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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.


WATCH: CCTV footage shows Danelo Calvacante's prison escape

CCTV footage shows Danelo Calvacante's prison escape
Rachel Sharp13 September 2023 11:10

Authorities offer $25,000 for information that leads to Cavalcante’s capture

For more than twelve days, Cavalcante has eluded US Marshalls, SWAT and FBI teams, state police and several local law enforcement agencies.

The reward offered for information that leads to Cavalcante’s capture has been increased to $25,000.

Pennsylvania State Police Lt Col George Bivens said that Cavalcante is now armed and the concern remains that he could manage to steal another vehicle to move farther away from the East Nantmeal Township and South Coventry Township area.

Andrea Blanco13 September 2023 11:30

Where is Danelo Cavalcante now?

“Cavalcante is believed to be within a perimeter in the South Coventry Township area: Routes 23 & 100, Fairview & Nantmeal Roads, and Iron Bridge & County Park Roads. Residents should secure buildings, property and vehicles. Report sightings or related activity immediately to 911,” Pennsylvania State Police said in the latest update.

Rachel Sharp13 September 2023 11:50

Cavalcante’s mother says her son would be better off dead than arrested

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.”

In the aftermath of Cavalcante’s escape, his mother recorded a message asking his son to surrender, which authorities then blasted into his previous hiding place from helicopters and patrol cars. She has now said that if she had another chance to communicate with her son, she would tell him to “ask God to forgive him for what he did.”

“If I said my son didn’t make a mistake, I’d be lying,” Ms Calvacante added. “I know what my son did was wrong. I know my son should pay for his mistake. But I want my son to pay for his mistake with dignity. Not to pay with his life.”

Cavalcante stabbed his former girlfriend Deborah Brandao 40 times in front of her young children.

He was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole and escaped from Chester County Prison on 31 August while awaiting transfer to state prison.

In Brazil, prosecutors in Tocantins state have also accused Cavalcante of “double qualified homicide” in the 2017 slaying of Válter Júnior Moreira dos Reis in Figueirópolis, which they said was over a debt the victim owed him for repairing a vehicle.

Andrea Blanco13 September 2023 12:10

Former NYPD sergeant says that Pennsylvania authorities face challenges in ‘difficult terrain’

Retired NYPD Sergeant Joseph Giacalone told Insider that it was only a matter of time for Pennsylvania authorities to capture Cavalcante.

Mr Giacalone, an adjunct professor at New York’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice, told the outlet that the delay in arresting the fugitive was in great part due to the difficulty in securing the search perimeter.

“This is like hide-and-go-seek, but at a massive level,” Mr Giacalone said. “The terrain is very difficult ... There’s plenty of places to hide, whether it’s the densely populated woods, the cornfields, the barns,” as well as culverts and creeks.

He added: “You can’t blame the cops — they’re pulling out all the stops.”

Andrea Blanco13 September 2023 12:30

Police: Danelo Cavalcante knows the area where he is hiding

Police believe that Danelo Cavalcante is familiar with the area where he is currently on the run from authorities – as the manhunt enters its 14th day with the killer still at large.

Pennsylvania State Police Lt Col George Bivens said in a press conference on Tuesday that officials believe the convicted killer has been in the area before and knows where he is.

The search perimeter is currently focused on the South Coventry Township area including Routes 23 and 100, Fairview and Nantmeal Roads, and Iron Bridge and County Park Roads.

Police admitted it will take time to search the area for the killer and urged residents to stay inside.

Rachel Sharp13 September 2023 12:50

Where has Danelo Cavalcante been spotted since his Pennsylvania jailbreak?

Cavalcante, 34, has not only eluded hundreds of US Marshalls, SWAT, FBI and state and local law enforcement officers — he has also managed to sneak past the established search perimeter time and time again and is now armed.

Over the weekend, the fugitive drove more than 25 miles from his initial hiding spot in Longwood Gardens after stealing a van that he then discarded in East Nantmeal Township.

Then on Monday night, he broke inside a garage in South Coventry Township and stole a .22 rifle before fleeing the scene.

Residents of the suburban Pennsylvania county are growing increasingly frustrated as police scramble to keep up with Cavalcante’s moves.

Where has Danelo Cavalcante been spotted since his Pennsylvania jailbreak?

Chester County residents are growing increasingly frustrated as police scramble to keep up with the ‘dangerous’ killer’s moves, writes Andrea Blanco

Andrea Blanco13 September 2023 13:10

BREAKING NEWS: Danelo Cavalcante captured

Pennsylvania State Police have confirmed that Danelo Cavalcante has been captured after almost two weeks on the run.

“A press conference announcing details of THE CAPTURE of Danelo Cavalcante is scheduled for 9:30am at the Po-Mar-Lin Fire company, 36 Firehouse Drive, Kennett Square, PA,” Pennsylvania State Police said in a social media post.

Rachel Sharp13 September 2023 13:28

FULL STORY: Pennsylvania fugitive Danelo Cavalcante captured nearly two weeks after prison escape

A nearly two-week manhunt for a dangerous murder convict Danelo Cavalcante came to an end on Wednesday as he was captured in Pennsylvania.

For 14 days, Cavalcante managed to elude hundreds of law enforcement officers, including tactical teams in full combat gear, tracking dogs, cops on horseback and on aircraft. Pennsylvania State Police Lt Col George Bivens had credited Cavalcante’s upbringing in rural Brazil for his ability to hide in the vast wooded terrains in Chester County.

The jailbreak on 31 August sparked fear among residents of the county’s suburbs, who were urged to keep their homes secure following a series of break-ins believed to be linked to Cavalcante. On 11 September, fears reached a fever pitch as Cavalcante stole a gun from a garage.

Rachel Sharp13 September 2023 13:40

Press conference set for 9.30am

Authorities will hold a press conference at 9.30am ET about the capture of escaped convict Danelo Cavalcante.

Pennsylvania State Police announced on Twitter that they will hold a briefing to give details of “THE CAPTURE of Danelo Cavalcante”.

The briefing will take place at the Po-Mar-Lin Fire company, 36 Firehouse Drive, Kennett Square, PA.

The Independent will be following it live.

Rachel Sharp13 September 2023 13:55

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