The hunt for the escaped convicted killer Danelo Cavalcante, 34, surged into its twelfth day, following his daring escape from a Pennsylvania penitentiary. Cavalcante, who appeared to surpass a police barricade and pilfer a van, also altered his appearance and made attempts to connect with known associates from the past.
Significant shift in Cavalcante’s search happened over the weekend when he was seen over 20 miles away from the expected location. This suggested him outmaneuvering the amassed police personnel who were meticulously searching in and around Longwood Gardens, approximately 35 miles west of Philadelphia, where he had been spotted frequently these past few days.
Cavalcante, on Saturday evening, stole a 2020 Ford Transit van not far from the search perimeter. He then journeyed to East Pikeland Township home of an old acquaintance, as revealed by Pennsylvania State Police Lt. Col. George Bivens in an official report.
He approached the old associate through a Ring doorbell camera, displaying his now clean-shaven appearance. However, the person was away and did not respond to Cavalcante’s invitation. Cavalcante, imprisoned for first-degree murder just recently, tried to reach out to another contact in the nearby Phoenixville area. However, this effort was futile as well. Instead, his presence prompted police involvement when a woman resident spotted him.
Lt. Col. Bivens stated, “He is trying to find help. He doesn’t have it.” Following his breakout from Chester County Prison on August 31, the fugitive had gone unnoticed, despite intensified efforts and resources dedicated to his capture.
All-said sightings of Cavalcante so far have been within Chester County, wherein the prison is located. The police speculations pointed towards him not having left the state. Regardless, law enforcement units across the entire nation are being updated about the ongoing pursuit.
The van, believed to be stolen by Cavalcante to aid in his evasion, was found abandoned in a field behind a barn in East Nantmeal Township, far west of his previous known locations. Although owners were oblivious to their van’s disappearance, Lt. Col. Bivens expressed grave concern about Cavalcante’s potential attempts to commandeer another vehicle.
Meanwhile, Cavalcante’s success in circumventing the search perimeter around the botanical gardens remains a puzzling mystery. The pursuing officers were confronted with particular challenges such as underground tunnels, enormous drainage ditches, and other inaccessible areas. Bivens noted, “No perimeter is entirely secure.” However, he assures that Cavalcante, even though his possession of any weapons is unverified, is deemed extremely dangerous.
Subsequent developments towards Cavalcante’s capture appear to be heavily centered around the discovery of the stolen van. The community has been urged to stay vigilant, check surveillance footage if available, and safeguard homes and vehicles from potential intrusion.
Cavalcante had slain his ex-girlfriend, Deborah Brandão, stabbing her 38 times in front of her two little children. These children are now in the custody of her sister. Deborah Brandão’s family is terrified and have secured themselves within their house, according to Chester County District Attorney Deborah Ryan. Authorities have provided round-the-clock protection to them.
On a related note, there’s an ongoing investigation of the circumstances under which Cavalcante managed to escape, raising several questions about prison security. His escape from the penitentiary was unobserved and unreported by the tower guard on duty, whose employment has since been terminated.