Authorities searching for convicted murderer who escaped Pennsylvania prison

A manhunt was underway in the suburbs of Philadelphia for a convicted murderer who escaped from Chester County Prison on Thursday morning, District Attorney Deb Ryan said at a press conference. 

Danelo Cavalcante, who was sentenced last week to life in prison for killing his girlfriend in 2021, was spotted by an eyewitness Thursday morning, on a street near the prison. Authorities warned he was extremely dangerous.

Cavalcante fatally stabbed his girlfriend 38 times “in broad daylight in front of her four-year-old and seven-year-old,” Ryan said at the press conference. After he was sentenced last week, he was waiting four weeks before being transferred to a state correctional institution. 

“His depravity knows no bounds. I mean this is somebody who has nothing to lose,” Ryan said at a Thursday press conference, “so I don’t know what he’s capable of doing. If he’s already engaged in a murder in broad daylight in front of her two children, there’s no stopping him from doing anything more egregious.”

A jury took 15 minutes to convict Cavalcante of killing his girlfriend, The Associated Press (AP) reported. Prosecutors reportedly said he was angry that the girlfriend was going to disclose charges he faced in Brazil, related to a different murder, Ryan reportedly said. 

Authorities described him as 5 feet tall and 120 pounds, with curly black hair and a “closely cropped beard and mustache,” the AP reported, citing a photo released by the county. 

Ryan said residents within a 6-mile radius of the prison have been notified, according to the AP. 

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