Escaped murderer Danelo Cavalcante captured after two weeks

By | September 13, 2023

A Pennsylvania fugitive was captured two weeks after escaping from prison, sparking a massive manhunt.

Danelo Cavalcante, 34, was arrested without incident in a wooded area inside the police perimeter, a law enforcement source says.

More than 500 officers were deployed on the trail of the Brazilian citizen after his escape on August 31.

He was sentenced to life in prison last month for killing his ex-girlfriend in front of her two young children in April 2021.

At a news conference, Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro said Cavalcante was “arrested without gunfire” shortly after 0800 local time (1200 GMT) on Wednesday.

He credited the “extraordinary work” of law enforcement and “tremendous support from the public” for Cavalcante’s capture.

Police told reporters that a search party made up of horse patrols, dogs and helicopters had been prowling woodland in the South Coventry district in rain and thunder overnight until Wednesday.

The police were approached by Cavalcante by a burglar alarm in a house. A reconnaissance plane detected a heat signal on the ground, but the plane had to fly away due to bad weather.

Officials at the news conference said the fugitive did not realize he was surrounded and tried to escape.

But he was “subdued” by a dog team, which left him with a “minor bite wound”.

A spokesperson for the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections said Cavalcante will be “medically evaluated” before being taken to a correctional facility.

Law enforcement sources told CNN that he was found Wednesday morning lying in the tall grass, apparently asleep over a rifle he had stolen from a homeowner’s garage.

Local media footage shows a handcuffed Cavalcante, wearing a dirty Philadelphia Eagles sweatshirt, being escorted to a black police armored van.

A large team of officers in camouflage uniforms are seen posing for photos with their prisoner before removing his hoodie and loading him into the van.

His capture “brings to an end the nightmare of the last two weeks,” the three Chester County commissioners said in a joint statement, thanking those involved in the search.

They said prison officials made “some immediate changes to strengthen security at the prison,” including hiring new security contractors.

Just a week after being sentenced to life in prison without parole, Cavalcante “crab-walked” between two walls and scaled a barbed-wire fence to escape from the Chester County Jail, about 30 miles (50 km) away west of Philadelphia, where he was awaiting transfer. a different structure.

His escape method was the same as that used by another inmate, Igor Bolte, in May. The obvious lack of security in the prison and the lone fugitive’s escape from hundreds of police officers for two weeks embarrassed the authorities.

Chester County residents were nervous about numerous recent sightings, with one local television station even reporting an increase in sales at gun stores.

During the escape, Cavalcante visited the residences of two former associates. Neither was home at the time, but the doorbell camera showed how he had changed in appearance.

Police said he tried to contact several other people, including his sister. She did not help him and was later taken into custody for an immigration violation.

They had warned on Tuesday that the escaped killer had entered a garage in the area and fled with a .22 caliber rifle as the homeowner fired several shots in his direction.

Danelo Cavalcante captured

The capture of Danelo Cavalcante on September 13th

The family members of the killer’s slain victim, Deborah Brandao, are under round-the-clock police protection.

In an interview with the New York Times, Cavalcante’s mother said he was simply struggling to survive and “posed no threat to anyone.”

“I know what my son did was wrong,” Iracema Cavalcante said. “I know my son should pay for his mistake.”

“But I want my son to pay for his mistake with dignity. Not with his life.”

In addition to killing Brandao, Cavalcante is accused of killing a young friend over an unpaid debt in the central Brazilian state of Tocantins in 2017.

His mother tried to excuse her son’s murder of his ex-girlfriend after threatening to report him for the previous murder.

“Did it happen? It happened,” he told the New York Times. “But it happened because of the stranglehold she put on him, the position she took with him.”

At the start of the 14-day search, authorities began broadcasting a message in Portuguese from Cavalcante’s mother over a loudspeaker, urging him to surrender. The end of the chase took place just beyond the densely populated suburbs of Philadelphia, in an area of ​​rough farmland and streams. .

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