by climbing between 2 walls” NBC News, 6 Sep. 2023,

6. “Danelo Cavalcante update: Search goes into 9th day” CBS News, 8 Sep. 2023,

7. “Danelo Cavalcante escaped a Chester County prison by scaling walls” WHYY, 6 Sep. 2023,

8. “Police securing zone around escaped murderer after he was spotted on trailcam at PA botanical garden” Fox News, 8 Sep. 2023,

9. “Search for escaped Chester County inmate Cavalcante returns to Longwood Gardens” 1150AM/101.7FM WDEL, 7 Sep. 2023,

10. “Chester County manhunt: Focus shifts back to Longwood Gardens” The News Journal, 8 Sep. 2023,

11. “Slain woman's sister describes Pennsylvania fugitive before murder” WJCL News Savannah, 7 Sep. 2023,

12. “Murderer escapes from Philadelphia jail after ‘crab-walking' up the wall” The Jerusalem Post, 8 Sep. 2023,

13. “BREAKING NEWS FROM THE CHESTER COUNTY PRESS: Search area for Cavalcante expands beyond two-mile …” Chester County Press, 6 Sep. 2023,

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