Police Recover Van Stolen By Escaped Pennsylvania Inmate Who Tried To Contact Acquaintances Over Weekend
Lt. Col. George Bivens of the Pennsylvania State Police briefs the media on developments in the manhunt for convicted murderer Danelo Cavalcante at Po-Mar-Lin Fire Company on September 10, 2023 in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania.
Mark Makela/Getty Images

A Pennsylvania inmate who escaped nearly two weeks ago is still on the run and stole a van over the weekend that has since been recovered.

Danelo Cavalcante, an illegal immigrant from Brazil, escaped from the Chester County Prison around 8:30 a.m. on August 31, just a couple of weeks after he was convicted of killing his ex-girlfriend. Police said Cavalcante had stolen a 2020 White Ford Transit van with a refrigeration unit on top on Saturday evening.

The van was recovered on Sunday, NBC News reported, but not before Cavalcante changed his appearance and drove to a former acquaintance’s home 20 miles away. Cavalcante was captured on a Ring doorbell camera trying to contact the acquaintance, who wasn’t home.

Police now have new images of the inmate, who has shaved his beard.

After going to the first home, Cavalcante then tried to contact another old acquaintance in the Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, area, but that person also was not home.

“He is absolutely looking for support,” Pennsylvania State Police Lt. Col. George Bivens said at a press conference on Sunday. “He needs that support. He doesn’t have it.”

Cavalcante had been sentenced to life in prison on August 22.

Surveillance footage released last week shows Cavalcante “crab walking” between two walls, climbing through razor wire, and running across a roof before climbing another fence and moving through more razor wire, CNN reported. The footage also shows the inmate in the exercise yard shimmying up a space between two walls after looking through a window in a door.


Chester County Prison Acting Warden Howard Holland said Cavalcante’s escape was unnoticed by a prison guard in a tower who was watching inmates while they exercised in the yard. The escape was also missed by the person monitoring the 160 cameras set up around the prison. Holland said the tower guard is on administrative leave, and the escape is being investigated.

In 2021, Cavalcante stabbed his ex-girlfriend to death in front of her two children. He fled Pennsylvania and was arrested in Virginia.

“This is a heartbreaking tragedy. Two children are left without a mother. The pain these children and all of Deborah’s loved ones are enduring as a result of this depravity is horrific,” Chester County District Attorney Deb Ryan said after the murder. “We will ensure that the defendant is brought to justice for this cold-blooded, premeditated, and despicable act.”

Cavalcante is also wanted in Brazil for another murder.

Cavalcante is not the first inmate to escape from the Chester County Prison. In May, Igor Bolte got out the same way Cavalcante did but was caught minutes after.

In July, a dangerous inmate escaped from a Warren County, Pennsylvania, jail. It took nine days for authorities to recapture Michael Burham.

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