Escaped Murderer Captured in Pennsylvania After Intensive Search

Two-week manhunt ends as fugitive Danelo Souza Cavalcante is apprehended


Two-week manhunt ends as fugitive Danelo Souza Cavalcante is apprehended

Danelo Souza Cavalcante, a convicted murderer who had been on the run for two weeks, was successfully captured in Pennsylvania on Wednesday. The fugitive’s daring escape from a Pennsylvania jail had sent shockwaves throughout the region, with residents living in fear as he evaded law enforcement, broke into homes for food, altered his appearance, and even stole a van and a rifle.

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The intensive search for Cavalcante came to an end after a plane equipped with a thermal imaging camera detected his heat signature overnight. Ground teams promptly secured the area, surrounded him, and deployed search dogs, leading to his capture.

Pennsylvania State Police Lt. Col. George Bivens commented, “They were able to move in very quietly. They had the element of surprise. Cavalcante did not realize he was surrounded until that had occurred.”

Cavalcante was armed with a rifle stolen from a homeowner’s garage when he was captured. He attempted to escape through the woods but was subdued by a search dog. Despite his resistance, he was taken into custody after 8 a.m., sustaining minor injuries during the capture.

This high-profile escape prompted widespread attention and concern. The extensive search led to school closures, advisories for residents to secure their homes, and roadblocks over the Labor Day weekend.

Cavalcante, who had been serving a life sentence for the murder of his ex-girlfriend, Deborah Brandao, in 2021, escaped the Chester County jail in southeastern Pennsylvania on August 31st. His escape involved scaling walls topped with razor wire and jumping from the roof.

The search intensified when Cavalcante was spotted in northern Chester County, where he attempted to steal a firearm from a homeowner’s garage. Law enforcement personnel swiftly mobilized, tracking him down and capturing him just inside the search perimeter.

Governor Josh Shapiro remarked, “He was desperate, and it was just a matter of time.”

The circumstances surrounding Cavalcante’s escape and capture have garnered attention in his home country of Brazil, where he is accused of “double qualified homicide” in the 2017 killing of Válter Júnior Moreira dos Reis.

Despite the challenges posed by this escape and the subsequent search, law enforcement agencies successfully collaborated to bring Danelo Souza Cavalcante back into custody.