A nearly two-week manhunt for dangerous killer Danelo Cavalcante came to an end Wednesday when he was captured in Pennsylvania.
Cavalcante was arrested without incident Wednesday and taken to the Pennsylvania State Police Avondale barracks. Authorities are expected to hold a news conference about the arrest at 9:30 a.m.
The fugitive was found hiding in a shed in Pottstown with the rifle he had previously stolen from a home in South Coventry Township. FOX29 Reports. Aerial footage of the arrest showed dozens of police officers surrounding Cavalcante, who was wearing a gray Eagles hoodie and dark pants.
The officers cleaned Cavalcante’s face and escorted him out of the woods into a SWAT squad car, where they then cut off Cavalcante’s clothing.
For 14 days, Cavalcante managed to elude hundreds of police officers, including tactical teams in full riot gear, sniffer dogs, police on horseback and in planes. Pennsylvania State Police Lt. Col. George Bivens had blamed Cavalcante’s childhood in rural Brazil for his ability to hide in the vast wooded areas of Chester County.
The Aug. 31 prison break sparked fear among residents of the county’s suburbs, who were urged to secure their homes after a series of burglaries believed to be related to Cavalcante. Fears reached their peak on September 11 when Cavalcante stole a gun from a garage.
Cavalcante managed to get clothing and food and even stole a van, which he drove more than 25 miles from his original hiding place in Longwood Gardens. He was spotted several times during the 14-day ordeal, and the sightings repeatedly forced law enforcement to expand their search area and led to the closure of three school districts and a popular botanical garden.
During his escape, Cavalcante showed up at the home of two former employees.
Cavalcante escaped from the Chester County Jail while awaiting transfer to state prison. Last month he was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of his ex-girlfriend.
Chester County District Attorney Deb Ryan previously said Cavalcante would not return to the county jail following his arrest.
Cavalcante began his escape around 8:50 a.m. Aug. 31 while other inmates were playing basketball in the exercise yard.
He stretched his body out so that it was the length of a hallway and “jogged” to the roof. He then climbed over barbed wire and jumped off the roof.
It wasn’t until almost an hour later that correctional officers discovered during a headcount that an inmate was missing.
The prison was locked at 9:50 a.m. and emergency services were notified of the escape 10 minutes later.
Howard Holland, assistant warden at the Chester County Jail, said Cavalcante’s prison escape was similar to another inmate’s escape in May. During this incident, a tower officer immediately reported the situation to prison staff and the inmate was arrested within minutes.
The officer assigned to monitor the area during Cavalcante’s escape did not report the incident. He was placed on administrative leave and his performance is under investigation by prosecutors.
Cavalcante killed his ex-girlfriend Deborah Brandao in front of her children in 2021. Prosecutors say Cavalcante killed Brandao to prevent her from telling police that he was wanted for a murder in Brazil in 2017.
Authorities believe he tried to return to Brazil after Brandao’s murder before being captured in Virginia.