A convict on the run was finally apprehended on Wednesday, ending a terrifying fortnight on the loose. The fugitive, identified as Cavalcante, had escaped from a Pennsylvania prison, sparking a manhunt that included frequent home invasions for sustenance, a change of appearance, and theft of a vehicle and firearm.
In the early hours of the day, Cavalcante’s heat signal was identified from an aircraft patrolling the area. However, tracking was impeded by stormy weather conditions until dawn. Nevertheless, tactical teams managed to secure the area and later advanced, accompanied by search dogs. The teams managed to maneuver into the location silently, achieving the element of surprise. Cavalcante was reportedly unaware of his surrounded situation until it was too late.
The fugitive engaged in a futile attempt to escape by taking cover and crawling through dense foliage while he still possessed the stolen rifle. Despite this, he was apprehended by the authorities around 8 a.m after offering resistance. He suffered a minor injury on the scalp when a police dog bit him, and no shots were fired during his capture.
As the search completed its 14th day, the news of Cavalcante’s capture was announced on social media by the state police. It was made known that Cavalcante will face a felony escape charge. Armored vehicles arriving at the Pennsylvania State Police Barracks at Avondale contained Cavalcante. He was led into the building, handcuffed and swathed in what appeared to be a thermal blanket.
The manhunt ended in thick woods, rolling farmland, and a county park beyond Philadelphia’s bustling suburbs. This operation saw the deployment of hundreds of armed law enforcement officers, equipped with dogs, armoured carriers, horses, and helicopters.
The disruption caused by the fugitive’s escape resulted in schools closing during the beginning of the academic year, warnings to homeowners to secure their homes, and roadblocks over Labor Day weekend. Law enforcement officers tirelessly pursued Cavalcante during torrential rain and thunder overnight.
Cavalcante had managed a daring escape from Chester County jail on August 31. The authorities stated that he had changed his appearance, stolen a vehicle to reach old coworkers in the northern part of the county, and later discarded the vehicle, primarily due to fuel shortage.
A breakthrough resulted late on Monday when a driver informed the police of a man resembling Cavalcante, hiding in darkness next to a roadside tree line in northern Chester County. Moreover, stolen work boots and Cavalcante’s footprints pointed towards his prison shoes. A tip-off was received about the stolen .22 caliber rifle and ammunition from an open garage that led the manhunt towards South Coventry Township.
Initially hailing from Brazil, Cavalcante was infamous back home where he is accused of a “double qualified homicide” over a vehicle repair debt back in 2017. State-side, he received a life sentence after murdering his ex-girlfriend, Deborah Brandao, in front of her children. This was reported to prevent her from informing the authorities about his wanted status in Brazil.
Unfortunately, Cavalcante’s initial prison break went unnoticed for over an hour until a headcount took place. Consequently, the prison tower guard on duty at the time has since been dismissed.