In a startling turn of events, Danelo Cavalcante, the convicted murderer who left a trail of terror, managed a daring escape from Chester County Prison early Thursday morning.

District Attorney Deborah Ryan, describing Cavalcante as “extremely dangerous,” has issued an urgent plea to the public: if you spot Danelo Cavalcante, call 9-1-1 immediately.

Danelo Cavalcante, a 34-year-old native of Brazil and an undocumented immigrant in the United States, had recently faced conviction in August for the brutal murder of his former girlfriend, Deborah Brandao, outside her Schuylkill Township residence. Authorities are maintaining a tight-lipped stance on the specifics of his escape, citing an ongoing investigation.

Danelo Cavalcante

Unveiling Danelo Cavalcante: Hailing from Brazil, Cavalcante’s arrival in the United States in 2017 was driven by a murder warrant in his home country. His journey took him through Puerto Rico, where he acquired a fake ID before reaching the mainland. During his trial, evidence revealed that Cavalcante chose Chester County as his new home due to the presence of friends who had arrived ahead of him. He briefly worked in construction and various trades and rented a storage trailer in East Pikeland Township.

The Great Escape: During a press conference, Acting Chester County Prison Warden Howard Holland refrained from divulging details about Cavalcante’s escape, emphasizing the ongoing investigation. Authorities discovered Cavalcante’s absence just before 9 a.m., with the last confirmed sighting placing him at 9:30 a.m. walking southbound on Wawaset Road in Pocopson Township, near the prison.

Upon realizing Cavalcante’s escape, prison officials swiftly initiated a lockdown and alerted law enforcement agencies, according to Holland. As of Friday, investigators believe that Cavalcante has not ventured beyond Chester County, but they suspect his ultimate objective is a southward journey, potentially leading him back to Brazil.

The Manhunt: A concerted effort is underway to locate Cavalcante, with Chester County Detectives, Pennsylvania State Police troopers, and U.S. Marshals actively engaged in the search. To incentivize public cooperation, a $10,000 reward has been announced for information leading to his capture. The U.S. Marshals have deployed helicopters, drones, and other resources to scour the densely wooded areas surrounding the prison.

Danelo Cavalcante’s Description: Danelo Cavalcante stands at 5 feet tall, weighs 120 pounds, and features black curly hair and brown eyes. His last known attire included a white T-shirt, gray shorts, and white sneakers, as reported by District Attorney Ryan.

The Tragic History with Deborah Brandao: Danelo Cavalcante’s path crossed with Deborah Brandao through mutual acquaintances. Their relationship, which spanned about two years, saw Brandao and her two children move in with Cavalcante. Prosecutors revealed a grim picture of violence and abuse throughout this period, marked by physical assaults and threats.

The murder transpired in Brandao’s front yard, where Cavalcante relentlessly stabbed her with a kitchen knife, ultimately claiming her life. During the trial, Brandao’s 9-year-old daughter testified about the harrowing incident. Prosecutors characterized Cavalcante’s actions as a “cold-blooded, premeditated, and despicable act.”

Cavalcante’s Conviction: Following a swift three-day trial overseen by Chester County Court Judge Patrick Carmody, Cavalcante was found guilty of first-degree murder on August 16. Jurors delivered their verdict in a mere 15 minutes—an exceptionally speedy decision. Two of Cavalcante’s friends, Francisco Lima and Michael Scahill, played pivotal roles in assisting Cavalcante after the fatal stabbing, actions that secured their immunity from prosecution.

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Remaining in County Prison: Cavalcante’s life sentence in state prison was confirmed just six days after his conviction, a mandatory penalty for his charge. At the time of his escape, he awaited transfer to a more secure state-run correctional facility. District Attorney Ryan clarified that the county’s policy necessitates holding inmates in the local prison for 30 days following the sentencing to accommodate potential appeals. Indeed, Cavalcante’s legal team filed an appeal on Friday, seeking a new trial in Brandao’s murder case.