US police warn escaped killer Danelo Cavalcante is armed

Residents urged to stay inside and lock their vehicles as fugitive continues to elude capture

Law enforcement officers step up the search for escaped murderer Danelo Cavalcante in Glenmoore, Pennsylvania. AP
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A convicted murderer who escaped from a Pennsylvania prison nearly two weeks ago is now armed, prompting police to warn residents to remain indoors and lock their vehicles.

Pennsylvania State Police said officers were pursuing Danelo Cavalcante, 34, in South Coventry Township. Anyone who sees Cavalcante is urged to call 911 and not approach him, the police said on X, formerly Twitter.

“Residents in the area are asked to lock all doors and windows, secure vehicles and remain indoors,” Pennsylvania State Police wrote.

Cavalcante has eluded capture since escaping from the prison in Chester County.

Officials have fended off criticism that they missed a chance to recapture Cavalcante, saying that the perimeter they had been searching includes heavy woods, drainage ditches and underground tunnels.

One official also suggested that law enforcement have the upper hand now that Cavalcante is in a more suburban area.

“Now we’re going to prepare for the long game, and the long game is what we do best,” said Robert Clark, supervisor of the US Marshals fugitive task force in Philadelphia.

Lt Col George Bivens said Cavalcante was desperate because he was seeking help from people with distant connections.

“The fact that he has reached out to people with a very distant past connection tells me he doesn’t have a great network of support,” Lt Col Bivens said.

“And I think the longer we push him, the more resources, the more tools we bring to bear, we will ultimately capture him. He doesn’t have what he needs to last long-term.”

Cavalcante escaped from jail on August 31 by scaling the yard wall in the prison's outdoor recreation area, climbing over razor wire and running across the prison roof.

He had been sentenced to life without parole for killing his girlfriend Deborah Brandao, stabbing her dozens of times in front of her two young children in April 2021.

Brazilian prosecutors also said he is accused of a “double qualified homicide” in 2017.

Agencies contributed to this report

Watch: convicted killer scales wall to escape US prison

Watch: convicted killer scales wall to escape US prison
Updated: September 14, 2023, 7:40 AM