Manhunt launched for ‘extremely dangerous’ murder convict who escaped Pennsylvania jail

An “extremely dangerous” murder convict has escaped from a Pennsylvania prison prompting authorities to launch a manhunt.

Danelo Cavalcante, a 34-year-old man who stabbed his ex-girlfriend to death, escaped from Chester County Prison in West Chester around 8.45am on Thursday, said the county’s district attorney Deb Ryan.

She said the convict is “considered an extremely dangerous man” and urged for the public’s help in locating him.

Cavalcante was convicted on 16 August for the murder of his 33-year-old former girlfriend Deborah Brandao in April 2021 in front of her children. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole for stabbing the woman to death.

He is also wanted for a homicide in 2017 in Brazil, the US Marshals Service for Philadelphia said.

“A search of the prison and surrounding area is currently being conducted,” the Chester County’s district attorney office said.

“Notification of the escape has been communicated to all residents within a six-mile radius of the prison. Chester County Detectives and the Pennsylvania State Police are conducting a thorough county-wide search, and prison officials are conducting an internal investigation,” it said.

Danelo Cavalcante, 34, was sentenced to life in prison (Chester County District Attorney’s Office)

Danelo Cavalcante, 34, was sentenced to life in prison (Chester County District Attorney’s Office)

Ms Ryan said Cavalcante was last seen walking on Wawaset Road in Pocopson Township around 9.40am after his escape.

He was wearing a white T-shirt, grey shorts and white sneakers.

Cavalcante was described as a Brazilian man with a 5-foot height and light complexion, shaggy black curly hair and brown eyes. He speaks Portuguese and Spanish.

Authorities urged people to not approach Cavalcante and released his pictures from when he was last seen.

The Marshals Service and the Chester County district attorney’s office have offered a combined reward of $10,000 for information leading to an arrest.

Cavalcante killed his ex-girlfriend in Schuylkill Township in front of the victim’s seven-year-old daughter and a three-year-old before fleeing to Virginia.

Ms Ryan had called it 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,” she said.

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