Authorities identified images taken late Monday night in Longwood Gardens, Pa. as convicted murderer Danelo Cavalcante. Photo by Pennsylvania State Police
Sept. 5 (UPI) -- Pennsylvania authorities on Tuesday widened their search for a convicted killer who escaped from a county jail after he was spotted late Monday at a local botanical garden.
Danelo Cavalcante, who has been on the run since Aug. 31, was spotted by a trail camera on the property of Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pa., after 10 p.m., Pennsylvania State police said. Police said the sighting indicated that he was still in Pennsylvania while getting close to the New Jersey border.
"We can confirm that is Cavalcante," said George Bivens, Pennsylvania State Police deputy commissioner of operations, after viewing the images captured by the trial camera, noting that it was time-stamped at 10:33 p.m., EDT.
Images from the trail camera show him with a backpack and a hooded sweatshirt.
"He's a bad guy," Bivens said. "He needs to be in custody and we are determined to capture him.
Upon confirmation that Cavalcante was in the area, Kennett Consolidated School District shut down all of its schools Tuesday as a safety precaution.
"We were informed early this morning by law enforcement that the search situation has evolved and out of an abundance of caution, schools and offices will be closed today," district superintendent Dusty Blakey said in a note to parents on Tuesday.
"We understand that situations like these can be unsettling. The safety and security of our KCSD community remain our top priority. We are committed to taking all necessary precautions and measures to ensure the safety of our students and staff."
The U.S. Marshal Service is offering a $5,000 reward for information that leads to Cavalcante's capture.
A Brazilian national, Cavalcante, 34, was convicted of first-degree murder on Aug. 16 for fatally stabbing his 33-year-old former girlfriend and was sentenced to life in prison. He escaped from the Chester County Prison in West Chester, Pa., on Aug. 31.
Authorities have been looking for Cavalcante, who is also wanted for murder in Brazil, ever since.