How the Pennsylvania Fugitive Scaled a Prison Wall and Escaped

Place one hand on the wall in front of you, and then put the opposite foot on the wall behind you. Repeat with your other limbs until you have wedged yourself between the two walls. Easy does it. Now, start “walking” up.

This is how a convicted killer escaped from a prison near Philadelphia nearly a week ago, according to surveillance video released by the authorities on Wednesday. He is still on the run after taking a route that another prisoner used in an attempt to break out from the same prison in May.

The footage shows the convict, Danelo Cavalcante, 34, performing the maneuver at 8:51 a.m. last Thursday. As the 5-foot-tall Mr. Cavalcante ascends, he disappears from the camera’s view in a matter of moments. After that, officials said, he pushed through razor wires — installed after the previous inmate scaled the same wall — before reaching the prison’s roof. He ran across the roof, scaled a fence, pushed his way through more razor wire, and has eluded the police ever since.

“We know the gravity of the situation and how it’s impacted our community negatively,” Howard Holland, the acting warden of the Chester County Prison, said at a news conference on Wednesday. He added that officials should have further “bolstered” the prison’s defenses following the previous escape attempt.

But in that episode, the officer manning a lookout tower spotted the inmate, Igor Bolte, as he was trying to escape and immediately sounded the alarm. Mr. Bolte was apprehended in five minutes.

In Mr. Cavalcante’s case, the tower officer on duty had not seen or reported his movements, officials said, and they are investigating why.

“We’ll be taking appropriate action against personnel based on the results of that investigation,” Mr. Holland said.

Mr. Cavalcante’s absence was discovered only during a regularly scheduled inmate count, conducted after the inmates moved indoors from the exercise yard. Initially, Mr. Holland said, there was speculation that Mr. Cavalcante was in a room where inmates speak with visitors via telephone.

By the time the prison was locked down, 9:50 a.m., and the public sirens had sounded, 10 a.m., Mr. Cavalcante had already been at large for about an hour.

The police and a local nonprofit, Pennsylvania Crime Stoppers, are offering a combined $20,000 award for information that leads to Mr. Cavalcante’s arrest. He was convicted on Aug. 16 of stabbing his former girlfriend, Deborah Brandao, nearly 40 times, killing her in front of her children. On Aug. 22, he was sentenced to life in prison.

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