CHESTER COUNTY, Pa. (CBS) — A tactical team of Pennsylvania State Police and U.S. Customs and Border Patrol closed in onas he lay in a wooded area of South Coventry Township on Wednesday morning.
The capture ended a manhunt for Cavalcante, a convictedat the end of August and had evaded hundreds of law enforcement personnel for two weeks.
Still armed with a, Cavalcante tried to crawl away through the brush and escape from the tactical units closing in, officials said in a news conference Wednesday. Then a K-9 unit bit him and held him down, and he was taken into custody.
“Our nightmare is finally over and the good guys won,” Chester County District Attorney Deb Ryan said.
Ryan first spoke of the escape nearly two weeks ago. At that time, it was a race to figure out how it happened.
The manhunt touched many lives on a deeply personal level, including Ryan, whose work during Cavalcante’s murder trial sent him to prison for the rest of his life.
“My family and friends lived in the perimeter,” Ryan said. “While it was happening in Pocopson and Birmingham Township, his trajectory to the east was close to my house and I was very concerned as well.”
Photos from the capture showed Cavalcante was. It was not immediately clear where he got that hoodie, Pennsylvania State Police Lt. Col. George Bivens said.
Cavalcante is currently being housed at SCI Phoenix, a maximum security prison in Montgomery County.
A preliminary hearing for Calvacante is scheduled for Sept. 27. Sources at the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts said they expect Calvacante to waive the hearing.
But if it goes on as scheduled, it would be moved to the Chester County Judicial Center in West Chester, according to sources.
Bivens explained that shortly after 12 a.m. Wednesday, a burglar alarm went off at a home near Prizer Road and Pottstown Pike (Route 100) in South Coventry Township. That location was within the search perimeter, Bivens said.
That alarm was investigated but Cavalcante was not found.
There were other tactical teams in an area nearby and a DEA plane overhead picked up a heat signal that it began to track, west of Route 100.
Tactical teams began to converge on the location where the heat source was moving, but then the aircraft had to leave the area and land due to overnight storms. Tactical teams then held the area during the storms to ensure there was no issue with an escape.
Then after 8 a.m., teams converged on the area where the heat signature was detected and found Cavalcante low to the ground. He tried to crawl away.
“They were able to move in very quietly, they had the element of surprise,” Bivens said. “Cavalcante did not realize he was surrounded until that had occurred.”
“Excellence in law enforcement”
No one was injured in the capture and no shots were fired, Gov. Josh Shapiro said in a news conference Wednesday.
“The public, over the last 13 days, has had a chance to see what excellence in law enforcement means,” Shapiro added. “What true, dedicated professionalism is all about. I couldn’t be more proud to be standing up here today with these professionals from every level.”
Multiple speakers at the news conference thanked members of the public who sent in tips and kept looking out for signs of the escapee.
Images from Chopper 3 showed a crew of officers in camouflage and tactical gear escorting Cavalcante.
Family of victim, Deborah Brandao, among first to learn Danelo Cavalcante was caught
Among the first people to be notified about the capture of Danelo Cavalcante was the family of.
Before his escape, Cavalcante was set to be transferred to a state correctional institution after being sentenced to life without parole for fatally stabbing Brandao 38 times in front of her two young kids in the Phoenixville area in 2021.
“One of the first calls we made upon learning about this capture was to the Brandao family, who as you could imagine, had been living in a complete nightmare,” Ryan said in the news conference. “They are so grateful to the men and women who helped with this capture. They can finally sleep again.”
One day after Cavalcante escaped from prison, his public defender filed a motion seeking a new trial or a new sentence, according to documents obtained by CBS News Philadelphia’s Chief Investigator Joe Holden.
Attorneys for Cavalcante argued there was insufficient evidence presented at trial for a first-degree murder conviction.
Judge Patrick Carmody quickly denied the requests for a new trial and sentencing. He said what Cavalcante did was one of the most horrific homicides the court has witnessed.
Cavalcante also had a warrant in a murder case in Brazil, where he arrived from several years ago as a fugitive, according to court documents.
Manhunt for Cavalcante left Chester County on edge for two weeks
The manhunt spanned several parts of Chester County after being spotted several times by residents or law enforcement.
Early in the search, police broadcasted a message from.
Cavalcante wasin Pocopson Township days after escaping. He was then spotted in the on two different occasions throughout the search.
Police believe Cavalcante, a native of Brazil, broke the perimeter set up by law enforcement through an underground tunnel or drainage ditch at Longwood Gardens.
The manhunt for Cavalcante then shifted to northern Chester County after.
Days later, Cavalcante changed his appearance and stole a .22 rifle from a homeowner in the East Nantmeal area. Police said the homeowner fired several shots at the convicted killer but were unsure if they hit him.
, which has closed amid the manhunt announced that they will reopen Thursday now that Cavalcante has been apprehended.
How did Danelo Cavalcante escape Chester County Prison? Video showed him “crab-walking” out of an exercise yard.
Chester County officials were initially tight-lipped about how Cavalcante escaped the prison.
Nearly a week after the search,up a prison wall, which was the same way another inmate got out earlier this year.
Once he was on the roof, Cavalcante got past additional layers of razor wire and a corrections officer failed to notice the inmate’s escape. That, the Chester County District Attorney’s Office said.
and has been entered into a deportation proceeding, police said. Authorities said she was an “overstay” and chose not to assist in her brother’s capture.
Chester County officials and Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro said anyone who helped Cavalcante will be prosecuted to the fullest extent. It’s unclear if he had any help during his time on the run.
History of escaped inmates
Cavalcante’s prison escape wasn’t the first in Pennsylvania this year.
and was on the run for more than a week before he was captured.
Local, state and federal agencies were involved in the manhunt for Burham, who was a homicide suspect.
In Philadelphia, two men –– escaped the Philadelphia Industrial Correctional Center in Holmesburg. They were both taken into custody after being on the run for several days. Several others were charged with helping in the escape.
Elaine Hadley is a dedicated journalist covering the ever-evolving landscape of U.S. news. With a keen interest in politics and a commitment to uncovering the truth, she provides insightful commentary and in-depth analysis on domestic issues. When not reporting, Elaine enjoys exploring the diverse cultures and landscapes of the United States.