On August 31, Danelo Cavalcante made a daring escape from Chester County Prison in Pennsylvania. The 34-year-old had been incarcerated for fatally stabbing his ex-girlfriend in 2021 and was awaiting transfer to a state prison when he managed to break free.
The escape was a carefully orchestrated plan that involved scaling a wall and a razor-wire fence to reach the roof of the prison. Surveillance video captured Cavalcante crab-walking along a wall in the exercise yard before pushing through the razor wire and sprinting across the roof. He then scaled another fence and pushed through more razor wire to make his way out of the prison.
Cavalcante's escape sent shockwaves through the community, as authorities warned that he was extremely dangerous and desperate not to be caught. He was also wanted for a 2017 murder in Brazil, further increasing concerns about his potential for violence.
In the days following his escape, police launched an extensive manhunt to locate Cavalcante. They discovered that he had stolen a 2020 White Ford van with a refrigeration unit on top from a local dairy. The keys had been left in the vehicle, allowing Cavalcante to easily steal it. The stolen van was eventually found abandoned in a field in East Nantmeal Township.
Authorities shared photos of Cavalcante and the stolen van in an effort to enlist the public's help in locating him. A $20,000 reward was offered for information leading to his capture. Police received numerous tips and reported several sightings of Cavalcante, but he managed to elude capture.
On September 7, Cavalcante was spotted near Longwood Gardens, a popular botanical garden in the area. The gardens were closed indefinitely as authorities conducted a thorough search. However, Cavalcante managed to slip away once again, and the search for him continued.
As the manhunt entered its second week, nervous residents remained on high alert, with the knowledge that Cavalcante was still at large. Authorities urged the public to remain vigilant and report any sightings or information that could lead to his capture.
Cavalcante's escape highlighted serious security concerns at Chester County Prison. Another inmate had previously escaped using a similar method earlier in the year, raising questions about the prison's ability to prevent such incidents. A prison guard who was on duty during Cavalcante's escape was fired for violating prison policy by having a cellphone in the tower.
The extensive manhunt for Cavalcante showcased the determination of law enforcement to apprehend him and bring him to justice. The $20,000 reward offered for information leading to his capture demonstrated the seriousness with which authorities viewed his escape and the threat he posed to the community.
As the search for Cavalcante continues, residents in the area remain on edge, hoping for his swift capture. The case serves as a reminder of the importance of robust security measures in prisons and the need for constant vigilance in ensuring the safety of both inmates and the public.
0. “Danelo Cavalcante: Family ‘terrified' by killer's escape from US jail” BBC, 8 Sep. 2023, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-66747786
1. “Escaped Pennsylvania murderer Danelo Cavalcante spotted clean shaven with stolen dairy van: police” New York Daily News, 10 Sep. 2023, https://www.nydailynews.com/2023/09/10/escaped-pennsylvania-murderer-danelo-cavalcante-spotted-clean-shaven-with-stolen-dairy-van-police/
2. “Video shows convict Danelo Cavalcante escaping from US jail by crab-walking” Al Jazeera English, 7 Sep. 2023, https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/9/7/video-shows-convict-escaping-from-us-jail-by-crab-walking
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7. “Police release details on escaped killer’s travels. He’s now in northern Chester County.” lehighvalleylive.com, 10 Sep. 2023, https://www.lehighvalleylive.com/news/2023/09/police-release-details-on-escaped-killers-travels-they-say-hes-now-in-northern-chester-county.html
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