After a 14-day exhaustive manhunt, Danelo Cavalcante, a convict who escaped Chester County Prison in late August 2023, was apprehended in September 2023. The capture took place in a forested section of South Coventry Township by a combined force of Pennsylvania State Police and U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.
The search for Cavalcante, a convicted murderer, was intense. He was found armed with a .22 caliber rifle he had recently stolen. As officials approached, he attempted to flee, but was halted and detained by a K-9 unit.
During his time on the run, Cavalcante was spotted multiple times, once even near the residence of District Attorney Ryan. When caught, he was wearing an Eagles sweatshirt, but it’s uncertain where he acquired it.
He is now in custody at SCI Phoenix, a maximum-security prison. A preliminary hearing is set for September 27, though insiders believe Cavalcante may waive this hearing.
The arrest came after a house alarm was triggered near Prizer Road and Pottstown Pike, which was within the search zone. Although he wasn’t located immediately, a DEA plane identified a heat signature in the vicinity, which turned out to be Cavalcante hiding behind a local store, Little’s John Deere of Pottstown.
One of the first to be informed of Cavalcante’s capture was the family of Deborah Brandão, whom Cavalcante was convicted of killing. Before his jailbreak, he was awaiting transfer after being sentenced for the murder of Brandão in Phoenixville in 2021.
Details about Cavalcante’s escape from the Chester County Prison emerged a week after the breakout. Footage showed him ingeniously using a “crab-walking” technique to scale the prison wall. Despite breaching several layers of security, including razor wire, a prison guard failed to notice the escape. This oversight led to the guard’s dismissal. Cavalcante’s sister, who did not assist in his capture, has also been detained for overstaying her visa.
Both county officials and Governor Shapiro have warned that any accomplices of Cavalcante during his escape will face full legal consequences. It’s yet to be determined if he had assistance during his escape.