- Danelo Cavalcante, an escaped prisoner convicted of murder, was captured after a nearly two-week nationwide manhunt, ending in South Coventry Township near French Creek Elementary School.
- The capture involved multiple law enforcement agencies, utilizing thermal imaging and a police dog; Cavalcante tried to escape once cornered but was subdued without shots being fired.
- Cavalcante had escaped Chester County Prison on Aug. 31, prompting extensive search efforts; his capture has brought relief to the victim’s family and local communities affected by the manhunt.
Danelo Cavalcante, the prisoner who had evaded capture for nearly two weeks, was apprehended on Wednesday.
This arrest concludes an extensive manhunt following his escape from Chester County Prison, where he had been serving a life sentence for the brutal murder of his girlfriend.
The search intensified on Monday evening in the South Coventry area after a burglary incident and the theft of a .22 caliber rifle. However, Cavalcante’s freedom was short-lived, thanks to the combined efforts of numerous law enforcement agencies.
A series of events, including a triggered burglar alarm, and advanced technologies like thermal imaging, eventually led to his discovery. Lt. Col George Bivens, who led the search, detailed how Cavalcante was located via a heat signature and, despite his efforts to flee, was subdued with the help of a police dog.
Thank you to our law enforcement partners and the community whose support brought this operation to a successful conclusion. pic.twitter.com/ogmZKg1fGr— PA State Police (@PAStatePolice) September 13, 2023
Upon capture, Cavalcante, donned in a grey Eagles sweatshirt, bore a bloodied face from a minor dog bite wound. No other injuries were reported during the arrest, and notably, no shots were fired.
Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro acknowledged the urgency of the situation, saying, “He was desperate, and it was just a matter of time.”
Chester County District Attorney Deb Ryan expressed her relief following the arrest, stating, “Our nightmare is finally over and the good guys won.”
She further conveyed the relief of the victim’s family, who were haunted by the prisoner’s escape.
As a result of the escape, Chester County Prison officials are implementing heightened security measures. Among these changes are the fortification of exercise yards and the revision of security protocols.
Cavalcante’s criminal record is extensive and international. In addition to his US conviction for the murder of Deborah Brandao, Brazilian authorities have a warrant for his arrest in connection with another murder case from 2017.
Prior to his arrest for Brandao’s murder, Cavalcante had eluded Brazilian authorities, journeyed to Puerto Rico, and entered the US illegally in 2018.
With his recapture, Cavalcante now awaits a transfer to a state correctional institute. The ordeal, while terrifying, showcased the dedication and effectiveness of law enforcement agencies working in concert.
Chester County officials praised the collective effort, stating gratitude for every law enforcement official’s “immense efforts” during the intense manhunt.
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