Murderer Used 'Crab Walk' to Escape Pennsylvania Prison

Search for Danelo Cavalcante enters 8th day
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 7, 2023 1:28 AM CDT

Thursday marks one week since convicted murderer Danelo Cavalcante escaped from a Pennsylvania prison, and the search continues in Chester County, about 25 miles west of Philadelphia. The reward for information leading to his capture has been increased to $20,000. On Wednesday, officials detailed how exactly the 34-year-old, who was convicted of killing his ex-girlfriend in 2021 and is also wanted for a 2017 murder in his native Brazil, escaped, NBC Philadelphia reports. Security video from Chester County Prison shows Cavalcante "crab-walking" up the walls in a hallway next to the jail yard, with his hands on one wall and his feet on the other, until he exits the view of the camera, the AP reports. It was more than an hour later before a headcount determined Cavalcante was missing, 6ABC reports.

After scaling that wall, authorities say he climbed over a razor wire, made his way onto the roof, then jumped off it before making his way through more razor wire and over a fence. Another prisoner escaped back in May using that same route, but a tower guard quickly noted what happened and that inmate was returned; in Cavalcante's case, a tower guard who was on duty during the escape is now on leave as the investigation continues. It's not clear why he didn't notice Cavalcante jumping from the roof. The razor wire was added after the last prisoner's escape, but the acting warden of the prison acknowledged Wednesday that "addressing the single point of physical countermeasures" was not enough, and that additional improvements, including the possible addition of prison officers to the prison yard and the possible caging in of the yard, are being considered. Cavalcante was most recently spotted Tuesday night. (More Pennsylvania stories.)

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