(CNN) – Authorities searching for a convicted murderer who escaped last week from an eastern Pennsylvania prison again searched the nearby Botanical Gardens Thursday evening — forcing guests to leave — after investigators indicated he may have been seen there for a second day this week.

The police activity is among the latest developments in the intense search for Danilo Cavalcanti, now in its ninth day on Friday, and which has focused on rural Chester County following his Aug. 31 escape from a county correctional facility — an escape that alarmed residents and sparked fear. In his victim’s family.

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On Thursday, officers swarmed Longwood Gardens in Chester County, about 3 miles from the prison from which he escaped. A parks spokesperson said that by evening, guests were asked to leave and workers were told to temporarily shelter in place, before the attraction announced it would close until further notice due to fishing.

A CNN crew saw heavy police activity in the parks around 6:30 p.m., and state troopers rushed to close area roads.

Prior to searching the parks on Thursday, a person reported seeing someone matching the description of the fugitive running through the area before noon, Pennsylvania State Police Lt. Col. George Bivins said.

Another sighting of Cavalcanti was reported Thursday evening, state police said, without providing details including the location.

His possible sighting Thursday morning could be the second day this week he’s been seen at the parks, after authorities said a security camera spotted him there on Monday.

That and a series of other sightings have investigators focusing generally on the rural terrain near the Chester County Jail, located about 30 miles west of Philadelphia.

As of Thursday afternoon, authorities believed Cavalcanti was within the perimeter they were searching, an area about 8 to 10 square miles, Bivins said.

Cavalcanti, 34, was found guilty of first-degree murder on Aug. 16 in the 2021 killing of his ex-girlfriend, Deborah Brandao, in Chester County. Cavalcanti stabbed 33-year-old Brandao 38 times in front of her two children, who are now in her sister’s care, authorities said.

A US Marshals Service official said Cavalcante is also wanted in a 2017 murder case in Brazil, his native country.

Since Cavalcanti’s escape, Brandao’s relatives in the area have been living in fear, barricading themselves inside their home, Chester County Prosecutor Deborah Ryan said Thursday during a news conference.

“They are protected, they are terrified. They have not left their home,” Ryan said. “We have police details on them 24 hours a day, but I know they are very anxious.”


Investigators believe Cavalcanti had been seen multiple times in Chester County as a search operation involving hundreds of law enforcement personnel began.

Here’s what we know about some of the sightings that occurred before Thursday:

• August 31st: Cavalcanti was seen on jail surveillance video escaping from the Chester County Jail. The video showed him crab-walking between two walls in an exercise yard, placing his hands on one wall and his feet on the other, then slinking out of sight, according to acting prison director Howard Holland. Cavalcanti then ran across a roof, climbed another fence and crossed the barbed wire, Holland said.

• September 1stA resident of the town of Pocopson, where the prison is located, said he saw Cavalcanti inside his home on Friday, eating before leaving, CNN affiliate WPVI reported.

• September 2ndCavalcanti was seen on surveillance video about 1.5 miles from the jail, authorities said.

• MondayA security camera recorded Cavalcanti in Longwood Gardens, authorities said.

• TuesdayAn area resident reported seeing Cavalcanti in a creek bed on residents’ property, Bivins said.

Appeal of the authorities to the people

Officials asked residents to be vigilant, saying they should know descriptions of Calvante’s appearance — about 5 feet tall, long curly black hair and brown eyes — as dangerous and violent. Bivins on Thursday urged people to lock the doors of their homes and cars.

“It is clear that Cavalcanti has already obtained some clothing and other unknown supplies, and we want to minimize any chance he may have of obtaining anything else,” Bivins said. “It’s very important that we keep the pressure on him as we continue the hunt.”

Police provide a A reward of $20,000 To obtain information that would lead to Cavalcanti’s arrest. Some in the community are concerned why he was not arrested.

Alex Pyle, who runs Brandywine Ace Pet and Farm near the edge of the search area, said Wednesday that the chase has confused many customers.

“A lot of chaos. There’s a lot of speeding vehicles, police cars coming and going. A lot of customers are looking at the roads and asking, ‘Is this road going to be open?'” “There’s a lot of phone calls going, ‘Hey,'” Pyle told CNN affiliate KYW. Are you open?” “I know the customer base is still a little scared and anxious for this to be over.”

Agents requested security cameras, hoping to spot Cavalcanti, Pyle said, while others sought coolers to take road trips until Cavalcanti could be arrested.

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CNN’s Samantha Beach, Brian Todd, Andy Rose, Danny Freeman and Linh Tran contributed to this report.

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