Two years prior in the state of Pennsylvania, Danelo Souza Cavalcante tragically murdered his former girlfriend in the presence of her young children. Before the horrific event, Cavalcante was described as a charming individual, a fellow Brazilian who portrayed a good neighborly demeanor and displayed kindness, recounted Deborah Brandão’s sister.
This perception gradually changed as Cavalcante, now the target of a desperate manhunt following his escape from a Pennsylvania prison, started showing signs of jealousy and even menacing Katherine Brandão before taking her life. This information was revealed by Sarah Brandão, the deceased’s sister.
Presently, with Danelo on the loose, Sarah, who is looking after Deborah’s two children and her own daughter in Pennsylvania, is filled with terror about his evasion and fears he might find her next. “I’ve been unable to sleep for days. The thought of his escape has had me waking in fright during the night”, Sarah expressed in a conversation translated from Portuguese to English.
Cavalcante was sentenced a mere month ago for the first-degree murder of Deborah Brando in 2021. Unexpectedly, he evaded incarceration from the Chester County Prison, situated about 30 miles west of Philadelphia, initiating a broad search operation involving hundreds of law enforcement officers. Cavalcante, who is also sought in a 2017 homicide case in Brazil, was branding as incredibly dangerous and hellbent on evading capture by the authorities.
Deborah came into contact with Cavalcante due to their shared residency in Chester. Initially, Cavalcante proved to be a good friend and a source of comfort to Deborah, according to Sarah. However, his affections towards Deborah’s children were more aloof and detached, devoid of warmth or attachment, added Sarah.
Over time, Cavalcante’s behavior started to alter. “Deborah revealed how his extreme jealousy surfaced when he’s drunk and how he often checked her phone” recalled Sarah. Cavalcante then threatened Deborah, warning her of dire consequences if he discovered she was unfaithful.
In April 2021, Cavalcante fatally stabbed Deborah 33 times, committing the gruesome act in front of her pre-school-aged children. Just a short while after his trial concluded, Cavalcante was committed to incarceration for life, without the privilege of parole.
Upon his sentencing, Sarah expressed her relief stating that justice had been served for Deborah. However, Cavalcante’s recent breakout has left her in constant trepidation. Despite her worry that Cavalcante might reappear, she remains hopeful that the police will capture him.
Deborah strained to create a better life for her children by relocating to the United States. Now it falls on Sarah to carry on Deborah’s purpose, as she takes the responsibility of nourishing and protecting her late sister’s children. Sarah, along with her husband, is trying to maintain their businesses and offer the best possible life to their children in light of the tragedy that unfolded so suddenly in their lives.