Danelo Cavalcante, meurtrier condamné, capturé deux semaines après son évasion de prison en Pennsylvanie : une histoire captivante et palpitante à découvrir


Escaped murderer Danelo Souza Cavalcante was captured Wednesday after eluding hundreds of searchers for two weeks in southeastern Pennsylvania, during which time he broke into suburban homes for food, changed his appearance and faced gunfire from a homeowner.

Authorities used thermal imaging from an aircraft to pinpoint his location. Cavalcante’s heat signal was picked up around 1 a.m. ET from the aircraft, but storms prevented teams from continuing to track him until the morning, Pennsylvania State Police Lt. Col. George Bivens said.

The delay did, however, give tactical teams time to secure the area, and they later moved in with search dogs, Bivens said at a news conference.

« The were able to move in very quietly. They had the element of surprise, » Bivens said. « Cavalcante did not realize he was surrounded until that had occurred. »

A view from on high shows men in fatigues standing near a large armoured vehicle in front of a low-rise building.
Law enforcement agents stand by an armoured vehicle containing Danelo Souza Cavalcante at the Pennsylvania State Police barracks at Avondale, Pa., on Wednesday morning. (WPVI-TV/The Associated Press)

Cavalcante — still armed with the rifle — tried to escape by crawling through thick underbrush, Bivens said, and he continued to resist as he was taken into custody after 8 a.m. He was bitten on the scalp by a police dog and suffered a minor wound, he said. No shots were fired.

« He was desperate, and it was just a matter of time, » said Gov. Josh Shapiro.

State police had announced Cavalcante’s capture on social media earlier Wednesday, as the search entered its 14th day. The attorney general’s office said Cavalcante will be arraigned on a felony escape charge.

Cavalcante, 34, had broken out of the Chester County jail on Aug. 31 while awaiting transfer to a state prison. He had received a life sentence last month for killing his ex-girlfriend Deborah Brandao, in front of her children, in 2021.

Aerial footage from WPVI-TV news showed an armoured vehicle with Cavalcante arriving at the Pennsylvania State Police barracks at Avondale.

A handful of officers pulled him from the back of the vehicle and quickly led him into the building. He was handcuffed and wrapped in what appeared to be a thermal blanket. Bivens said investigators would try to interview him about his time on the run before taking him to a state prison.

Guard fired after ‘crab-walking’ escape

Officials last week released a video showing Cavalcante standing in a passageway next to the Chester County jail yard before bracing his hands on one wall and his feet on another, then « crab-walking » up the walls out of the camera’s view.

It was not made clear why guards failed to notice Cavalcante hopping from the roof of that building and heading away from the prison’s perimeter.

The escape went undetected for more than an hour until guards took a head count, and the prison tower guard on duty was subsequently fired.

A man is shown using his hands and legs on opposite walls to climb up, as a barechested, tattooed man looks on.
This photo provided by Chester County Prison shows CCTV footage of prison inmate Danelo Cavalcante, left, climbing up Chester County prison walls on Aug. 31. (Chester County Prison/The Associated Press)

The escape and search have attracted international attention and became big news in Cavalcante’s native Brazil.

Prosecutors in Tocantins state say he is accused of « double qualified homicide » in the 2017 slaying of Válter Júnior Moreira dos Reis in the municipality of Figueiropolis, which authorities say was over a debt the victim owed him in connection with the repair of a vehicle.

Pennsylvania authorities even broadcast a recording of Cavalcante’s mother speaking in Portuguese imploring him to surrender peacefully.

« At an unknown time and at an unknown location, » Cavalcante entered the U.S. unlawfully, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said in a recent statement.

U.S. prosecutors believe he killed Brandao to stop her from telling police about the Brazilian homicide. He had been captured in Virginia after Brandao’s killing and authorities believe he was trying to return to Brazil.

Security cam video stills are shown of a clean shaven man wearing a light-coloured hoodie and a baseball cap.
Danelo Cavalcante, 34, a Brazilian who escaped from Chester County Prison, where he was awaiting transfer to a Pennsylvania state prison to serve a life sentence, is seen on security camera video last week. (Pennsylvania State Police/Reuters)

Authorities said over the weekend that Cavalcante had slipped out of the initial search area, shaved and changed his clothing, stole a vehicle to travel miles to seek aid from former co-workers in the northern part of Chester County, and then abandoned the vehicle, at least in part because it was low on fuel.

State police believe he stole a .22-calibre rifle and ammunition earlier this week from a residence, and fled when the homeowner drew a pistol and shot at him several times.

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