In a daring and audacious escape, Danelo Cavalcante managed to flee from Chester County Prison on Au…

In a daring and audacious escape, Danelo Cavalcante managed to flee from Chester County Prison on August 31st. The 34-year-old had been behind bars for the fatal stabbing of his ex-girlfriend in 2021 and was awaiting transfer to a state prison when he made his break for freedom.[0] Cavalcante's escape involved scaling a wall and a razor-wire fence, reaching a roof which he sprinted across to make his getaway. This daring act left prison officials and law enforcement stunned and launched a massive manhunt to recapture the dangerous fugitive.

Surveillance video from the prison showed Cavalcante “crab walking” along a wall in the exercise yard before pushing through razor wire and running across the roof.[1] He then scaled another fence and pushed through more razor wire before finally leaving the prison grounds.[2] This display of agility and determination left prison officials and law enforcement shocked at the lengths Cavalcante was willing to go to escape captivity.

Cavalcante's escape came just days after he was sentenced to life without parole for the murder of his ex-girlfriend, Deborah Brandao.[3] The brutal crime occurred in 2021, with Cavalcante stabbing Brandao to death in front of her two children. The motive behind the murder was revealed to be fear of exposure, as Brandao had discovered Cavalcante's open murder warrant in Brazil and threatened to report him to US authorities.[4] This revelation shed light on Cavalcante's dark past and the danger he posed to society.

Following his escape, Cavalcante managed to steal a 2020 white Ford van with a refrigeration unit on top from a dairy. The keys had been left in the vehicle, allowing him to make a quick getaway.[5] The stolen van was eventually located in a field in East Nantmeal, providing authorities with a lead in their search for Cavalcante.[5]

In addition to the stolen van, Cavalcante was also believed to be driving a stolen 2020 white Ford Transit van with a refrigeration unit on top. The van had a Pennsylvania license plate with the registration number ZST-8818.[6] However, authorities announced that the van had been abandoned by Cavalcante and recovered by law enforcement.[6] This development left investigators puzzled about Cavalcante's next move and raised questions about his ability to remain on the run.

As the manhunt continued, new photos of Cavalcante were released to the public, with authorities urging anyone with information to come forward. The search for Cavalcante expanded beyond the immediate area surrounding the prison, with sightings reported near Phoenixville, Pennsylvania.[7] However, an update from Pennsylvania State Police indicated that Cavalcante was no longer believed to be in that area, leaving investigators scrambling to determine his whereabouts.[0]

Cavalcante's escape shed light on lapses in security at Chester County Prison. It was revealed that a prison guard on duty during the escape had violated prison policy by having a cellphone in the tower.[2] The guard was subsequently fired, raising concerns about the level of oversight and adherence to protocols within the prison system.

The ongoing manhunt for Cavalcante continued to grip the community, with residents on high alert for any sign of the escaped convict. Longwood Gardens, a popular botanical garden in the area, was closed indefinitely after reports of a possible sighting of Cavalcante on the property.[8] This closure disrupted plans for visitors and highlighted the widespread impact of Cavalcante's escape on the local community.[7]

Cavalcante's escape also drew attention to the issue of prison escapes in general. It was revealed that another inmate had previously escaped from the same area of the prison yard by utilizing a similar method.[4] Igor Bolte, who escaped earlier in the year, scaled the walls, crossed the roof, and made his way to freedom.[9] These incidents raised concerns about the effectiveness of security measures at the prison and the need for greater vigilance in preventing future escapes.

In an effort to aid in Cavalcante's capture, a $20,000 reward was offered for information leading to his arrest.[8] This reward served as an incentive for individuals to come forward with any information that could assist law enforcement in locating and apprehending the dangerous fugitive.

As the search for Cavalcante continued, authorities remained determined to bring him to justice. The community remained on edge, with the knowledge that a convicted murderer was on the loose. The manhunt for Cavalcante served as a stark reminder of the importance of effective prison security and the ongoing challenges faced by law enforcement in capturing dangerous criminals who manage to escape custody.

0. “Escaped Pennsylvania murderer Danelo Cavalcante spotted clean shaven with stolen dairy van: police” New York Daily News, 10 Sep. 2023,

1. “Police say Danelo Cavalcante has changed his appearance as he is spotted again” The Independent, 10 Sep. 2023,

2. “New images show escaped murderer Danelo Cavalcante has changed appearance and fled search area” WHYY, 10 Sep. 2023,

3. “Chester County manhunt: Focus shifts back to Longwood Gardens” The News Journal, 8 Sep. 2023,

4. “How Pennsylvania murderer Danelo Cavalcante escaped prison walls – The Washington Post” The Washington Post, 7 Sep. 2023,

5. “Costs And Frustrations Grow As Escaped Killer Continues To Elude Law Enforcement” Forbes, 10 Sep. 2023,

6. “Police share new photos of a clean-shaven Danelo Cavalcante as manhunt continues”, 10 Sep. 2023,

7. “Escaped Pennsylvania killer spotted again and has changed his appearance, police say” AOL, 10 Sep. 2023,

8. “Danelo Cavalcante: Family ‘terrified' by killer's escape from US jail” BBC, 8 Sep. 2023,

9. “Search For An Escaped Murderer in PA Has Entered 9th Day. How Did It Happen And Why?” TODAY, 8 Sep. 2023,

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