In Pennsylvania, two years ago, Danelo Souza Cavalcante perpetrated a brutal act of violence, murdering his ex-girlfriend Deborah Brandão before the eyes of her young children. Prior to this horrifying incident, Cavalcante was perceived as nothing more than a benign figure, a fellow Brazilian and a considerate neighbor, according to the victim’s sister, Sarah Brandão.
Regrettably, his persona underwent a drastic metamorphosis. He escalated into bouts of jealousy and constantly threatened Deborah, gradually revealing his sinister character. After his escape from Pennsylvania prison last month, prompting a frantic manhunt, the fear of his possible return has kept Sarah Brandão, the designated caretaker of Deborah’s children and her own daughter, in a state of anxiety.
Since the day of his escape, sleep has eluded Sarah. The sudden bouts of fear grip her so tightly that she often wakes up startled in the middle of her sleep. Barely a month prior, Cavalcante was convicted of first-degree murder for killing Deborah in 2021. Following his escape from the Chester County Prison, around 30 miles west of Philadelphia, an extensive search involving hundreds of officers was initiated.
Cavalcante, 34, who is also linked to a prior 2017 homicide in Brazil, is considered quite dangerous and is actively avoiding capture, according to authorities. They have advised residents residing near the prison to remain indoors, lock their homes securely, and keep an eye on their security footage.
Deborah and Cavalcante originally knew each other as neighbors residing in Chester County. He was a rather introverted figure, often helping and being kind to Deborah. Regrettably, the element of warmth was missing in his interaction with Deborah’s children. There were no signs of attachment, no affection, or comforting embraces.
Disturbing alterations were observed in his demeanor towards Deborah over time. His omnipresent jealousy would flare up whenever he consumed alcohol and he would delve into her personal space, scrutinizing her cell phone. He threatened Deborah, assuring her that she would face the worst of him if she ever cheated.
In April 2021, Deborah, aged 33, was fatally stabbed 38 times by Cavalcante, a gruesome spectacle witnessed by her two young children. It’s worth noting that she had previously sought a protective order against him the prior year. Upon his conviction, Cavalcante was bestowed a life sentence without parole.
This sentencing provided a semblance of relief for Sarah, believing that justice had been served for Deborah. Unfortunately, this feeling was short-lived as Cavalcante’s escape has left her in a perpetual state of dread. Despite her concerns, she clings to the hope that law enforcement will apprehend Cavalcante.
The news of her sister’s horrific murder felt like an end of the world for Sarah. The bond shared between the sisters was exceptional, their camaraderie evident in their daily communications. They spent most of their day working together, always engaging in conversations unless it was time to retire to bed.
Deborah had moved her children to the United States, seeking a higher quality of life compared to their native Brazil. Sarah is now striving to fulfill the dreams her sister had for her children. Despite the ongoing fear and anguish, she represents resilience, striving to provide for the children, while operating a home cleaning company. She aspires to do everything within her capacity and hopes to overcome this testing phase.