Home News New details released about capture of escaped prisoner Danelo Cavalcante

New details released about capture of escaped prisoner Danelo Cavalcante

Source: Twitter

Jenna Wise

Danelo Cavalcante was hiding under thick brush when Pennsylvania State Police took him by surprise in a Chester County field Wednesday morning, resulting in a quick conclusion to a nearly two-week manhunt for the convicted killer.

As troopers and border patrol officers approached, Cavalcante — armed with a stolen rifle and wearing a Philadelphia Eagles shirt — tried to crawl through the undergrowth to once again escape. A Customs and Border Patrol K9 bit Cavalcante’s scalp, helping troopers take the fugitive into custody, Lt. Col. George Bivens said at a Wednesday morning press conference.

“Yes he had the firearm with him, yes he was a threat. I think the K9 played a large role in him not being able to utilize that firearm,” Bivens said.

Cavalcante walked in creek beds and along tree lines, mostly at night, to elude investigators, state police said.

“I don’t know that he was particularly skilled — he was desperate. You have an individual who can spend the rest of their life in prison in a place they don’t want to be, or they can choose to evade capture. He chose to evade capture,” Bivens said. “I was confident all along that he was going to be captured. It’s never easy to find someone who doesn’t want to be found in a very large area.”

State police were working in a search perimeter in northern Chester County Tuesday night when a burglar alarm went off at a home on Kreiser Road. Cavalcante was not found there, but “it started to bring some of our people into that area,” Bivens said.

Bivens said state police had already been searching nearby when the burglar alarm was activated. Troopers picked up a heat signal around 1 a.m. and started to converge on the area where the heat signal was moving. However, the aircraft tracking the heat signal had to leave the area when an overnight storm rolled in, Bivens said.

The search resumed early Wednesday morning. Cavalcante was captured shortly after 8 a.m. Besides Cavalcante, no one was hurt during the manhunt, Bivens said.

About 20–25 officers were on the ground searching for Cavalcante on Wednesday.

“I don’t know if there’s any single lesson [learned]. I will tell you, I’ve learned something from all of these [searches]. It’s about assembling the right group of people, the right technology. It’s worked for us in the past and I’m sure it’ll work for us in the future,” Bivens said.

Cavalcante will be held at the state police’s Avondale barracks long enough to be processed and interviewed by troopers. He will then be transferred to a state prison to begin serving his life sentence for the 2021 killing of his ex-girlfriend.

Cavalcante was at Chester County Prison, awaiting transfer to a state prison, when he crab-walked out of the facility and escaped Aug. 31. He received a life sentence for the 2021 killing of his ex-girlfriend and is also wanted on homicide charges in his home country of Brazil in a 2017 killing.

Speaking at Wednesday’s press conference, Gov. Josh Shapiro credited the public for their vigilance and “tremendous” assistance during the last two weeks.

“We understand this has been a trying time” for Chester County residents, Shapiro said. Schools and Longwood Gardens were closed and residents were urged to shelter in place as police pursued Cavalcante across the region.

“We had a job to do and that was capture Cavalcante,” he said. “I’m proud to be associated with the Pennsylvania State Police. I couldn’t be more proud of them.”

“Folks, whoever had their Eagles jersey stolen, let us know — I’d be happy to get you a new kelly green one,” Shapiro joked.

©2023 Advance Local Media LLC. Visit pennlive.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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