Escaped convict and convicted murderer, 34-year-old Danelo Cavalcante, has resurfaced in eastern Pennsylvania, sparking alarm as authorities warn he may now be armed. Local residents in Chester County’s South Coventry Township have been asked to secure their homes and remain indoors following the sighting, reported via an emergency alert system.
As the search for Cavalcante extends into its thirteenth day, fears have heightened. The convicted killer was sighted approximately 20 miles north of the prison from which he escaped. Authorities have warned residents to secure their homes and vehicles, in light of reports claiming he is “possibly armed with a weapon.”
Monday’s sighting marks the first time Cavalcante has been reported as possibly armed, adding a chilling new dimension to his reputation for danger.
The murderer was previously incarcerated in the Chester County Prison, a remote facility around 30 miles west of Philadelphia. His escape on August 31st initiated an extensive manhunt, following his conviction for the first-degree murder of his ex-girlfriend, 33-year-old Deborah Brandão.
Since his weekend escape, Cavalcante has reportedly used subterfuge to escape authorities, including stealing a van, changing his appearance and visiting individuals he knew years ago, thereby putting more than 20 miles between himself and the search perimeter. The van was later discovered abandoned in East Nantmeal Township.
Prior to Monday, the search efforts had been concentrated on an area that included a botanical garden, due to sightings of the fugitive in that location. Cavalcante’s movements over the weekend, however, forced police to adapt their search parameters.
The fugitive was spotted at an acquaintance’s home in East Pikeland Township on Saturday, and attempted contact with another person in Phoenixville; both acquaintances were not at home at the time of the visits, with one individual reporting Cavalcante’s presence to the police.
According to the authorities, while Cavalcante has so far been successful in evading capture, crossing state lines seems unlikely due to his limited resources for an extended run. Cavalcante is also wanted for a 2017 homicide case in Brazil, his home country.
The search efforts rest on credible sightings of the fugitive throughout Chester County. Cavalcante’s escape was caught on surveillance video from Chester County Prison, where he was seen crawling between walls and then climbing out of sight.
Cavalcante has subsequently been spotted on private property taking food, on surveillance video some distance from the prison, at Longwood Gardens, a local resident’s creek bed, and at various locations within the initial search area. His trail was finally picked up again in South Coventry Township, resulting in Monday’s police alert warning of a potential armed threat.