Prison guard who missed killer’s escape is fired, as hunt for fugitive focuses on botanic garden

WEST CHESTER, Pa. — A prison tower guard has been fired after a murderer slipped away on his watch in a brazen daytime escape, officials said Friday, as the nine-day-old search pressed on amid southeastern Philadelphia suburbs, farmland and a vast botanical garden.

News of the firing came as the searchers’ ranks grew overnight, focusing on the area around Longwood Gardens, where the fugitive inmate has been spotted before.

Danelo Souza Cavalcante, 34, escaped while awaiting transfer to state prison on Aug. 31 after being sentenced to life in prison for fatally stabbing his ex-girlfriend in 2021. Prosecutors say he wanted to stop her from telling police that he’s wanted over a killing in his home country of Brazil.

Authorities have described Cavalcante as extremely dangerous. With the search in its second week, nervous residents remain alert for any sign of him. Police believe Cavalcante has been spotted nine times

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