The dramatic escape of Danelo Cavalcante from Chester County Prison has captivated the attention of both local and international news outlets. Cavalcante, a 34-year-old Brazilian national, managed to evade authorities while awaiting transfer to a state prison after being convicted of first-degree murder. His escape came just weeks after he was found guilty of fatally stabbing his ex-girlfriend, Deborah Brandão, in 2021. Prosecutors believe that Cavalcante was determined to prevent Brandão from informing the police about his involvement in a killing in his home country of Brazil.
According to reports, Cavalcante, a former street gang member, fled Brazil and entered the United States illegally after the 2017 killing of a man who owed him money. He made his way to Puerto Rico before eventually ending up in Pennsylvania. His criminal past and the heinous nature of his crimes have made him a high-profile fugitive, with law enforcement agencies from federal, state, county, and local levels joining forces to track him down.
Cavalcante's escape strategy was daring and well-executed. He managed to steal an unlocked van, which had the keys conveniently left inside, from a location near the search area where law enforcement officers were actively looking for him. Doorbell video footage revealed that Cavalcante had altered his appearance, shaving his beard and wearing a bright green hooded sweatshirt. The stolen van was later discovered abandoned in a field behind a barn in East Nantmeal Township, approximately 15 miles west of Phoenixville.
Despite the intense manhunt and widespread media coverage, Cavalcante has managed to evade capture. Pennsylvania State Police Lieutenant Colonel George Bivens issued a stern warning to anyone who may be assisting Cavalcante, stating that those individuals would be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Lieutenant Colonel Bivens remains determined to locate and apprehend the fugitive, expressing confidence that he will eventually be recaptured.
The escape has also had repercussions for Cavalcante's family. Authorities have reported that his sister, who was allegedly in the country illegally, has been taken into federal custody after refusing to cooperate with investigators. The exact details of her arrest and the immigration issues involved have not been disclosed.
The escape of Danelo Cavalcante has caused significant concern and raised questions about the security protocols at Chester County Prison. The fact that his escape went undetected for over an hour until guards conducted a headcount has led to the firing of the tower guard on duty during the incident. Officials are now reviewing and implementing measures to prevent similar incidents in the future.
The search for Cavalcante has garnered international attention, particularly in Brazil, where he is also wanted for a separate killing in 2017. Prosecutors in Tocantins state allege that Cavalcante committed a “double qualified homicide” in the slaying of Válter Júnior Moreira dos Reis, which they claim was motivated by a debt owed to him for vehicle repairs.
As the search for Cavalcante continues, the public is urged to remain vigilant and report any sightings or information that may assist law enforcement in his capture. The case serves as a reminder of the importance of effective prison security measures and the need for collaboration between local and international authorities in apprehending dangerous criminals who pose a threat to society.
0. “Video shows convict Danelo Cavalcante escaping from US jail by crab-walking” Al Jazeera English, 7 Sep. 2023, https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/9/7/video-shows-convict-escaping-from-us-jail-by-crab-walking
1. “Chester County manhunt is latest example of failed immigration policies (opinion)” Reading Eagle, 7 Sep. 2023, https://www.readingeagle.com/2023/09/07/chester-county-manhunt-is-latest-example-of-failed-immigration-policies-opinion/
2. “Pennsylvania State Police warn anyone who may be helping escaped killer” WGAL Susquehanna Valley Pa., 12 Sep. 2023, https://www.wgal.com/article/pennsylvania-state-police-escaped-inmate-update/45079701
3. “Escaped murderer flees search area, Pennsylvania police preauthorize deadly force” CNBC, 11 Sep. 2023, https://www.cnbc.com/2023/09/11/fugitive-killer-eludes-pennsylvania-police-for-eighth-day-as-wary-residents-keep-a-watchful-eye.html
4. “Police: Sister of PA prison escapee refused to assist authorities” ABC 10 News San Diego KGTV, 11 Sep. 2023, https://www.10news.com/police-sister-of-pa-prison-escapee-refused-to-assist-authorities