Pennsylvania prison guard fired over Danelo Cavalcante escape

The Pennsylvania prison guard who was on duty when a convicted murderer escaped has been fired.

The guard apparently did not notice Danelo Cavalcante, 34, "crab walking" between two walls to escape the facility on 31 August.

The unidentified officer, who had worked at Chester County State Prison for 18 years, was fired on Thursday afternoon.

The manhunt for Cavalcante, involving hundreds of police, is in week two.

Cavalcante has been spotted eight times since his escape, but still manages to evade authorities.

On Thursday evening, a sighting of Cavalcante prompted the evacuation and closure of Longwood Gardens, a popular botanical park spanning nearly 200-acres.

Cavalcante, a Brazilian national, was sentenced last month to life without parole for killing his ex-girlfriend Deborah Brandao, stabbing her 38 times, in front of her two young children in April 2021.

He is also wanted in Brazil over a killing in 2017.

Investigators believe Cavalcante killed Ms Brandao, also a Brazilian national, after she learned of his warrant back in Brazil and threatened to expose him.

"We pulled more people in through the night last night, some additional help from other agencies, from our own agency," Pennsylvania State Police Lt Col George Bivens said on Friday.

"We have got somewhere north of 350, close to 400 people working on this today as we speak."

Chester County Prison is about 25 miles (40km) west of Philadelphia. Cavalcante was being held there temporarily while waiting to transfer to a state facility to serve his life sentence.

Jurors deliberated only 15 minutes before returning a guilty verdict for Cavalcante last month.

Ms Brandao's seven-year-old daughter and three-year-old son are now in the care of her sister Sarah Brandao.

Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Chester County District Attorney Deb Rayan said that the Brandao family is "terrified" and under 24-hour police protection.

A $20,000 (£16,000) reward is being offered for information leading to his capture.