Escaped Convict Caught After Two-Week Long Manhunt

(Photo via; Chester County District Attorney's Office)
(Photo via; Chester County District Attorney’s Office)

OAN’s Roy Francis
8:26 AM – Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Danelo Cavalcante, the convicted murderer who had escaped from a Chester County Prison two weeks ago, was captured by authorities on Wednesday.


Cavalcante was captured after evading around 500 law enforcement officers for 14 days. The agencies involved in the manhunt included Pennsylvania State Police, the U.S. Marshals, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, BORTAC agents from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.

Around 1:00 A.M. on Wednesday morning, an aircraft using thermal technology led tactical teams of law enforcement officers to Cavalcante’s location. However, due to severe lightning in the area, the tactical teams did not immediately move in to capture the fugitive, instead they surrounded Cavalcante’s location until just after 8:00 A.M. when they were able to move in and capture him.

“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,” Pennsylvania State Police Lieutenant George Bivens said.

As officers moved in on the location of Cavalcante, he attempted to evade capture by crawling through thick brush, however, authorities released a dog which subdued him and enabled the officers to capture him.

Cavalcante was captured near the home where he had stolen a .22-calibar rifle on Monday night. The fugitive had taken the rifle but fled when the homeowner shot at him with his pistol but missed.

After the reported incident on Monday night, authorities urged citizens to remain indoors and lock their doors. The manhunt had also forced several school districts in the area to close for multiple days.

The 24-year-old fugitive had escaped from a Chester County facility on August 31st, which also led to the firing of the corrections officer who was on duty in the watchtower at the time of his escape.

Cavalcante was waiting to be transferred to a state prison to serve a life sentence for fatally stabbing an ex-girlfriend 38 times in the presence of her children in 2021. He had also entered the U.S. illegally after killing a man in Brazil in 2017.

The escape led to Chester County Prison making immediate changes to “bolster security in the prison.”

“Chester County Prison officials have made some immediate changes to bolster security in the prison, have brought in security contractors to make permanent changes to the exercise yards, and are reviewing and – where needed – changing procedures for both security measures and communication to residents who live close to the prison,” a joint statement from Chester County Commissioners Marian Moskowitz, Josh Maxwell, and Michelle Kichline read.  

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