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PA School Districts Close Amid Weeklong Hunt For Escaped Convict

Two school districts outside Philadelphia are closed for a second day Wednesday amid a manhunt for a murderer who escaped from prison. Kennett Consolidated School District and Unionville-Chadds Ford School District canceled classes after a trail camera Monday captured images of 34-year-old Danelo Cavalcante wandering the property of Longwood Gardens, a well-known botanical garden south of where authorities had been searching for him, the Washington Post reports. Both districts said that some of their schools are inside of the area where police are searching. “This is a difficult scenario to navigate and we appreciate your patience as we try to keep up with events as they unfold,” the Unionville-Chadds district said


School officials quickly decided not to hold classes Tuesday after police notified them that Cavalcante was spotted nearby the night before, said George Bivens, Pennsylvania State Police deputy commissioner of operations. About 200 to 250 personnel are searching the area about 30 miles west of Philadelphia. Bivens said, “Obviously, I wish we would have been able to capture him without him getting through that perimeter, but it is also not shocking. It’s dark, it’s a large area. Not to make excuses, it’s just difficult terrain.” Bivens declined to say how Cavalcante broke out of the prison, He escaped the Chester County Prison on Thursday, roughly a week after he was sentenced to life in prison without parole for killing his 33-year-old ex-girlfriend Deborah Brandao. He stabbed Brandao nearly 40 times in front of her two children, ages 4 and 7, in August 2021 before fleeing the scene. Cavalcante had a history of domestic violence, prosecutors said, and stabbed Brandao after she learned he had an open warrant for a 2017 murder in his native country of Brazil.

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A daily report co-sponsored by Arizona State University, Criminal Justice Journalists, and the National Criminal Justice Association

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