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Pennsylvania prison escapee Danelo Cavalcante apprehended after intensive two-week Manhunt

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The harrowing two-week manhunt for Danelo Cavalcante, a convicted murderer who made a daring escape from a Pennsylvania prison, reached its conclusion today. Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro and Lt. Col.

George Bivens of the Pennsylvania State Police confirmed Cavalcante’s capture during a press conference held this morning. The arrest took place just after 8 a.m., orchestrated by a tactical team at the forefront of the relentless search. Remarkably, no shots were fired during the operation.

Cavalcante was found in a wooded area within the law enforcement perimeter, as disclosed by an insider in law enforcement to CBS News senior investigative producer Pat Milton earlier today. His apprehension occurred without any confrontations or incidents.

Lt. Col. Bivens expressed his relief, stating, “It is a true pleasure to stand here this morning and talk to you all about bringing this manhunt to a successful conclusion, and without getting anyone else hurt, most importantly.” Governor Shapiro, addressing the community during the press conference, acknowledged the trying times they endured, saying, “This has been a concerning and trying time for each and every one of you in the region.”

The escapee, Cavalcante, had elicited alarm when he managed to steal a rifle from a garage in Chester County and evade shots fired by the homeowner as he fled the scene. His escape transpired on August 31st, after he scaled a wall in the exercise yard of Chester County Prison in West Chester, following the same route used by another inmate in May. Surveillance footage from the prison grounds displayed Cavalcante’s audacious climb, which is now under investigation by the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office.

Governor Shapiro raised pertinent questions regarding the escape, saying, “I think there are questions that Chester County officials are going to have to answer as to how this suspect was able to escape, particularly given the history at that jail.”

Danelo Cavalcante, a 34-year-old Brazilian national, was convicted of first-degree murder last month and sentenced to life in prison without parole for the gruesome killing of his former girlfriend, Deborah Brandao, in April 2021. The heinous act, involving the stabbing death of the victim witnessed by her own children, garnered significant attention at the time. The U.S. Marshal Service also revealed that Cavalcante is wanted in connection with a homicide in Brazil, further emphasizing the extreme danger he posed, a sentiment echoed by law enforcement throughout the exhaustive manhunt that involved the coordination of hundreds of local, state, and federal officers.

Cavalcante was sighted multiple times in and around Chester County during the extensive police search, leading to school closures and a temporary shelter-in-place order in the area. Initially, authorities concentrated their efforts around Longwood Gardens, known for its dense woods and underground tunnels.

Search efforts reached a critical juncture this week when a driver reported a sighting of a man believed to be Cavalcante near Route 100. However, by the time the driver returned to investigate further, the man had vanished. Mud prints matching the soles of Cavalcante’s prison shoes were discovered, leading to the recovery of the discarded shoes. Concurrently, a resident reported the theft of work boots from their porch. Later that night, another homeowner reported a break-in and the theft of a .22 caliber rifle, accompanied by a pistol firing in the direction of the fleeing suspect.

Upon law enforcement’s arrival at the scene, they discovered a green sweatshirt and a white t-shirt in the driveway, believed to belong to Cavalcante. This deduction was based on his previous appearance in doorbell surveillance footage wearing a green hooded sweatshirt. Images from the surveillance tape circulated widely.

The apprehension of Danelo Cavalcante marks the end of a tense two-week period for the community and law enforcement agencies involved in this extensive manhunt. The details surrounding his daring escape and subsequent capture continue to captivate the nation.

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