In a dramatic turn of events, Danelo Cavalcante, a 34-year-old convicted murderer who had escaped from prison on August 31, was finally apprehended on Wednesday, following an exhaustive two-week manhunt through densely wooded terrain. Pennsylvania State Police confirmed his capture early that Wednesday morning, marking the end of a high-stakes pursuit that had captured national attention.
Law enforcement authorities took to social media, specifically Twitter, to announce the impending news conference scheduled for 9:30 a.m., where they planned to share the details of his capture. The radio waves echoed with relief as Chester County authorities confirmed his capture via a broadcast radio call at 8:18 a.m., putting an end to the community’s apprehension.
The chase reached its climax just a day after authorities established an extensive 8- to 10-square-mile perimeter following reported sightings of the fugitive on Monday evening. A vigilant motorist had spotted a figure concealed in the woods along the south side of Fairview Road, west of Route 100, which subsequently led to the discovery of prison shoes believed to belong to Cavalcante.
The same evening, a homeowner reported a harrowing encounter with Cavalcante, who was attempting to steal a rifle from their garage. Fortunately, the inmate escaped unharmed from the incident, and law enforcement agencies intensified their efforts to secure his capture.
The perimeter established by authorities spanned from PA 23 to the north, PA 100 to the east, Fairview to the south, and County Park Road to the west, encompassing a vast swath of territory.
Cavalcante’s audacious escape from Chester County Prison in Pocopson Township had been captured on surveillance footage, where he skillfully maneuvered between parallel walls to access the prison roof, ultimately eluding the watchtower guard’s notice. The guard in question, an 18-year veteran, was subsequently dismissed for violating prison policy by having a cellphone in the tower.
In the wake of Cavalcante’s capture, Chester County Commissioners expressed their gratitude to the various law enforcement agencies involved in the manhunt and commended the swift security enhancements implemented by prison officials. They also mentioned ongoing reviews of security procedures and communication protocols with residents residing near the prison grounds.
Cavalcante’s conviction in August for first-degree murder in the fatal stabbing of a former girlfriend had led to a life sentence without the possibility of parole. He also faced charges in his native Brazil related to a 2017 homicide.
During his days on the run, authorities remained steadfast in their commitment to capturing Cavalcante, despite the challenges posed by the heavily wooded terrain. Surveillance cameras frequently captured glimpses of the fugitive, who managed to alter his appearance by shaving and changing clothes.
In an audacious move, Cavalcante commandeered a white 2020 Ford Transit van, equipped with a refrigeration unit, before abandoning it in a field behind a barn in East Nantmeal Township. This escape ordeal prompted temporary closures of local schools and a botanical park, and law enforcement resorted to broadcasting appeals in Portuguese from Cavalcante’s mother through helicopters and patrol cars in a bid to persuade him to surrender.
You can also read: Danelo Cavalcante’s Daring Prison Escape Captured on CCTV
Cavalcante’s escape had also necessitated 24-hour protection for the victim’s family, who had been living in fear since his evasion. Chester County District Attorney Deb Ryan noted that the victim’s loved ones had been profoundly affected by Cavalcante’s escape and had been living in a state of perpetual fear, despite the round-the-clock police detail assigned for their protection.