Two school districts in Pennsylvania closed for the second straight day on Wednesday as law enforcement hunts a convicted killer who escaped from prison nearly a week ago.
Danelo Souza Cavalcante, 34, escaped from Chester State Prison on Thursday morning, police said. He is originally from Brazil, where he is also wanted for homicide, and is allegedly in the United States illegally.
The Kennett Consolidated School District (KCSD) and Unionville-Chadds Ford School District (UCF) both announced that the closure of schools and offices again on Wednesday were "out of an abundance of caution" while their schools and communities remain within the search perimeter.
"We have received information regarding the updated search perimeter still within our district borders," UCF said in a message to families. "In fact, three of our schools are within or border the search area. Additionally, there are numerous road closures in our community that will impact many of our staff and families' ability to safely get to school."
KCSD sent a similar message to families, writing that student and staff safety is its top priority.
"Greenwood Elementary School and several of our communities are currently located within the police search perimeter. It is out of an abundance of caution that we take this action," the district wrote. "We understand that situations like these can be unsettling. The safety and security of our KCSD community remains our top priority."
The latest credible sighting of Cavalcante came Monday night on a trail camera at Longwood Gardens, one of the nation's premier botanical gardens. He was pictured with a duffel bag, backpack and hooded sweatshirt.
The sighting led officials to move the search area farther south after they determined that Cavalcante had likely slipped through the original perimeter.
"What I can tell you is I think that what's occurred is that that pressure that we've been putting on him is working," Major Lt. Cl. George Bivins, with the Pennsylvania State Police, told reporters Tuesday. "We squeezed him hard enough over a period of a few days, and he was not able to get any relief and managed to find a place to get out."
Cavalcante was sentenced to life in prison last month for killing his ex-girlfriend in front of her children, and escaped while awaiting transfer to state prison, authorities say. It remains unclear how he escaped.
Authorities have urged residents to keep their homes and vehicles locked. They also asked residents to check the homes of vacationing neighbors and look out for missing cars, bicycles or any other mode of transportation Cavalcante could use to aid his flight.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.