U.S. immigration officials have arrested the sister of an “extremely dangerous” murderer being hunted by Pennsylvania State Police, authorities revealed Sunday.
Eleni Cavalcante, the sister of escaped convicted murderer Danelo Cavalcante, is facing deportation over “some immigration issues,” Pennsylvania State Police Lt. Col. George Bivens said at a Sept. 10 press conference. Bivens would not comment as to whether Eleni had been assisting her brother in his continued evasion of law enforcement authorities.
“I’m not going to comment on what assistance he may or may not be receiving,” Bivens told reporters. “But we take steps to try to minimize or eliminate that assistance and that is exactly what we’ve done at this point.”
Cavalcante, a former gang member in Brazil, was convicted for stabbing his former girlfriend, Deborah Brandao, to death in front of her two children in April 2021, the Chester County District Attorney’s office said in August. Cavalcante escaped from the Chester County prison Aug. 31, roughly one week after his life sentence conviction.
Cavalcante is also wanted for murder in Brazil but entered the U.S. illegally “without being inspected or admitted by a U.S. immigration official,” The New York Times reported, citing the Department of Homeland Security.
Despite an exhaustive manhunt, Cavalcante was able to slip through a police perimeter around the Longwood Gardens botanical park, at which point he stole a dairy delivery van, Bivens said at the press conference. After driving nearly 20 miles to East Pikeland Township and Phoenixville, Cavalcante sought help from two former co-workers, arriving at their respective houses in an apparent attempt to meet with them, but neither individual was home, Bivens continued.
The first individual contacted police after reviewing footage from his doorbell camera. The second individual was not home, but a female resident observed Cavalcante at the home and contacted a friend who then contacted authorities, he explained. (RELATED: Escaped Murderer Possibly Spotted With Stolen Van, New Appearance)
The stolen delivery van, a white Ford Transit, was found abandoned by authorities at 10:40 a.m. Sunday in a field behind a barn in East Nantmeal Township, about 15 miles west of Phoenixville, Bivens continued.
“We are obviously very concerned that Cavalcante has or will attempt to steal another vehicle to facilitate his escape. As a reminder, we ask for the public’s help by familiarizing themselves with the updated photographs and description of Cavalcante,” Bivens said, adding that residents should secure their homes and vehicles.