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Aired September 10, 2023 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN HOST: Hello everyone. Thank you so much for joining me. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.
All right. This breaking news in the manhunt for escaped inmate Danelo Cavalcante. Right now, we're going to take you straight to this press conference that's about to get under way here in Chester County, Pennsylvania as the search enters its now 11th day.
And this comes as officials say Cavalcante is no longer in the Phoenixville area even though he was spotted there last night after changing his appearance. You are seeing some of the latest photographs. They're going to present with better explanations as to how they are inviting the residents of the community, passersby, anyone to help in their ongoing search. More than 400 law enforcement officers are all part of the search. Let's listen in.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good afternoon.
LT. COL. GEORGE BIVENS, DEPUTY COMMISSIONER- OPERATIONS: My name is Lt. Col. George Bivens, deputy commissioner of operations with the Pennsylvania State Police.
Joining me today is district attorney Deb Ryan, chief county detective David Sassa, Rob Clark from the U.S. Marshal's office, ASAC Jamie Milligan FBI Philadelphia, Commander Andrew Regan U.S. Border Patrol, and Director Bill Messerschmidt Chester County Emergency Management.
There have been a significant number of developments in this investigation over the past 24 hours.
Earlier this morning, at approximately 12:30 a.m., PSP was made aware of a sighting of Cavalcante in the East Pikeland (ph) area of Chester County. Our investigation yielded the following occurrences. Sometime during
the evening of September 9, Cavalcante stole a 2020 Ford transit van from an area approximately three quarters of a mile from the perimeter we were maintaining, near the Longwood Gardens property.
The keys had been left in the van and the theft was not noticed until PSP canvassed the area looking for a possible stolen vehicle after a report of a sighting of Cavalcante in the East Pikeland are. It was determined Cavalcante used the van and traveled to that area.
At 9:52 p.m., he attempted to contact an individual that he had known and worked with several years prior. Cavalcante spoke with the individual via a video doorbell at that residence and inquired about meeting with that individual.
The individual was at dinner with his family and did not respond to meet Cavalcante. Cavalcante left that residence. The homeowner eventually returned home, reviewed his doorbell recording and called local police.
PSP received a call about this sighting and the next at 12:30 in the morning on September 10, 2023. This was our first indication that Cavalcante had been able to travel from the area of Longwood Gardens.
Photos of Cavalcante were downloaded from a video doorbell and have already been provided to the media. Some of those photos are here adjacent to the podium.
You will note that Cavalcante is now clean shaven and wearing a bright green hooded sweat shirt.
Investigators were also made aware of another sighting in the Phoenixville area in which Cavalcante appeared at a residence of another old work associate at 10:07 p.m. That associate was not home but a female resident observed Cavalcante and called her friend. That friend responded to the residence and eventually placed a call to local police. Police investigated and then notified PSP.
During that investigation, there was an indication of a white vehicle possibly being used by Cavalcante. An updated photo of Cavalcante was provided to state and local law enforcement at 2:30 a.m.
Using the description provided, at 5:20 a.m., investigators identified a vehicle from the Longwood Gardens area which fit the description of the vehicle operated by Cavalcante.
Upon contacting the vehicle owner, the owner realized that their vehicle had been stolen. Further investigation revealed the keys had been left in the vehicle. Law enforcement nationwide was immediately notified of the theft and an alert was provided to state and local law enforcement at 5:37 a.m.
BIVENS: After an extensive search, the vehicle was discovered abandoned in a field behind a barn in East Nantmeal Township at 10:40 a.m. Investigators have been searching the area around that location since that time.
We are obviously very concerned that Cavalcante has or will attempt to steal another vehicle to facilitate his escape.
As a reminder, we ask for the public's help by familiarizing themselves with the updated photographs and description of Cavalcante, to check security cameras they have, and to call us immediately if they believe they may have seen him.
Again, we ask residents to please secure homes, outbuildings and vehicles. This most recent incident is a reminder that he will take advantage of any opportunity to obtain items he needs.
It is also imperative that anyone with information about Cavalcante contact us immediately so we can act on it in a timely manner.
I have told you from the start of this manhunt that we were conducting a multi-facetted investigation which includes strong investigative and technological components.
Those aspects become even more important now. We will aggressively continue this investigation with our federal, state, county and local partners until we successfully bring Cavalcante back into custody.
Cavalcante is considered extremely dangerous and there is a reward of up to $20,000 offered for information leading to his capture. Anyone with information is asked to call our tip line at 717-562-2987. 717- 562-2987.
I know this is an extremely stressful time for the community. I assure you we are doing everything possible to bring this to a successful resolution as quickly as possible.
I also want to make mention of a special thank you to Longwood Gardens. I will tell you that for some time the past several days we've had to essentially take over that property and they have been very, very accommodating and I appreciate that.
You know, not everyone, not every business or organization, would be as accommodating and so I thank them. And with that, I will be happy as will the others here to take any questions that you may have.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have 400 officers within the perimeter and that has closed down to a four miles, I understand. And yet he somehow slipped through this perimeter and then is spotted in Phoenixville? How do you explain that?
BIVENS: Well, what I would tell you is that as I've said from the very beginning, there are a number of challenges in any investigation. No perimeter is 100 percent secure ever. We did a very good job and I will tell you, I applaud the men and women who were out there standing in some very different conditions and trying to secure that perimeter.
I'm not going to make an excuse to you. I wish it had not happened. Unfortunately, there are a lot of circumstances, there are a lot of issues associated with that property. Tunnels, very large drainage ditches, things that could not be secured. You couple that with weather, aviation being down for a night. There are a number of reasons.
Again, no excuses. We took on the responsibility, we gave it a very good effort, we gave an exceptionally good effort. And I applaud the men and women who have done this --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is there reason to believe there are underground tunnels?
BIVENS: There are underground tunnels, yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Were you provided blueprints along the gardens? Did the management there facilitate you in that aspect?
BIVENS: They did help us with blueprints and as a matter of fact, there is additional construction that also has other tunnels and drainage areas that are under construction. Those cannot be secured. It is really that simple.
So you do the best you can with any given circumstance. It's no different when it is a wooded search. It's no different when there are challenges with every one of them. And so we do the very best that we can. Our people did a great job and I applaud them.
I wish that he had not -- that he had not been able to slip through there, but that does happen sometimes. And that is why we don't simply rest on our laurels and say, ok, we're going to take one approach.
I will tell you -- I mean to give you some idea, I brought you all in here on Friday and showed you the scope of this. I nearly doubled the planning for 7:00 tomorrow morning. Our plan had been to go close to 600 members of law enforcement to do one massive sweep of that entire piece of property.
There is a huge amount of planning that goes into that and working around weather and some of those other kinds of things. So it is not for a lack of trying that this occurred. We'll fall back as we do in any other investigation, when something doesn't go our way, we'll fall back to something else.
In the end I'm confident we will capture him and we will bring him back into the criminal justice system.
BIVENS: I'm sorry --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where is the focus now? Where is it?
BIVENS: Currently we're up in the -- more in the northern part of the county. I do not have a perimeter secured up there. We're searching an area around where we recovered the van.
But there are a number of other -- a number of other pieces of information that are in play that don't require perimeter and are the focus of our efforts at this point.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- family's involved at this point. His mom was assisting you earlier but we're now hearing that his sister has been arrested by ICE and possibly for deportation.
BIVENS: That is accurate.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And what is --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- Is his family cooperating?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you believe that he is getting any assistance from those family members or anyone else in this community?
BIVENS: As always, I'm not going to comment on what assistance he may or may not be receiving. But we take steps to try and minimize or eliminate that assistance and that's exactly what we've done to this point.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What is the focal point of the search right now?
BIVENS: The physical search right now is near that recovery of that van. But again, there are a number of other things in play that don't required that physical presence and those are all equally or even more important at this point.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you still believe he is in Pennsylvania and probably Chester County? Have other special forces come in the last few hours for your efforts (INAUDIBLE) and then anything you have from the victim's family right now?
BIVENS: I do believe that he is still in Pennsylvania. I can tell you that the victim's family remains under protection and we assure them that they will be fully protected through all of this.
And So what we --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Any other additional support from other states?
BIVENS: Yes, as always, we adjust. You know, I just mentioned the planning that had -- obviously I couldn't disclose ahead of time but the planning that was going into tomorrow's efforts, we were bringing even more resources in.
What we're doing now is shifting, again based on the nature of how I see the investigation playing out and going forward. All of our partners here are doing an amazing job of shifting now and bringing in the resources we need to bear.
POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Can you repeat the location of where that van was located (INAUDIBLE)? And also this video or these images that you're sharing, what has the person shared (INAUDIBLE), what is he saying to this ring camera, what is he asking for? Does this tell you that he is now trying to get support from associates?
BIVENS: So the first part of your question, East Nantmeal Township in Chester County. The second part I'm not going to be specific, but yes he is absolutely -- I'll give a general characterization -- he is absolutely looking for support. He needs that support. He doesn't have it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How did he get from Longwood Gardens over to (INAUDIBLE) and nobody saw him? There's police cars all around the (INAUDIBLE) the last few days? How come nobody saw him? How did he get there.
BIVENS: Well, ma'am, first of all you've got darkness, you've got a variety of weather conditions and you've some fairly rugged terrain. And I mentioned, you know, drainage ditches, underground tunnel -- all of those kinds of things. There are a lot of factors.
Until I capture him and or we capture him and I or others have an opportunity to interview and if he would share that, I guess then we'll know. but until then, I don't know how he got over there. I wish I did. I could speculate on a couple of possibilities, but I can tell that you again no perimeter is 100 percent secure. We do the best we can. Most times we're able to secure it adequately.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And these images from the doorbell camera, they were from his acquaintance's home?
BIVENS: These were from, yes -- when I say an acquaintance, it was someone he had worked with several years ago. I'm not suggesting that they have a relationship with him now. It was someone that he has worked with but he sought out their assistance.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Any indication that he might have a weapon or anything like did he take from any of these (INAUDIBLE)
BIVENS: I don't have any substantive proof right now that he has a weapon. But clearly he has been in residences, businesses, and in vehicles at least one that I can't say what may or may not have been in any of those locations that he had access to.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How much has this cost so far? And how much more do you --
BIVENS: I've got to say, I'm not tracking the cost right now. We're doing what it takes to successfully run this investigation.
In terms of what we need, I will tell you that our partners have been amazing. Anything that I've asked for, anything that they have suggested because there is a lot of expertise standing behind me and in the room over here -- anything that has been reasonably suggested by any of us, each of us steps up and accommodates with those resources.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But what (INAUDIBLE) will you use though to try to like, you know, elevate the search?
BIVENS: Well again, I'm not going to go into a lot of detail, but suggested all along that there are a number of investigative and technological pieces that can be brought to bear.
BIVENS: That is where this shifts until such time as we have him in a position where we're prepared to try and contain and capture him again.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you prepared to (INAUDIBLE) like a nationwide manhunt at this point.
BIVENS: Just one minute sir.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you aware of any vigilantes trying to help you guys or citizen cops out there? I mean there's been (INAUDIBLE).
BIVENS: Yes, I have heard that that is the case.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And how do you reconcile what the professionals are doing with what the amateurs are doing? Are they helping you in any way or not at all?
BIVENS: They are not helping us at all. And in fact they become a hindrance. Again, some of the technology, some of our resources have to be diverted at times when they insert themselves into a scene. It's not helpful. I wish they wouldn't do it. I've asked that they not
But you know, I can't stop them in some cases from doing it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you prepared to characterize this as a nationwide manhunt? Now, that he's broken the perimeter, had access to a vehicle, to potentially leave the state?
BIVENS: We have always looked at the potential that it could be a nationwide manhunt. The resources that are standing here with me already make it a nationwide manhunt. The information is being shared as appropriate across the country. This morning before we even had a full picture, the information we had
was being shared with appropriate law enforcement all across the country.
And so we keep our law enforcement partners apprised of the progress and -- or the setbacks for that matter. And you know, and we work with them as necessary.
So certainly going forward any information that we think is appropriate or could even potentially be utilized by partners will be shared. And the agencies represented here are in a position to do that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think (INAUDIBLE) that the intel about Cavalcante, those who knew about it -- prison guards, prosecutor, do you think that they underestimated how resourceful he is, how resilient he is? It's pretty impressive so far how he's been able to get around. Do you think that that was --
BIVENS: No, I don't think anyone underestimated him. I think, you know, everyone knows that, you know, he is somebody that comes from a background where he has endured some hardship and there's no doubt he is willing to endure some hardship right now.
His choice is to go to prison for the rest of his life. He chooses not to do that. Unfortunately that is not what is going to prevail in the long run.
And so he is very determined. We are even more determined he will be held to justice and we're going to bring him back into custody.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Two questions. Do we know where he got the hoodie and for him to use razor to shave? Was it at the dairy farm or another break in?
BIVENS: The hoodie was at the dairy farm. I don't know about the razor.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And then the second question is we know that some people in Phoenixville helped him as he tried to escape? Is the gentleman that he tried to reach out to one of those people?
BIVENS: I am aware of that information and I don't want to comment any further on that right now.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is there any chance -- August 22nd on or about is when he was convicted and he might have come in contact with people. Is there any chance upon that conviction and people that he was talking with that he had this plan to escape on a certain day? I mean it looked like he had a little help from the prison that now you have that watch dog guy there But is there any thought that he started this whole process upon the
day that he was convicted? Is there anyway to tell with his defense attorney, et cetera?
BIVENS: I don't know that there is a way to tell that it was that specific day. Do I think he has been trying to plot this, yes. Do I think he took advantage of an opportunity that presented itself that other inmates told him about from a different inmate escaping that way? Yes, I think he took advantage of that opportunity.
But he has any number of opportunities from the time he is convicted or even prior to, to have contact with his attorney, with family members, and so forth. And so at any point along the way, the plot could be hatched or the plot could be continued as it goes on.
At this point, I'm not in a position to say that on a specific day that is where it was hatched.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What is your message to those who may be trying to assist him and what kind of charges could they face?
BIVENS: They will be prosecuted vigorously if we can prove that they assisted him. And the type of charges depends on the type of assistance. But we have a district attorney here and I don't want to speak for her, but I'm certain that she is well prepared to prosecute anyone who assists in any way.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, sir. Do we know anything about where he worked in Chester County prior to the murder in 2021? He seemed to know the area pretty well. And also President Biden (INAUDIBLE) township, were Secret Service called in at all?
BIVENS: First, yes, we do have a lot of information on his background and all of that factors in to the overall investigation.
Secret Service would be one of many federal partners that has access to information. And certainly anything that might pertain -- not only to anybody that lives here but visits or so forth, they would Have full access to anything that they need.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And can you tell us about that mushroom farm that he worked at?
BIVENS: I'm not going to go into all his background, but we've looked in to that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What is your level of confidence that you have an idea of where he is right now?
BIVENS: If I knew where he was right now, we would go catch him and bring him back in. But what I'm telling you is that I'm confident we will identify where he is. He slipped that perimeter, he got out. We found the vehicle, we found where he abandoned it fairly quickly.
I'm confident that we will continue aggressively proceeding on this search and this investigation. And we'll eventually capture him.
I'm not prepared to say that will be today or tomorrow, I don't know. but I hope sooner rather than later.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have the resources out right now where you found this vehicle.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is there any confidence that he is in that area?
BIVENS: We're still searching. We'll do a thorough search and try and either capture him or eliminate that as a possibility -
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What did you find inside the van and why do you believe that he may have ditched that?
BIVENS: I don't have a complete accounting of everything that was in the van. Quite frankly, I've been busy with a number of other things. But I have some very talented people that are working on that. Some of the folks back here have been directly involved in those operations.
What I would tell you is that, you know, we take all of that information and factor that in as we go forward. And I would also tell that you one of the reasons that I believe he dumped that vehicle was a lack of fuel.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you have any indication that are any other reports of stolen vehicles in that area where you found that van?
BIVENS: I do not have a report of a stolen vehicle. I anticipate that we will.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are there still 400 people searching on the ground or are we upping the number as of right now looking for him?
BIVENS: We're adjusting the numbers as we speak. And again, it is really -- it's going to be determined by what the conditions require. There is no point in having resources stand around. Conversely I never want to be in a position where I wish I had more and didn't have them here.
So we try and anticipate and we'll adjust as needed.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You mentioned that you're still investigating how he was able to breach the perimeter, but have you been able to pinpoint where in the perimeter that he was able to slip through or general consensus of the area?
BIVENS: I've not been able to conclusively determined that. I have my suspicions of where I believe or how I believe that happened.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you share that? BIVENS: No. But -- no, because I don't know conclusively. But again, I
knew where the weaknesses were. And I think perhaps one of those weaknesses came into play here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Colonel, at what point does another agency take over if he is in fact spotted across state lines?
BIVENS: At that point we certainly have all the federal partners here. The U.S. Marshals really takes the lead anytime you start crossing state lines. And they are here, they're a huge partner in all of this. We work hand-in-hand.
Not only when we're doing these kinds of investigations, we have people assigned to their offices that are deputized right along with their deputy marshals and that work with them every day of the year.
So this will be seamless if it ever does transition across the state line. Right now there's no indication that that is the case, but if it does, it won't change the investigation much at all. It simply -- we would also then simply transition in another state police agency or whoever the lead investigative entity is in that state.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What is your message though to the community? I mean they have been watching you guys chase this guy now, this is day 11, a lot of scrutiny coming toward your agency that you let him slip you through this perimeter. What do you say to the people that are losing faith in not only the --
BIVENS: I don't know that people are losing faith. I will tell you that I think people realize, we have given this a 100 percent effort. And as I said earlier I'm proud of the effort that our people have put forth. I'll take responsibility for it. I lead this effort with them and I'm proud to do it.
I appreciate the support we've gotten from the community. I think the community recognizes that in any kind of a major operation like this, there are simply times things don't go the way you planned.
That happens in investigations. It happens in manhunts. It happens in all kinds of things. I've had a long career in law enforcement, rarely do things happen exactly as I planned.
That is why if you are smart, you are planning contingencies and you are ready to adapt to whatever happens. This is a minor setback. We'll get him. It is a matter of time.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And can you comment on (INAUDIBLE).
BIVENS: As was alluded earlier, there are some immigration issues. Beyond that, I don't really have any comment.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Have you interviewed or gotten in touch with the people that helped him in --
BIVENS: As I said earlier, I'm aware of that information but I'm not prepared to discuss what actions we've taken with regard to it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We've been getting tips about a sighting at a church parking lot?
BIVENS: No, I don't have any information about that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Any chance he is still in Phoenixville and somewhere close --
BIVENS: Just one second.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- when he is caught, what happens, is there any addition tacked on to it?
BIVENS: He can be charged and there can be an addition put on. I can tell that there is already a commitment that he will go directly to a state correctional facility when he's captured and we'll work through the rest of what occurs at that point depending on the circumstances.
I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did anybody see him driving the white van or could it have been somebody else? Somebody ditched that van up there? (INAUDIBLE)
BIVENS: No, I'm confident it was him in the van.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you able to establish a perimeter now that he seems to have gone farther?
BIVENS: As I said earlier -- no, and as I said earlier, a large perimeter is not the answer in every single investigation or every time or at every point in an investigation. And so we established a small temporary perimeter. We're still holding that in that area while we finish that search.
If it is not successful, there is no reason to hold that perimeter. I mentioned to you that there were a number of delays in the reporting of this to us.
So we would look to other opportunities to further the investigation. Perhaps later today, perhaps tomorrow, perhaps the day after if it still goes on that long, there may be a need for another significant perimeter like we had here. And if so, well absolutely do that and we'll absolutely do our best to capture him at that time.
(INAUDIBLE) BIVENS: I don't want to offer any opinion on that right now.
BIVENS: You know, I've said before, there are varying degrees of confidence. I think it is fair to say eight or nine easily.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And so many people were at the (INAUDIBLE) festival yesterday and today and so many people expressed how grateful they are to law enforcement coming in -- county, state, federal, to keep the community safe which you have this weekend here (INAUDIBLE).
For the people that live here locally, can you give us insight into where he was hiding specifically overnight, and any evidence of anywhere that he might have slept as efforts have been going on since prior to Labor Day?
BIVENS: No, there is really not anything I can disclose now.
SANDOVAL: (INAUDIBLE) he seems to have gone west about 11 miles if he was behind the wheel as you point out and literally ran out of gas. As you try to make up for any ground lost, where do you think he was going if he was going west?
BIVENS: Again, I think he is looking for assistance and I think he had a reason to do that.
SANDOVAL: Where would be his next stop if you're (INAUDIBLE) ?
BIVENS: I'm not going to go any further. That's what I think that that's a strong motivator for someone if they're looking for a (INAUDIBLE).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Quick question about the church (INAUDIBLE) people who said they saw a white van and another car pull out. Have you been able investigate that?
BIVENS: We have investigated (INAUDIBLE) I didn't realize that is the church that you are talking about that there. There was an incident at (INAUDIBLE)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And confirmed or --
BIVENS: Yes, it just didn't -- at least the aspect that I saw did not involve the church.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was there another car involved in -- people had said that there was a white van with another car involved.
BIVENS: No. No.
BIVENS: I'm not going to talk about where we have assets at this point, but I think it is very reasonable to think that law enforcement assets were -- given the number of people who we had assigned to this, very reasonable to think that there were law enforcement assets anywhere that it would have been be appropriate to do so.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) specific challenges to law enforcement (INAUDIBLE)
BEVINS: Well, I mean certainly he is a very determined individual. And so one of the challenges that we face is if people don't heed our advice and as we had here, a vehicle unlocked with keys in it, that makes our job more difficult and it makes it much easier for him to succeed in various aspects of his escape efforts.
And so you know, I go back to we want to make this as difficult as possible for him. We ask for cooperation in trying to do that.
BIVENS: No. It was absolutely the right thing to do. We can strengthen it as we bring it in. It wasn't a matter of him being outside of the perimeter. He was in there. We had sightings once we had it in there and had the perimeter strengthened.
BIVENS: It was simply a matter of you can't guarantee 100 percent of the time that you can contain somebody with a perimeter of that size even.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is video and audio of this (INAUDIBLE) here that we're looking at --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But you are not releasing it?
BIVENS: Not at this time, no.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You will release it eventually?
BIVENS: I don't know. That is to be determined. What we wanted to do was let the public know -- really the important thing here was let the public know what his appearance is right now and so we took some of the best stills out of that video. The rest of it is not necessarily so important. This is what matters in terms --
REPORTER: But I asked it the other day, why not just be fully transparent about everything that --
BIVENS: Oh, I think we've been -- I think we've been exceptionally transparent through this investigation. And at some point perhaps I will release the video. This has been fluid investigation. Most of the people in here probably haven't slept an hour in the last 24 hours.
And so, my focus is not on how can I maximize the content that I can push out, it's how do I maximize the content that is necessary to effectively move this investigation forward and that's what we're trying to do. We'll make decisions on the video. There's nothing to hide with the
video. Just that it takes more effort and things away from the other investigative steps that we're taking. So for right now, we hurried up and got some stills ready so that we can release those.
REPORTER: Does he any cartel or human trafficking gang-affiliations or were you confident to say this is a low fugitive?
BIVENS: He has had gang affiliations in the past, I wouldn't speculate as to what he's got right now.
REPORTER: This makes it become a possibility again, sir?
BIVENS: Oh, we've never discounted that, we've never discount that any international escape effort should be considered. Those are always things that have been taken into account, right from the very start. When I talk about contingency planning, we're trying to make sure that that can happen.
REPORTER: Is it overstating to say you don't know where he is right now, generally, specifically, as you --
BIVENS: No, do I know it's a specific spot where he is right now? No. Do I think generally I have an idea where he is? Probably. But not specifically enough that I could say, let's put a hard perimeter up, right now.
REPORTER: That general area is --
REPORTER: When he was sentenced to prison, why did he put (INAUDIBLE) go to jail here (INAUDIBLE)
BIVENS: Ma'am, that's not a decision that I have any input or anything else about. I can just tell you that those decisions were made by judges and others in the judicial system.
REPORTER: Do you saw the same order or not phrasing it properly, but the order to shoot on sight from your troopers?
BIVEN: I've still left that order stands, that deadly force is authorized, if he is not actively surrendering. Yes.
REPORTER: And for those agencies that are under the Department of Justice --
BIVENS: They have their own use of force rules.
REPORTER: And what are they --
BIVENS: I would let them speak for themselves about that.
REPORTER: Can you comment about where exactly you believe he shaved -- BIVENS: No, I really can't offer an opinion on where he shaved.
REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE) area with some Amish communities. Have authorities been in touch with them?
BIVENS: We have relied on our partners in local governments, at county government levels, through the emergency management folks. We're trying to do our very best as appropriate, to get information out each of those communities. Certainly, if we thought there is a specific threat in the Amish community, we would directly focus our efforts there. But we're trying to keep everyone as informed as is reasonable.
REPORTER: How are you doing? How is morale with everybody?
BIVENS: You know, morale is good. People have heard me say this in the command post and the very beginning. I've done this a number -- many, many times, not always to the size and extent, but we've done these so many times. It's a rollercoaster, there are ups and downs, there always are and all of the sudden, it will be resolved, and there is.
The important thing is, hopefully, we don't get anyone in the community hurt, and we don't get any one of our people hurt, and we bring this to a successful conclusion. It'll happen.
REPORTER: One more point of clarification about the cherry farm,
REPORTER: You were saying the keys were still in the van, that family was inside working, they didn't notice their van -- had --
BIVENS: No, the family wasn't inside working, they were sleeping. It was overnight.
REPORTER: OK. And so, they didn't notice their van was missing until law enforcement unit --
BIVENS: Correct, in the early morning hours, this morning. Okay?
Again, I thank you all. We will -- we'll let you know as more developments occur, and will schedule prosper evenings and it's necessary, and regularly, in the interest of transparency. So, okay, thank you all.
WHITFIELD: All right. You're listening to a live press conference from the Pennsylvania authorities explaining how they are expanding their search area for Danelo Cavalcante, some 11 days after he escaped prison. And he was most recently seen and recorded on doorbell video, he went to familiar places, apparently authorities there saying he went to former work associates homes, and they've now dispensed these images, these still. He is now clean shaven and last seen wearing a green hoodie. And authorities also found a white van that he allegedly took, he was
able to take that because the keys were left in the car at a residents, and they have since found that vehicle abandoned.
Let's talk further about the search now expanding, still the focus is on Pennsylvania. Joining me right now, former Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis.
All right, Commissioner. What did you hear from that press conference that revealed a little bit more about how the search is expanding? What more they're learning, about this fugitive, and how confident they should feel that ultimately, they will be able to locate him?
ED DAVIS, FORMER BOSTON POLICE COMMISSIONER: Hi, Fredricka. Well, there's a few things that -- mention that I think were important. One is that, when the suspect comes out from the forest, or the jungle in the case of his last foray, it changes the whole focus of the search. It actually makes it a little easier for police officers in the United States to conduct it.
If you're looking for a vehicle, and someone is on the roads, and in a car that you may or may not have a description of, but it's a lot easier than putting dogs on the ground in a forested area. You're dealing with a cunning and experienced suspect here, and so one of the things that I heard the lieutenant colonel say was that there's no perimeter at the location of the vehicles. That was stolen, where they found it. They are assuming that another vehicle may have been stolen.
That moves the whole surge in a different direction. Notifying states, cities, towns, and police to watch the roadways for any suspicious activity, possibly with the description of a vehicle that this guy might have been -- if they're able to determine that a vehicle was stolen in the area, over the area with the van was dumped, then they have a pretty good idea where -- this is the vehicle he is in. In that case, it won't take long to find him.
WHITFIELD: We also heard from the lieutenant colonel there, that while they need the assistance from the public, they also need the public not to make it easy. In this case, keys were left in the vehicle. And that made it, essentially, easy for the suspect to acquire.
Talk to me, to, about the familiarity that investigators will often look at if it's a fugitive, someone will likely go to areas that they're familiar with, trying to reach out to the people that they are familiar with for assistance, in this case, former coworkers, might be family members involved, et cetera. Talk to me about how investigators tried to get ahead, customarily, of things in searches like this, looking for people a suspect might gravitate towards?
DAVIS: Right, that's a very good point. People focus on the search that's occurring on the ground, conversations of 400 people and helicopters and drones, and things like that, but in the background, there's an investigative effort that is being pursued in this case. So, there are investigators that are looking at every relatively that he has in the United States. They're looking at every place that he has ever lived in the past. They're looking at every place where he's worked.
And in this particular case, he's actually located the -- from what I've heard the lieutenant colonel say, he went to the home of a former coworker. He knows he needs help. His best way out of this is to have someone assist him, and get him out of the area, or in a vehicle, and then tried to blend in with the communities somewhere.
That's where he -- that's -- I'm sure that's what he's thinking right how. They have to do everything they can to identify those locations, those people he may go to for help, and try to get to them first, and explain to them that there are ramifications for individuals that helped Dzhokhar Tsarnaev after the bombing were tried and convicted, and are serving prison time now. this is a very, very serious business.
BURNETT: Yeah. And your keen experience back in 2013 with the Boston marathon bombing, you as the commissioner there, helping to lead the search for the suspects.
So, your expertise here is invaluable, and that we heard from this lieutenant colonel that he said he felt fairly confident that this suspect, Danelo Cavalcante, is looking for support. He doesn't have it, and it's evident by his reaching out to familiar people, or people he thought that might be able to help him.
We haven't heard from investigators, what the content of conversation may have been like through the video, doorbell, cameras or what it is that he is asking for. But based on that kind of information that investigators get, how important is it gong to be, how vital will it be in how they concentrate their search efforts?
DAVIS: Well, it could actually be life or death. This is a man who has nothing to lose. And so if he identifies a resource and goes and asks for help, if that person says no, it's likely they could be injured. If the officer identify -- the detectives are working on this case, identify a likely person or place that this person may go to, they will stake it out and watch for him and hopefully be able to intervene before he actually has contact with someone. But he needs a vehicle right now, he needs to get out of that area and, whether it's by train or by motor vehicle, he's desperate. And desperate people do desperate things. This is a very dangerous situation in Pennsylvania.
WHITFIELD: Talk to me about the balance that investigators need in terms of the public's participation. While they need everyone to keep their eyes open you just underscored the dangers here, that lieutenant colonel also underscored that the victims family has already received additional protection.
So, explain how, I guess, people are being asked to tread lightly, yet at the same time, be very alert.
DAVIS: Well, the lieutenant colonel mentioned the fact that some of the keys in the car, and this guy was able to exploit that and get out of the area. That changed the whole picture here. He's moved 30 -- 20, 30 miles away, and 400 people have to relocate and there's also a perception that maybe he got into another vehicle.
So, people have to be vigilant. A lot of people have the impression that, oh this can't happen here, but it can, especially in Pennsylvania right now. You should be taking steps to protect yourself, to secure your assets, and make sure that you don't have anything out that someone could take, even bicycles, or four wheel drive vehicles. Things like that.
The place needs to be lockdown until this guy is in custody. You're helping yourself and your neighbors, and not only the police. But I think the colonel did a very good job of explaining that people, and hopefully people will be more vigilant, especially in that area.
WHITFIELD: All right, the ongoing search for Danelo Cavalcante intensifies, thank you so much, Commissioner, Ed Davis. Appreciate your expertise.
DAVIS: Thank you, Fred.
WHITFIELD: All right. Stay with us, we have much more.
WHITFIELD: All right. Another top story we're following today, the death toll in Morocco rising to more than 2,100 after a powerful earthquake hit late Friday. Researchers and rescuers rather are facing all kinds of obstacles as they try to get through the rubble, to find survivors. The hardest hit areas are in isolated mountains, which are now tough to reach after the earthquake.
Morocco's King Mohammed VI declaring three days of mourning, and ordering mosques nationwide to hold funeral prayers today.
I want to go to CNN's Nada Bashir who is on the ground there in Marrakech.
Nada, what are you seeing?
NADA BASHIR, CNN REPORTER: Fredricka, we're about 45 miles away from the epicenter here in Marrakech. You can see this is a city which tends to -- as a result of Friday's earthquake, the city is still on edge, we have of course heard the reports of further aftershock today. And in fact, over the last few nights what we're seeing in the city's residents taking to the streets to sleep outside, fearing for their aftershocks, or perhaps another earthquake -- fearing that their homes, their buildings, simply aren't safe enough to withstand that kind of destruction.
But it has to be said that the destruction we have seen here in Marrakech, and, of course, there has been an impact on UNESCO world heritage site, the city's old town, but this cannot compared to the sheer devastation that is seen in the Atlas mountains, and this remote mountainous region where some villagers have been almost entirely flattens. And as you said that it has been extremely difficult for rescuers to
make it to these remote regions, and of course, that rescue effort is still very much underway. But, of course, that death toll is also steadily rising. We know that there are hundreds of people still set to be in a critical condition as a result of injuries, so it is anticipated that the death toll will continue to rise -- Fredericka.
WHITFIELD: Goodness. A pretty horrible situation. Thank you so much, Nada Bashir.
All right. And learn how you can help victims of the Morocco earthquake, at CNN.com/impact, or text Morocco to 707070, to donate.
We'll be right back.
WHITFIELD: All right. Welcome back.
The collapse of the Pac-12 last month was swift and stunning. But Oregon State and Washington State, the two schools left behind by realignment, are taking the fight to the court, trying to salvage what remains of the once proud college sports conference.
CNN's Coy Wire has the latest.
COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR & CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Fredericka.
The conference of champions, 108-year-old league with some of the best athletic program and rivalries in the country is gone as we know it. But Oregon State and Washington State are not going down without a fight.
On Friday, officials for the two remaining Pac-12 schools went to court, seeking a temporary restraining order against the conference and conference commissioner, George Kliavkoff, trying to prevent a board meeting plan for next week, that would include every school, even those that have chosen to leave the Pac-12. Washington State and Oregon State argue that their schools made their choice, and therefore should not be allowed to vote on the future of the conference.
The complaint says in part, quote, WSU and OSU have been members of the Pac-12 for more than a century, and they are dedicated to promoting the conference and its mission. The 10 departing members no longer share this goal. On the contrary, they are now motivated to dissolve the Pac-12 -- against which their new conferences would otherwise compete beginning next year, and distribute its assets, unquote.
According to court documents, Fredricka, the Pac-12 ended fiscal year 2022 with $42.7 million in total net assets, not including the value of their TV network, and the 2 schools don't believe that money should belong to those who chose to leave. The Pac-12 has declined to comment.
Fred, back to you.
WHITFIELD: All right. Coy Wire, thank you so much.
Let's talk further about this lawsuit right now with Jayathi Murthy. She is the president of Oregon State University.
President Murthy, glad you could be with us.
So, help us understand, why your university, and Washington State U, have filed this lawsuit against the Pac-12.
JAYATHI MURTHY, OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT: Thanks for having me, Fredricka.
Oregon State University has a long connection to Pac-12. We've been a charter member of the Pac-12, and the member for over 100 years. We are Oregon's statewide university, with huge connections all across the state, and there are Beavers all across the state deeply connected to the Pac-12.
OSU and WSU are the two remaining members of the Pac-12, and we believe that we should be the ones controlling the future of the Pac- 12, because the others have chosen to leave.
WHITFIELD: So in other words, you don't want -- as Coy was just explaining in his piece, you don't want the other members to be able to attend a meeting upcoming. You would prefer, for now, that in attendance that meeting would just be OSU and Washington State University. And together, these two universities will make a decision, ultimately, about whether to invite other colleges into the Pac-12, since right now, you're feeling is it's only being represented by two universities right now.
MURTHY: Indeed. We are the two universities that are deeply invested in the future of the Pac-12, and so all decisions about the Pac-12 should be made by the universities actually remaining.
WHITFIELD: What will happen to the millions of dollars in assets for the Pac-12? If indeed these other 10 universities, colleges, would be able to be in attendance to help make a determination about the future of Pac-12, how do you suppose that money should be divvied up?
MURTHY: Well, we're still trying to find out. What the assets and liabilities are. And it's our intent to use those assets and liabilities wisely. As the two deciders of who controls these assets, we plan to make strong business decisions, we plan to be consultative with the 10 who have chosen to leave, but our assertion is that we are the two universities that get to decide how to use these assets going forward. WHITFIELD: Do you feel like ultimately it will be a decision about
whether to dissolve the Pac-12 altogether? Or do you believe OSU and WSU will be able to say we want to keep a Pac-12? We just have to recruit other colleges or universities to be part of it?
MURTHY: We are trying to figure that out right now. We believe the Pac-12 has an amazing legacy, both academically and athletically. We're trying -- we believe that it could have a future, so we're trying to figure out how to make that's future happen, and we are trying our hardest to look at all our assets and liabilities, and all the interest that there still is in the Pac-12 brand and name, and to make a wise decision going forward about the Pac-12's future. It's not going to be easy.
WHITFIELD: I'm sorry. I know it's not going to be easy. And I wonder, can you expressed to us how this conference alignment has already impacted your university or even, you know, that of your other -- you know, of your students, or between Washington State and Oregon State? How has it impacted these campuses?
MURTHY: Well, the impacts have been big, of course. But, you know, the thing is that OSU is doing amazingly well, right? We are a university of 35,000 students, almost half a billion dollars in research funding. Many, many top programs.
And our football team is the top 16 right now. So, this is a phenomenal university. And so, the damage done to the Pac-12 has come as a huge shock to many of our fan. In fact, all of our fans all across Oregon and the country.