The fugitive, 22-year-old Omar Roane, was in police custody for the 2009 murder of 17-year-old Kyree Young.
Monday morning, police were searching the Roosevelt Inn along Roosevelt Boulevard following a tip call, but Roane was not there.
Just after 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Philadelphia police were transporting nine prisoners to the Curran Fromhold Correctional Facility when police say the prisoners created a distraction.
Roane and two other prisoners then forced open the back door of the police van at a traffic light on Frankford and Cottman avenues and escaped.
One witness who works nearby the Mayfair intersection spoke with Action News.
"They told me the back of the van came undone and they escaped," the witness said.
Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey has ordered all similar models of police vans taken out of service for inspections. The escape is being blamed on a malfunction that allowed a bolt to come outof the rear doors, allowing the inmates to open it.
Police captured two of the men within 20 feet of the van, but Roane, who was handcuffed, managed to escape.
One officer was injured in the scuffle, but is said to be OK.
Omar Roane is 5'8, 125 pounds, with the letters 'YHM' on the left side of his neck, two teardrops on his left cheek, and 'RIP Rob' on his right hand.
Detectives do not know if Roane is armed. Whether or not he is in possession of a weapon, he is considered very dangerous.
Officials say he has a lengthy criminal record in addition to being charged with the June 9, 2009 homicide on 56th Street and Woodland Avenue.
Some nearby residents question how the prisoners could break out of what should be a secure vehicle.
"It's very irresponsible because when you're given that responsibility you have to make sure that everything is fine before you even go out in public with people like that; he's dangerous," Mayfair resident Marissa Breban said.
U.S. Marshals are also involved in the citywide search along with the Philadelphia police.
Anyone who knows of Roane's whereabouts should call 911 or contact the homicide unit at (215) 686-8040.