Escaped killer still on the run as police widen search area

Danelo Cavalcante is a 34-year-old Brazilian national who was convicted of first-degree murder in August 2023. He stabbed his ex-girlfriend Deborah Brandão 38 times in front of her two young children in April 2021. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole. He is also wanted in Brazil for another homicide case in 2017.

Cavalcante is described as having light skin, shaggy black hair and brown eyes. He is 5 feet tall and weighs approximately 120 pounds. He is considered extremely dangerous and desperate not to get caught by the authorities.

Escaped killer still on the run as police widen search area
Escaped killer still on the run as police widen search area

How did he escape from prison?

Cavalcante escaped from the Chester County Prison in Pennsylvania on Thursday, August 31, around 6:30 a.m. He used a makeshift rope made of bed sheets to climb over a fence and ran into a nearby wooded area. He also managed to evade detection by the prison’s security cameras and guards.

The prison officials discovered his escape around 7:15 a.m. and notified the police. A massive manhunt involving hundreds of officers from local, state and federal agencies was launched to find him. The US Customs and Border Patrol also sent resources to assist with the search.

Where has he been spotted since his escape?

Cavalcante has been spotted five times since his escape, but has still eluded capture. The latest sighting was on Monday night at Longwood Gardens, a botanical garden in Chester County. Surveillance video captured him walking through the area with a duffel bag, backpack and hooded sweatshirt he apparently stole while on the run.

He was also seen on trail camera footage in Chester County on Tuesday morning, just south of the original search perimeter. He was wearing camouflage pants and a dark shirt.

Other sightings include:

  • A convenience store in West Chester on Thursday morning, where he bought food and drinks.
  • A car dealership in Downingtown on Friday afternoon, where he stole a silver Toyota Corolla with Pennsylvania license plate KZJ-4211.
  • A gas station in Coatesville on Saturday night, where he abandoned the stolen car and fled on foot.
  • A farm in West Brandywine Township on Sunday morning, where he stole clothes from a clothesline.

What are the impacts of his escape on the community?

Cavalcante’s escape has caused fear and anxiety among the residents of Chester County and surrounding areas. Many people have locked their doors and windows, checked their security cameras and stayed indoors. Some have also armed themselves with weapons for self-defense.

Two school districts – Kennett Consolidated and Unionville-Chadds Ford – have canceled classes for several days out of caution. The Longwood Gardens have also closed temporarily until further notice.

The district attorney Deborah Ryan said that Cavalcante’s escape has also traumatized Brandão’s family, who have not left their home since he fled. She said that they are “terrified” that he might come after them or harm someone else.

What are the authorities doing to catch him?

The authorities are continuing their efforts to locate and apprehend Cavalcante as soon as possible. They have set up checkpoints, roadblocks and patrols in the area. They have also used helicopters, drones, dogs and thermal imaging devices to track him down.

They have offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to his arrest. They have urged anyone who sees him or knows his whereabouts to call 911 immediately and not to approach him.

They have also asked the public to report any suspicious activity or persons to the police. They have advised the residents to be vigilant and cautious, but not to panic or overreact.

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