Danilo Cavalcante, born on July 3, 1989, in Brazil, had a tumultuous life of poverty, substance abuse, and gang affiliation. One time, he shot a boy because he owed him money. He was about to be arrested before he escaped and slipped through airport security.
Thus, he managed to flee from Brazil and illegally enter the US, settling in Chester County, Pennsylvania.
There, he met a mother of two, Deborah Brandão. The relationship started steadily, but Deborah soon realized the trouble she got herself into when Danilo threatened her with a knife (definitely a walking red flag the size of Pennsylvania). She filed an order of protection in 2020 against Danilo.
This only agitated him even more as the vicious man stabbed the 33-year-old mother 38 times in front of her kids. Danilo was convicted of first-degree murder last month and sentenced to life in prison. He was taken to Chester County Prison, awaiting transfer to Montgomery County prison.
On August 31, 8:51 a.m.: a man was seen crab-walking through two walls. He then broke through the barbed wires on the ceiling, booked it through the prison roof, scaled the fence, and pushed through some more razor wire. The guard missed him, and no one realized an inmate was missing until 9:51 a.m. That man was identified to be Danilo.
After 14 days of grueling manhunt, the Pennsylvania killer was found in the city of Philadelphia, specifically at a resident’s house in Coventry Road, which is only a few miles from the Chester County Prison. According to the investigators, he was planning to flee to Canada. He was apprehended on September 13.
How Did They Find Escaped Inmate Danilo Cavalcante?
Cavalcante was freeballing his next steps after the prison escape. When the prison issued an alert for an escaped inmate, the residents in the nearby area became alert.
Lt. Col. George Bivens of the Pennsylvania State Police led two tactical teams, one from the state police and the other from the US Border Patrol.
1st sighting: Cavalcante was spotted a day after his escape when a resident, Ryan Drummond, reported that he saw the fugitive, who matched the description, at his home in Pocopson Township. It’s in proximity to the prison.
2nd sighting: A domestic video camera captured Danilo the next day after midnight, about 1.5 miles from the jail. A state policeman also spotted him in the vicinity during the search operation.
3rd sighting: Two days later, Danilo was seen in Longwood Gardens’ security camera twice in opposite directions. He gathered several items– a backpack, a duffel sling bag, and a hooded hoodie.
4th sighting: On September 5, he intruded on another resident’s property in Pennsbury Township, southeast of the jail.
5th sighting: He revisited a nearby area of Longwood Gardens. Bivens said they learned about this sighting through a trail camera a day later.
6th and 7th sightings: He was spotted twice by the authorities, including the Longwood Gardens.
8th sighting: The manhunt took a 180-degree turn after Cavlcante stole a van and escaped their search zone.
9th sighting: It was now September 10, and Bivens believed Danilo was in disguise. Later that morning, about 10:40 a.m., they spotted the same van in East Nantmeal Township as it ran out of gas.
Where Did They Find Escaped Pennsylvania Killer Danilo Cavalcante?
Finally, on September 11, Bivens stated that they received a call from a resident on Coventry Road in Philadelphia. The resident said a short person, possibly Hispanic, wearing no shirt, had broken into his garage and stole his .22 caliber rifle. The homeowner pulled a revolver and fired at Danilo as he tried to flee.
He left his hoodie near the driveway’s edge. Two days later, Cavalcante was apprehended by Pennsylvania State Police and Border Police at around 8 a.m.
A 4-year-old police dog named Yoda was the most significant asset in catching the fugitive.
Cavalcante is now in a Pennsylvania maximum security prison, State Correctional Institution – Phoenix, in Montgomery County.
What are your thoughts on this 2-week search? Can you believe the way Danilo escaped from the prison?
Should prison facilities invest in better protective measures? Let us know in the comments section below.