Danelo Cavalcante was spotted more than 20 miles from the authorities’ search area after he escaped from a Pennsylvania prison over a week ago. According to officials, he stole a van and fled north after slipping through the police perimeter.
The 34-year-old killer, who was convicted of first-degree murder last month, has since left the car and changed his appearance. While previous photos showed him with facial hair, he is now clean-shaven and wearing a green sweater. Pennsylvania State Police is also reminding residents to secure their vehicles and homes to avoid helping with him escape.
The recent developments have significantly changed the state of the manhunt after Cavalcante escaped from the Chester County Prison on August 31. Previously, officials focused on the immediate area around the prison, including Longwood Gardens, which is located a few miles from the facility. According to state police, at least two sightings had been reported in the area.
Late Saturday, however, he stole a vehicle less than a mile away from the police perimeter and began traveling east, to the home of one of his acquaintances. Bivens, the officer leading the search, said that Cavalcante asked the individual whether or not they could meet up via video doorbell at the home.
The individual was dining out with his family at the time, however, and did not respond. Cavalcante left the residence shortly afterward.
Later that night, he tried to contact another one of his acquaintances, who lived in Phoenixville. The individual was also out at the time, however, they later informed the police after one of the residents spotted the escaped inmate.
Pennsylvania State Police found out about these sightings at approximately 12:30 a.m. on Sunday. It was their first indication that he had managed to escape from the perimeter near the prison.
The acquaintance also told police Cavalcante may be driving a white vehicle. Officials later identified the car as a missing vehicle from Longwood Gardens, whose owners had left the keys inside. Several hours later, they found the van abandoned in a field near a barn. It had run out of fuel.
Biven said investigators are now combing the surrounding area and believe Cavalcante is still in Pennsylvania. He also confirmed that the fugitive’s sister had been detained by US Customs and Immigration Enforcement, though he did not go into details as to why.
His Escape Terrifies the Victim’s Family
Cavalcante escaped from prison a couple of weeks after he was convicted of fire-degree murder for killing his ex-girlfriend, 33-year-old Deborah Brandao, in Chester County. He had stabbed her 38 times in front of her children, who are now being taken of by her sister.
According to a US Marshals Service official, Cavalcante is also wanted in his home country of Brazil for a 2017 homicide case.
Since the murder, the victim’s family has barricaded themselves inside the house. They also have a 24-hour police protection detail, according to District Attorney Deborah Ryan.