GOT HIM! Cavalcante captured Wednesday morning

By Mike McGann, Editor, The Times @mikemcgannpa

Danelo Cavalcante seen earlier this week.

After a two-week manhunt, escaped murderer Danelo Cavalcante was taken into custody Wednesday morning by law enforcement officers.

Cavalcante — convicted of the 2021 murder of his girlfriend last month — was captured just after 8 a.m. on Wednesday, after a hunt that started in the southern portion of the county when he escaped from Chester County Prison on Aug. 31.

According to Pennsylvania State Police Lt. Col. George Bivens, just after midnight, a burglar alarm was set off near Prizer Road near Rt. 100 — near where law enforcement officers were already searching. Around 1 a.m. an overhead aircraft found a heat signature and directed officers to the location, but bad weather — including lighting — forced the aircraft to withdraw, delaying the search.

When the weather cleared, the search resumed and the heat signature was found again. Police surrounded the signature and a dog was released to go after Cavalcante. Cavalcante, although surrounded, continued to crawl through the underbrush, until subdued by the dog. Cavalcante was bitten by the dog and treated for the wound at the scene once taken into custody, Bivens said.

He was found in a stolen Philadelphia Eagles’ hoodie.

Cavalcante was taken to the Avondale Pennsylvania State Police barracks for processing and interviews and will be transported to a state prison to begin serving his life sentence. He may face additional charges, but Bivens said he thought that would be unlikely, due to his current life sentence.

The Chester County Commissioners issued a statement Wednesday morning on the capture:

“The capture of Cavalcante ends the nightmare of the past two weeks, and we thank every single law enforcement official at the regional, state and federal level that was out in all weather conditions, all day and night – as well as everyone in the incident command center, our County Department of Emergency Services and County Sheriff’s Office – for their immense efforts.

We thank our community partners, businesses and school districts for their support and cooperation – and the public for their help in providing tips to law enforcement during the manhunt.

Chester County Prison officials have made some immediate changes to bolster security in the prison, have brought in security contractors to make permanent changes to the exercise yards, and are reviewing and – where needed – changing procedures for both security measures and communication to residents who live close to the prison.” Chester County Commissioners Marian Moskowitz, Josh Maxwell and Michelle Kichline

Longwood Gardens — an initial focus of the search — which had to close at times, issued a statement thanking all involved in Cavalcante’s capture.

“Longwood Gardens wishes to express our deepest gratitude to law enforcement, authorities, and government officials for their tireless work in apprehending Danelo Cavalcante. We are grateful for the peaceful conclusion and thank all those involved in the search for their unwavering dedication. We look forward to our community returning to normal activity and look forward to welcoming guests back to the serenity and beauty of our Gardens,” the statement said.

Cavalcante escaped from Chester County Prison on August 31, where he was being held after his conviction earlier in the month of the 2021 killing his girlfriend, Deborah Brandao, in front of her two young children. He was sentenced last month to life in prison and was awaiting reassignment to a state prison, pending the appeal of his sentence and conviction.

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