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‘Terrified’ family of woman killed by Pennsylvania prison escapee are under 24-hour police surveillance

The “terrified” relatives of the woman killed by an escaped Pennsylvania convict are under 24-hour police protection while remaining “barricaded inside” their home, officials said Thursday.

It’s been exactly a week since Danelo Cavalcante, 34, escaped from Chester County Jail in Pocopson Township, and police are still scouring the heavily wooded grounds outside of Philadelphia looking for him.

The escaped convict was convicted on August 16 of first-degree murder for fatally stabbing a former girlfriend. Cavalcante was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The family of his victim now lives in fear while the killer is on the loose.

“They are protected and they are terrified. They haven’t left their home,” Chester County District Attorney Deb Ryan told reporters.

“They are barricaded inside and very worried for their safety. We have police around them 24 hours a day but I know they are very, very worried.”

Law enforcement released prison surveillance video on Wednesday showing how the 1.70m Cavalcante stretched between two parallel walls to push himself to the roof where he escaped.

‘Terrified’ family of woman killed by Pennsylvania prison escapee are under 24-hour police surveillance
Danelo Cavalcante in the clothes he wore during his escape.Chester County Prosecutor

“It’s an outrage. It should never have happened,” Ryan said. “We’re all upset and we’re all worried.”

Given the dexterity Cavalcante displayed during his escape, the police take a particular interest in the trees and streams where he might be hiding.

“It was a very thorough search,” said State Police Lt. Col. George Bivens.

Searchers are focusing on an area between eight and ten square miles, bordered by Pennsylvania Route 926 to the north, Hillendale Road to the south, Pennsylvania Route 52 to the west and Creek Road to the east, police said.

The reward for information leading to his arrest has been increased to $20,000, authorities said.