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How a Pennsylvania Killer Escaped – The New York Times

Place one hand on the wall in front of you, then put the opposite foot on the wall behind you. Repeat with your other members until you’ve stuck between the two walls. It’s easy. Now start “walking”.

This is how a convicted killer escaped from a prison near Philadelphia nearly a week ago, according to surveillance video released Wednesday by authorities. He is still at large after taking a route another prisoner took in an attempt to escape from the same prison in May.

Footage shows the convict, Danelo Cavalcante, 34, performing the maneuver at 8:51 a.m. last Thursday. As Mr. Cavalcante, 1.50 meters tall, climbs, he disappears from view of the camera in moments. After that, officials said, he walked through barbed wire – installed after the previous inmate scaled the same wall – before reaching the prison roof. He ran through the roof, scaled a fence, fought his way through more barbed wire and has since eluded police.

“We know the seriousness of the situation and the negative impact it is having on our community,” Howard Holland, acting warden of Chester County Jail, said at a press conference Wednesday. He added that authorities should have “strengthened” the prison’s defenses further following the previous escape attempt.

But in this episode, the officer manning a watchtower spotted the inmate, Igor Bolte, as he tried to escape and immediately raised the alarm. Mr. Bolte was apprehended within five minutes.

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

“We will take appropriate action against staff based on the results of this investigation,” Mr Holland said.

Mr. Cavalcante’s absence was only discovered during a regular count of the detainees, carried out after the detainees had left the exercise yard and returned inside. Initially, Mr. Holland said, there was speculation that Mr. Cavalcante was in a room where inmates were chatting with visitors over the phone.

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

Police and a local nonprofit, Pennsylvania Crime Stoppers, are offering a combined reward of $20,000 for information leading to Mr. Cavalcante’s arrest. He was found guilty on August 16 of stabbing his former girlfriend, Deborah Brandao, nearly 40 times, killing her in front of her children. On August 22, he was sentenced to life in prison.