Danelo Cavalcante, 34, stabbed his 33-year-old former girlfriend Deborah Brandao to death in front of her children back in April 2021. Following his conviction on 16 August, Cavalcante was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
Cavalcante, described as an “extremely dangerous man,” escaped from Chester County Prison in West Chester around 8.45am on Thursday, Chester County District Attorney Deb Ryan announced.
Ms Ryan subsequently said that Cavalcante was seen on cameras at around 12.30am on Saturday in Pocopson Township, roughly one and a half miles from the prison.
Local authorities received a report of an attempted burglary in the area just an hour before Cavalcante was captured on surveillance but it is not immediately clear if he was involved.
Cavalcante was seen wearing a light-coloured shirt, pants, and white sneakers.
Hundreds of law enforcement teams, including the US Marshals, SWAT, local, state, and other federal agencies, have joined the search. Authorities are also offering a $10,000 reward for information that leads to Cavalcante’s arrest.
“Law enforcement is requesting that residents in the area remain indoors at this time. Lock your vehicles. Review your surveillance cameras and contact police if you observe anything suspicious,” the DA said in a statement.
“Danelo Cavalcante is considered an extremely dangerous man. Please remain vigilant in assisting with this search. If you see this individual do not approach him. Call 911 immediately.”
Officials have not elaborated on the circumstances of Cavalcante’s jailbreak but said the incident is under investigation.
“A search of the prison and surrounding area is currently being conducted,” the Chester County’s district attorney’s office initially 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.”
Cavalcante is described as a 5ft Brazilian man with light complexion, shaggy, black curly hair and brown eyes. He is also wanted for a homicide in 2017 in Brazil, the US Marshals Service for Philadelphia said.
Authorities urged people to not approach Cavalcante, who speaks Portuguese and Spanish.
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 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.