CHESTER COUNTY, PA – After a two-week manhunt, Danelo Cavalcante, a fugitive who had escaped from Chester County Prison, was apprehended in northern Chester County early Wednesday morning, according to Pennsylvania State Police. The capture was executed without a single shot being fired, a testament to the tactical prowess of the law enforcement teams involved.
The capture was a result of a coordinated effort between State Police and U.S. Border agents who utilized thermal technology to locate Cavalcante. However, a severe lightning storm delayed the immediate arrest of the fugitive. Despite the weather conditions, the teams maintained their perimeter, ensuring Cavalcante could not escape.
The operation was executed with such precision that Cavalcante was unaware of his impending capture. When the teams moved in, Cavalcante attempted to evade them by crawling through thick brush. A police dog was released and managed to subdue Cavalcante, who was later treated for a minor bite wound.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection members involved in the operation were BORTAC agents, an elite unit known for their expertise in apprehension. They have previously played critical roles in high-profile cases, including the capture of escaped inmates in the 2015 Dannemora prison break in New York and the arrest of a mass shooter in Cleveland, Texas earlier this year.
Cavalcante’s capture ended a manhunt that involved over 500 law enforcement officers from state, local and federal agencies. The search spanned difficult, wooded terrain and led to several school districts closing for multiple days.
Cavalcante had escaped from Chester County Prison on August 31. He was awaiting transfer to a state prison to serve a life sentence for fatally stabbing his ex-girlfriend in 2021. He was also wanted for a murder in Brazil in 2017. Following the escape, the corrections officer on duty was dismissed, and the prison has since made changes to bolster security.
In a joint statement, Chester County Commissioners thanked law enforcement, the community, businesses and school districts for their support throughout the search. They also announced immediate changes to the Chester County Prison to enhance security and improve communication with residents living near the prison.