A manhunt is underway in Pennsylvania following the escape of a convicted murderer from Chester County Prison. Danelo Cavalcante, 34, who was recently sentenced to life imprisonment for the 2021 murder of his ex-girlfriend, managed to escape on Thursday morning. Cavalcante, who is also sought for a separate homicide in his home country of Brazil, remains unaccounted for.
Chester County District Attorney Deb Ryan has called on the public to assist in locating Cavalcante, cautioning that he is extremely dangerous. Cavalcante was last seen in Pocopson Township on Thursday morning, dressed in a white t-shirt, gray shorts, and white sneakers. Ryan has advised the public to refrain from approaching Cavalcante and to immediately contact 911 if he is sighted.
The search for Cavalcante involves the West Chester Police Department and several other law enforcement agencies. Cavalcante is described as being 5 feet tall, weighing 120 pounds, with brown eyes and long, black curly hair. He is multilingual, fluent in Portuguese and Spanish, and conversant in English. The search operation has employed K-9 units, drones, and helicopters.
Chester County Prison Warden Howard Holland has not revealed how Cavalcante was able to escape from the maximum-security facility. However, he confirmed that an immediate search was launched upon the discovery of Cavalcante’s escape, with the prison being placed on lockdown and all alerts activated.
Cavalcante was convicted for the brutal murder of his ex-girlfriend, Debora Brandao, in Schuylkill Township, Pennsylvania, in April 2021. The crime was committed in the presence of Brandao’s two young children. Following the murder, Cavalcante fled to Virginia, where he was subsequently captured by Virginia State Police. In addition to his life sentence, Cavalcante is wanted for a 2017 murder in Brazil.
Pennsylvania State Police Captain Robert Bailey has pledged that every effort is being made to apprehend Cavalcante. The family of the victim has been informed about Cavalcante’s escape.