Dog the Bounty Hunter is considering joining the manhunt for escaped Danelo Cavalcante in Pennsylvania, according to sources close to the former reality TV star.
For 12 days now, US Marshalls, FBI and SWAT teams and local and state police have led the search for Cavalcante in suburban Chester County. Cavalcante, a convicted murderer who is now armed, has managed to elude authorities and sneak nearly 30 miles past the perimeter of his initial hiding spot in Longwood Gardens in Pocopson Township.
Authorities said on Tuesday that the search is no longer contained to a perimeter and they’ve switched their focus to South Coventry Township after Cavalcante was spotted in the area stealing a .22 rifle on Monday night.
Sources close to Duane “Dog” Chapman have now told TMZ that the veteran bounty hunter is weighing on joining the multi-agency operative and has already been making calls to law enforcement to coordinate his potential role in the manhunt.
Mr Chapman is said to have been keeping up with developments in the full-scale search since Cavalcante escaped Chester County Prison on 31 August. The unnamed source told TMZ that if Mr Chapman feels confident he is familiar with the perimeter and up-to-date with all the information available, he could be joining the search as soon as this week.
Authorities have blamed the vast wooded area in Longwood Gardens for Cavalcante’s success in eluding hundreds of officers.
Despite remarks by US Marshalls on Monday that law enforcement now had the upper hand after Cavalcante moved to an urban area, Lt Col George Bivens said that search teams are facing the same challenges they did in the immediate aftermath of Cavalcante’s escape nearly two weeks ago.
Around 8pm on Monday, a motorist told 911 dispatchers that a male figure had crouched near the woodline near Route 100. Troopers responding to the scene investigated the sighting and found footprints on the mud consistent with Cavalcante’s prison shoes, which were also found in the area.
Mr Bivens said that although authorities arrived at the scene within minutes, Cavalcante managed to travel a significant distance during that time.
“Just because they found a footprint doesn’t mean that we know what direction he travelled,” Mr Bivens said.
A resident of the area called shortly after to report that a pair of workboots on her porch had been stolen. Then at 10.10pm, a homeowner reported that a “short Hispanic man” broke inside his garage.
Mr Bivens said that Cavalcante stole a .22 rifle with a scope and a flashlight on it. The homeowner opened fire on Cavalcante with his pistol but the fugitive is not believed to have been injured.
Cavalcante fled before Pennsylvania State Police arrived at the scene. Near the edge of the driveway, authorities found clothes that Cavalcante had been spotted wearing over the weekend.
Around 500 officers were hunting for Cavalcante on Tuesday as one school district remained closed and residents were told to secure their homes and be vigilant.
The search is now focused near Route 23 to the North, Route 100 to the East, Fairview and Nantmeal roads to the South and Ambridge and Country Park roads to the West.
Cavalcante was sentenced to life in prison for the April 2021 murder of his former girlfriend Deborah Brandao. In Brazil, prosecutors in Tocantins state said Cavalcante is accused of “double qualified homicide” in the 2017 slaying of Válter Júnior Moreira dos Reis in Figueirópolis, which they said was over a debt the victim owed him for repairing a vehicle.
A $25,000 reward is being offered for information leading to his capture.