Escaped prisoner Danelo Cavalcante has been captured after an intense two-week manhunt, police said on Wednesday morning.
The 34-year-old was serving a life sentence for the murder of his ex-girlfriend at the Chester County Prison, 30 miles west of Philadelphia, when he escaped on August 31.
State police were seen posing with the Brazil native after his capture at around 8am EST. State police they will provide details of the capture at 9.30am.
Cavalcante was arrested in a wooded area inside the updated perimeter set up by police this week. He was asleep on the rifle he stole on Monday when he was caught, according to CNN.
The search entered its 12th day on Tuesday as police warned Cavalcante was armed with a stolen rifle. The killer’s capture brings relief to anxious residents of southeastern Pennsylvania who endured sleepless nights as he hid in the woods, broke into suburban homes for food, changed his appearance, and fled under gunfire with a rifle pilfered from a garage.
Escaped prisoner Danelo Cavalcante has been captured, police said on Wednesday morning
Police are seen posing with killer Danelo Cavalcante after his capture on Wednesday
Cavalcante was serving a life sentence for the murder of his ex-girlfriend at the Chester County Prison, 30 miles west of Philadelphia, when he escaped on August 31.
Residents or Pocopson Township were told to stay alert and indoors as more than 500 agents actively searched for Cavalcante, who somehow managed to escape the original search perimeter around the prison.
Authorities used thermal imaging from aircraft to pinpoint a possible location and then used ground forces to capture escaped inmate Danelo Souza Cavalcante, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press on Wednesday on condition of anonymity to discuss the operation, which played out over several hours.
In a statement, Chester county commissioners told DailyMail.com: ‘The capture of Cavalcante ends the nightmare of the past two weeks, and we thank every single law enforcement official at the regional, state and federal level that was out in all weather conditions, all day and night – as well as everyone in the incident command center, our County Department of Emergency Services and County Sheriff’s Office – for their immense efforts.
The killer was last seen on Monday night breaking into the garage of a home in East Nantmeal – 20 miles from the search area police had spent days combing last week. The homeowner was home and shot him several times, but police said there was no evidence to suggest the convict was hit.
It was the first sighting reported since Saturday, when Cavalcante stole a van and tried contacting former coworkers before dumping the vehicle in a field.
Police had focused their search in the perimeter near the prison, where he had been spotted several times last week. But on Saturday, a clean-shaven Cavalcante was seen outside a former colleague’s home through a Ring doorbell camera in East Pikeland Township, before he was spotted outside a different ex co-worker’s home in nearby Phoenixville.
The Brazil native was seen being put into a police armored vehicle on a Pennsylvania road
Law enforcement officers gather as the search for escaped convict Danelo Cavalcante continues Tuesday
Police updated the search perimeter after Cavalcante was spotted outside the original search area over the weekend
‘Chester County Prison officials have made some immediate changes to bolster security in the prison, have brought in security contractors to make permanent changes to the exercise yards, and are reviewing and – where needed – changing procedures for both security measures and communication to residents who live close to the prison.’
On Sunday, police found a 2020 Ford Transit van Cavalcante had stolen in a field behind a barn in East Nantmeal Township – outside the previous search area. Cavalcante had taken it from the West Chester based Baily’s Dairy, near the prison.
Cavalcante’s sister, who has an overstay status, was detained by ICE and entered into a deportation proceeding after she chose not to cooperate in the investigation, State Police Lt. Col. George Bivens said.
On August 31, Cavalcante was seen on surveillance camera in the prison’s outdoor area looking at the camera before ‘crab walking’ between two walls, scaling a fence and jumping over razor wire during the daring break out that took place in broad daylight.
Last week, the prison guard who did not see or report the escape was fired. Prison officials told CNN, the corrections officer was an 18-year veteran of the prison.
The manhunt for fugitive murderer Cavalcante expanded after several sightings over the weekend. He is seen outside a former coworker’s home
Before this weekend, there were repeated sightings of the ‘extremely dangerous’ killer in the 759 square mile search area around the prison.
Cavalcante is also wanted in a homicide case in his native country of Brazil. He managed to flee the country in 2017 after he killed a student at a food truck stand.
He gunned down Walter Junior in Figuéiropolis, Tocantins on November 5, 2017, and then managed to slip past authorities at Brasília–President Juscelino Kubitschek International Airport two months later.
Evaldo Feitosa told Brazilian news outlet G1 that he was talking to Cavalcante and that he approached Junior at a corner table.
He remembered they were having a conversation before he heard several shots being fired and someone shout, ‘man the guy killed his friend.’
TV Globo also reported that the killing was over money Junior owed Calvacante.