Escaped Convict Danelo Cavalcante Captured After Two-Week Manhunt
Danelo Cavalcante, an escaped convict serving a life sentence for murder, was apprehended on Wednesday, ending a two-week-long manhunt that had left a Pennsylvania community on edge. Cavalcante escaped from Chester County Prison on August 31 by scaling a wall. He was captured in a wooded area near South Coventry Township, Pennsylvania, after being tracked down by K-9 units. SWAT officers paraded him and took a photo after his capture.
The Escape and Manhunt
Cavalcante’s escape had sparked a massive manhunt involving over 500 law enforcement agents. Despite initial searches, he managed to elude authorities and change his appearance. During his time on the run, he broke into suburban homes for food and stole a rifle from a garage.
Authorities used thermal imaging from an aircraft to locate him, and ground forces surrounded him in a wooded area. Although he attempted to escape again by crawling through tall grass with the stolen rifle, officers released a police dog that ultimately subdued him. Cavalcante was treated for a dog bite at the scene.
Reaction to His Capture
After Cavalcante’s capture, law enforcement officers took a photo with him, drawing mixed reactions. State Police Lt. Col. George Bivens defended the photo, stating that the officers had worked tirelessly in challenging circumstances.
Chester County District Attorney Deb Ryan informed the family of Cavalcante’s murder victim, Deborah Brandao, upon his capture, bringing some closure to the ordeal.
Prior Sightings and Background
Before his capture, Cavalcante had been seen breaking into a garage in East Nantmeal Township, 20 miles from the initial search area. A homeowner shot at him, but there was no evidence suggesting he was hit. Prior sightings of Cavalcante had occurred, with surveillance cameras capturing him at different locations.
Cavalcante, a Brazilian national in the US illegally, had a history of violence, including a homicide case in Brazil. He had managed to flee Brazil in 2017 after killing a student at a food truck stand. Authorities had considered him “extremely dangerous.”
The escape prompted changes in prison security and procedures, including adjustments to the exercise yards and communication with nearby residents. Cavalcante’s sister, who also had an overstay status, was detained by ICE during the investigation.
Cavalcante’s daring escape involved scaling walls, jumping over razor wire, and eluding authorities for two weeks. His capture brought relief to the community and an end to a high-stakes manhunt.