The protracted search for convicted murderer, Danilo Cavalcante, drew to a close on Wednesday, as authorities confirmed his capture following his daring escape from a Pennsylvanian penitentiary. The manhunt spanned nearly two weeks, utilizing manifold law enforcement personnel in an effort to apprehend Cavalcante.
34-year-old Cavalcante fled Chester County Prison, where he had been detained subsequent to his conviction for the 2021 homicide of his previous girlfriend, Deborah Brandão. The unwavering pursuit was eventually fruitful when two tactical police teams from Pennsylvania State Police and US Border Patrol successfully apprehended Cavalcante on Wednesday morning by deploying a police dog which disarmed him.
Cavalcante was convicted of first-degree murder pertaining to the brutal killing of Brandão, to which a mandatory life sentence without parole was attached as decreed by the Chester County District Attorney’s Office. Charged with stabbing her multiple times in full sight of her two children, Cavalcante’s possession of a protection order, considered a probable cause affidavit against him, failed to prevent the brutal act.
In the aftermath of his escape from prison, an event semi-captured by surveillance footage, Cavalcante was sighted various times both within residences and on security cameras. A tactical shift in the manhunt arose when Cavalcante managed to exit the search perimeter and abscond via a stolen van, eventually leaving it out of gas in a distant field.
Following this series of events, reports of a weapon stolen from a local resident’s garage surfaced, exacerbating the urgency of the situation. Cavalcante was now perceived as “armed and extremely dangerous.” As Lt. Col. George Bivens warned, “He’s killed two people previously. I would suspect that he’s desperate enough to use that weapon.”
Ultimately, the manhunt reached a conclusion when a residential burglar alarm activated, facilitating the relocation of more resources to the area. Aided by thermal imaging technology which detected heat signals in the vicinity, law enforcement was able to move in quietly, catching Cavalcante unawares. Despite a fleeting attempt at escape, the use of a trained police dog enabled the capture of Cavalcante, who was forcibly returned to law enforcement.
Post-capture, Cavalcante was held at a state police facility for processing, where he faced arraignment on a felony escape charge. The enforcement strategy henceforth would see the convicted murderer transferred to a state correctional institution to serve his life sentence. Despite previous misgivings, Cavalcante, who had absconded from the Pennsylvanian county facility whilst awaiting his state prison transfer, will finally commence his sentence for murder.