The convicted murderer who ran away from a Pennsylvania prison 11 days ago was seen overnight more than 20 miles from where authorities had been searching, according to officials. He managed to sneak through the police perimeter and steal duct tape before fleeing north.
Pennsylvania State Police Lt. Col. George Bivens stated that Danelo Cavalcante, 34, has changed appearance and left the car at his home, urging people to secure their homes and vehicles to prevent him from making an easy escape. He previously had facial hair in his face, but now he appears clean-shaven and wearing a green hooded sweater in photos.
The developments on Sunday marked a significant shift in the state of affairs during the days-long manhunt that began after Cavalcante, who was found dead last month and had been convicted of first-degree murder, fled from Chester County Prison where he was being held since August 31.
In the days following his capture, Cavalcante’s whereabouts were concentrated in the immediate vicinity of the prison, particularly in and around Longwood Gardens, which are approximately three miles from the jail. State police reported that at least two sightings occurred within the search area as recently as Friday.
According to Bivens, who is leading the search, Cavalcante stole a 2020 Ford Transit van on Saturday evening, which was approximately three-quarters of meter from the police perimeter. He then apparently traveled to East Pikeland, where he went to the residence of an acquaintance whose identity had been unknown for years, at 9:52 p.m.
Bivens reported that Cavalcante inquired about meeting the individual at their residence through a video doorbell. The individual was at dinner with his family when they did not respond to the request.
After a female resident saw the escaped prisoner, Cavalcante called the police at 10:07 p.m. when she tried to reach another friend in the Phoenixville area.
Bivens stated that the state police were informed about the sightings at approximately 12:30 a.m. on Sunday, which was authorities’ initial indication of someone having left the Longwood Gardens area.
“I wish the perimeters were not as secure as they are now,” he said.
The second contact showed signs that Cavalcante may be using a white vehicle, as indicated by Bivens. Authorities located n/a lost vehicle near Longwood Gardens, where the owners were unaware it had been stolen and the keys had not been left inside.
Bivens reported that the van was discovered by authorities at 10:40 a.m. and left in mud in an abandoned field behind reclaimed barn in East Nantmeal, where it had no more fuel.
Bivens reported that investigators are currently searching the vicinity, but he still thinks Cavalcante is in Pennsylvania. He also mentioned that there are other factors at play that don’t require physical presence.
Bivens confirmed that US Immigration and Customs Enforcement had detained Cavalcante’s sister. He did not elaborate on the reasons for this action, but stated that authorities take steps to minimize or eliminate any assistance the inmate may receive.
Bivens suggested that Cavalcante is seeking support and requires it, as he was asked by CNN’s Polo Sandoval if his attempts to reach out to old friends were indicative of a desire for help.
In this Video Ad Feedback Video, a prisoner walks sideways through the walls to escape jail. Source: CNN 00:38.
The family of the victim is frightened.
About two weeks after being found guilty of first-degree murder in the 2021 killing of his former girlfriend, Deborah Brando, Cavalcante reportedly ran to her apartment and stabbed Brandeo 38 times in front of her two children, who are now under the care of another sister.
A US Marshals Service official has stated that Cavalcante is wanted in a 2017 murder case in Brazil, his birthplace.
The prison’s acting warden stated that surveillance video showed Cavalcante escaping by crawling between two walls in an exercise yard, holding his hands on one wall and feet on another, before running across a roof and climbing through razor wire.
The tower guard on duty did not witness the escape or report it. According to a source who spoke to CNN, officials terminated his employment on Thursday.
Despite the fact that the authorities in charge of the search are facing difficult questions, the fugitive’s potential escape from the prison perimeter could provide some relief to those living nearby. The area was previously under siege by a large police presence, but it was not until Sunday morning when the investigation moved northward.
Ryan Drummond, who was part of the group, told CNN that he saw Cavalcante in his home in Pocopson Township on September 1.
Drummond described an immediate moment of terror when he heard noise and noticed an old French door on the side of their deck was slightly open.
“When my stomach dropped, it was like that,” he disclosed to CNN’s Michael Smerconish.
According to Drummond, he advised his wife to contact 911 and observed Cavalcante walking calmly from the kitchen to the living room before exiting through the French door.
Chester County District Attorney Deborah Ryan stated that the family of Cavalcante, who has escaped, may find little comfort in their stay inside their home. Although they have access to 24-hour police protection, they are still afraid.
On Sunday, Bivens mentioned that they are still being protected by the police.