Pennsylvania State Police announced Wednesday morning that they caught escaped murderer Danelo Cavalcante, ending a 14-day manhunt.
Cavalcante was taken into custody by force shortly after 8:00 a.m., Sept. 13, after tactical teams closed in on his hiding place within a pile of logs behind a John Deere store in South Coventry Township, ABC 6 reported. Pennsylvania State Police Lt. Col. George Bivens revealed in a press conference Wednesday that teams began to close in on Cavalcante shortly after midnight after a burglar alarm went off at a residence within the police perimeter.
Though police did not find Cavalcante when they responded to the residence, a heat signal was picked up by law enforcement aircraft nearby around 1:00 a.m. As tactical teams moved into position near the source of the heat signal, however, a weather system passed through the area, grounding the aircraft, Bivens explained in the press conference.
Not wanting to risk losing Cavalcante’s position without assistance from the aircraft, Bivens opted for tactical teams to wait for better weather conditions and visibility before moving in to capture the fugitive. At dawn, with better weather and lower temperatures to assist in locking in on Cavalcante’s heat signal, police resumed their efforts to capture the escaped murderer who was, according to Bivens, taken completely by surprise.
Cavalcante attempted to escape with the stolen firearm, crawling through thick underbrush, but State Police released a K-9 unit that ultimately subdued the fugitive, allowing officers to take him into custody, Bivens revealed.
Cavalcante escaped from Chester County Prison in West Chester at approximately 8:45 a.m. on Aug. 31, one week after receiving a life sentence for the stabbing murder of his former girlfriend, Deborah Brandao. A former gang member wanted for murder in Brazil, Cavalcante was in the U.S. illegally when he brutally stabbed Brandao after she threatened to contact authorities when she learned about the charges against him in Brazil. (RELATED: Escaped Murderer’s Mother Speaks Out, Blames His Victims For Their Deaths)
In the subsequent multi-day manhunt, Pennsylvania State Police set up perimeters throughout Chester County following multiple sightings of the fugitive. Despite these perimeters, Cavalcante managed to evade police for days, even going so far as to steal a dairy truck and obtain a .22 caliber rifle after breaking into a local residence.
Armed and considered “extremely dangerous,” the manhunt became more urgent over the previous few days, with officials warning local residents to stay in their homes and secure vehicles and outbuildings as they sought to bring Cavalcante back into custody.
Chester County District Attorney Deb Ryan celebrated Calvalcante’s recapture, calling it a “great day.” With Cavalcante’s capture, Ryan stated in the press conference, local residents could regain a “sense of normalcy” and “breathe a collective sigh of relief.”