Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

As it happenedended1694786537

Danelo Cavalcante planned carjacking to flee to Canada before capture - latest updates

Fugitive was left with a bloody face after suffering bite from Belgium Malinois dog Yoda as he was captured after almost two weeks on the run on Wednesday

Andrea Blanco,Rachel Sharp,Joe Sommerlad
Friday 15 September 2023 15:02 BST
Danelo Cavalcante escape video

Escaped prisoner Danelo Cavalcante has revealed how he survived almost two weeks on the run from law enforcement in Pennsylvania, following his dramatic capture by a police dog called Yoda.

US Marshall Robert Clark told ABC News that the convicted killer had been very candid after he was captured on Wednesday morning. He told investigators how he evaded capture and survived in the woods by eating watermelon.

“He stated he intended to carjack somebody in the next 24 hours and that he was going to head north to Canada,” Mr Clark said. “He said on multiple occasions law enforcement officers almost stepped on him, [that] we were only five or six feet away.”

Pennsylvania officials said that tactical teams closed in on Cavalcante on Wednesday morning and the inmate began to crawl through heavy underbrush to get away. At that point, Yoda, a four-year-old Belgium Malinois, set out to subdue the escapee, leaving him with a face bloodied from a bite.

Cavalcante had escaped from Chester County Prison on 31 August – days after he was sentenced to life for fatally stabbing his ex-girlfriend Deborah Brandao. He is also wanted for a 2017 murder in Brazil.

1694583031

Police hunting Danelo Cavalcante say it’s ‘advantage law enforcement’ as search zeroes in on township

Authorities hunting for convicted murderer Danelo Cavalcante have said they’re hopeful their chances of capturing him will increase now that he has moved to an urban area.

Pennsylvania State Police provided an update on the ongoing search for the escaped killer as the search for Cavalcante entered its 12th day on Monday. Lt Col George Bivens said the manhunt had moved from a containment-focused search to one where other investigative resources are being allocated across northern Chester County.

Over the weekend, Cavalcante managed to steal a van near a dairy farm in Longwood Gardens, in Popocson Township — where he had been hiding since his escape from Chester County Prison on 31 August. The fugitive drove the white 2020 Ford Transit van more than 20 miles to Phoenixville and unsuccessfully tried to get help from two former coworkers who were not home when Cavalcante showed up at their door.

Read the full story here:

Police hunting Danelo Cavalcante say it’s ‘advantage law enforcement’

‘Before it was advantageous to Cavalcante while he was playing tactical hide and seek in the woods,’ US Marshalls supervising deputy Robert Clark said

Maroosha Muzaffar13 September 2023 06:30
1694584800

Homeowner opens fire on Danelo Cavalcante after he stole rifle from Pennsylvania home

A man fired seven times at Cavalcante after the convicted prisoner broke into his home on Monday night.

Police confirmed the shooting at a press conference on Tuesday morning, saying Cavalcante is “armed and dangerous” and a search of the area near the home was fruitless.

The Independent’s Martha McHardy reports:

Homeowner opens fire on Danelo Cavalcante after he stole rifle from home

Cavalcante, 34, escaped from Chester County Prison on 31 August, days after he was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of his ex-girlfriend

Andrea Blanco13 September 2023 07:00
1694586631

Fugitive Danelo Cavalcante’s mother defends his murders and says ‘everyone is lying about him’

Danelo Cavalcante’s mother has spoken out in defence of her convicted murderer son nearly two weeks after he escaped from a prison in northwestern Pennsylvania.

Cavalcante’s mother Iracema Cavalcante said in an interview with The New York Times that she believes her 34-year-old son is better off dead than spending the rest of his life behind bars for the April 2021 murder of his former girlfriend Deborah Brandao.

“If it’s to go to a place to suffer and die in that place, it’s better to die soon,” Ms Cavalcante told the Times on Tuesday. “You don’t have to suffer so much.”

Ms Cavalante acknowledged that her son killed his former ex-girlfriend in front of her young children but claimed that he only did it because he felt cornered.

“Did it happen? It happened,” Ms Cavalcante told the Times. “But it happened because of the stranglehold she put on him, the stance she took with him ... It wasn’t femicide. He had to, he had no other choice.”

Danelo Cavalcante’s mother defends his murders and says ‘everyone is lying about him’

‘He had to, he had no other choice,’ Iracema Cavalcante told The New York Times about his son’s murders

Maroosha Muzaffar13 September 2023 07:30
1694588400

WATCH: Neighbors on edge as manhunt for killer comes close to home: 'I want him caught'

Neighbors on edge as manhunt for killer comes close to home: 'I want him caught'
Andrea Blanco13 September 2023 08:00
1694590231

Why is the search proving to be so difficult?

The challenge in finding the escaped, convicted murderer Danelo Cavalcante is the terrain of the search area, Lt Col George Bivens of the Pennsylvania State Police has said.

This expansive area is densely forested, offering numerous hiding spots, he added.

Establishing a secure search perimeter has proven to be problematic due to the presence of an extensive underground tunnel system, sizable drainage ditches, and thick vegetation, Mr Bivens points out.

Maroosha Muzaffar13 September 2023 08:30
1694592000

No signs that Cavalcante has been injured, police say

Lt Col told CNN that there was no evidence suggesting Cavalcante had suffered injuries during a confrontation with a South Coventry Township homeowner who shot at the fugitive after he stole a .22 rifle.

“Throughout this, I’ve maintained a high level of confidence. I would hope that we’re able to get him in this perimeter. We’re going to search and I anticipate we will find him in there. All I can tell you is we will do our absolute best. We will capture him one way or another,” Mr Bivens said.

“There is no blood or anything on sight that leads us to believe that [the homeowner] wounded Cavalcante — it was just enough to force Cavalcante to back out of the premises and back out into the woods.”

Andrea Blanco13 September 2023 09:00
1694593853

Watch: Pennsylvania police confirm escaped prisoner Danelo Cavalcante stole rifle and is now ‘armed’

Pennsylvania police have confirmed that escaped prisoner Danelo Cavalcante is now ‘armed’ after stealing a .22 calibre rifle from a home in East Nantmeal Township on Monday 12 September.

Pennsylvania State Police recovered nearby the green hoodie and shoes the prisoner was pictured wearing over the weekend and are now focusing their search on South Coventry Township, warning locals to “lock all doors and windows”.

The manhunt for Cavalcante is entering its 12th day, after he escaped from Chester County Prison in Pennsylvania where he was sentenced to life without parole for stabbing his ex-girlfriend to death.

Watch: Police confirm escaped prisoner Danelo Cavalcante is ‘armed’ with stolen rifle

Pennsylvania police have confirmed that escaped prisoner Danelo Cavalcante is now ‘armed’ after stealing a .22 calibre rifle from a home in East Nantmeal Township on Monday 12 September. Pennsylvania State Police recovered nearby the green hoodie and shoes the prisoner was pictured wearing over the weekend and are now focusing their search on South Coventry Township, warning locals to “lock all doors and windows”. The manhunt for Cavalcante is entering its 12th day, after he escaped from Chester County Prison in Pennsylvania where he was sentenced to life without parole for stabbing his ex-girlfriend to death.

Maroosha Muzaffar13 September 2023 09:30
1694595600

Pennsylvania police defend against criticism of Danelo Cavalcante manhunt after revealing killer is armed

Since his escape from Chester County Prison on 31 August, Cavalcante has travelled more than 30 miles from his initial hiding spot in Longwood Gardens. US Marshalls, FBI, SWAT teams and local and state police have scrambled to keep up with Cavalcante’s moves, despite assertions by officials that the manhunt is “wearing him down.”

During a press conference on Tuesday morning, Lt Col George Bivens downplayed the fact that Cavalcante is now armed. Mr Bivens insisted that the initially established search perimeter was strong and no mistakes were made — a perimeter that had to be repeatedly expanded as Cavalcante kept sneaking past it, until it was dropped altogether on Monday.

“We have considered him dangerous from the very start, it changes nothing,” Mr Bivens told reporters. “We just now absolutely know that he has a weapon.”

The Independent’s Andrea Blanco reports:

Police warn that escapee Danelo Cavalcante is armed. He has avoided searchers for nearly two weeks

Authorities in Pennsylvania are warning that an escaped murderer who has evaded capture in southeastern Pennsylvania for nearly two weeks is armed

Andrea Blanco13 September 2023 10:00
1694597453

Police warn that escapee Danelo Cavalcante is armed. He has avoided searchers for nearly two weeks

Authorities warned that an escaped murderer who has evaded capture in southeastern Pennsylvania for nearly two weeks was armed and urged residents Tuesday in the area where he was being pursued to lock up, secure vehicles and remain indoors.

Pennsylvania State Police posted on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, that the department was pursuing Danelo Souza Cavalcante in South Coventry Township. Police also asked that the public call 911 if Cavalcante is seen and not to approach him.

At least one nearby school district announced early Tuesday that it would close all schools and offices for the day and another in the area planned to keep students indoors.

On Monday, state and federal officials pushed back against questions about whether they blew a chance to catch Cavalcante, saying that the area where hundreds had been searching included heavy woods, underground tunnels and drainage ditches. They also said it took more than two hours for news to reach them that he had been spotted outside of the perimeter for the first time.

Police warn that escapee Danelo Cavalcante is armed. He has avoided searchers for nearly two weeks

Authorities in Pennsylvania are warning that an escaped murderer who has evaded capture in southeastern Pennsylvania for nearly two weeks is armed

- AP

13 September 2023 10:30
1694598615

Pennsylvania residents stock up on firearms

Terrified Pennsylvania residents are stocking up on guns after learning that escaped murderer Danelo Cavalcante is now armed with a rifle while on the run.

On Tuesday, officials confirmed that Cavalcante broke into a garage at a home in East Nantmeal Township on Monday and stole a .22 caliber rifle.

The owner spotted the fugitive and fired seven shots at him as he fled.

With the manhunt now entering its 14th day and police coming under fire for failing to capture him, residents appear to be taking matters into their own hands.

Gun shop owners in Chester County told ABC6 that there has been an uptick in gun sales in the local area.

Chris Gordon – owner of Gordon’s Sport Supply, which is located along the periphery of the current search area – said that many people have .22 caliber rifles, the same model that Cavalcante is now armed with.

“A lot of people have them,” he said. “A lot of fun to target shoot with, small game hunt with. It would be appropriate being it has a 10-round magazine, which fits the bill with everything is going on.”

But he said people are now asking him for something quicker and easier to use if confronted by the convicted killer.

Rachel Sharp13 September 2023 10:50

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in