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Escaped prisoner Danelo Cavalcante believed to still be in PA, stolen van recovered, police say

Danelo Cavalcante prison escape: Convicted killer still believed to be in Pennsylvania
Danelo Cavalcante prison escape: Convicted killer still believed to be in Pennsylvania 03:49

CHESTER COUNTY, Pa. (CBS) -- Police are expanding their search Sunday for escaped convicted murderer Danelo Cavalcante after he was spotted near Phoenixville overnight Saturday. Police said the 34-year-old has now changed his appearance and is on the move again after stealing a van from a nearby dairy farm. This, as the manhunt continues into the 11th day Sunday.

ALSO SEE: How to contact police with information on escaped prisoner Danelo Cavalcante

Police said in a news conference Sunday afternoon that they have recovered the stolen van, adding that they are unsure if he has a weapon but did confirm he has been in multiple residences and do not know what he has taken from those locations. 

Officials believe the killer ditched the van after running out of gas. 


Just before 4:30 a.m. Sunday, police released new images of a man captured on a Ring camera in East Pikeland Township, who they said is believed to be Cavalcante. In the new images, the man is seen wearing a black baseball-style hat, a yellow or green hooded sweatshirt, green prison pants and white shoes. However, the man does not have a beard or mustache, which is different than previously released photos of Cavalcante.


Police said the images came from one of two homes Cavalcante went to Saturday night as he was trying to contact two former coworkers, but neither were home. 

One later called police and provided the video.

"His choice is to go to prison for the rest of his life. He chose not to do that. Unfortunately, that is not what's going to prevail in the long run," Lt. Col. George Bivens said.

Pennsylvania State Police said Cavalcante took a white 2020 Ford Transit van from Baily's Dairy. A vehicle matching that description was seen being towed away in Glenmoore, Pennsylvania, around 1:30 p.m. Sunday. 

Baily's Dairy of Pocopson Meadow Farm released a statement on Facebook Sunday regarding the stolen van, saying, "Friends- Our delivery van was stolen last night between 7-10 PM while we were still here working. It is believed that Cavalcante used it to flee the Pocopson area. We are still working with LE to help with the investigation. We really do not have any other information at this time, and are just as disappointed as everyone that he broke through the perimeter in Longwood. We appreciate the support of the community and continuing efforts of Law Enforcement."

There was an increased police presence in Upper Providence Township -- within the Phoenixville area -- early Sunday morning after the most recent sighting, however, just before 11:30 a.m., state police said they no longer believed he was still in the area. Police continue to remind residents to stay inside and lock their homes and vehicles. 

Police also confirmed in the Sunday afternoon news conference that Cavalcante's sister has been arrested by Immigration and Customers Enforcement (ICE) and could possibly face deportation. A spokesperson said that it was not related to her brother's prison escape.

"We take steps to try and minimize or eliminate that assistance and that's exactly what we've done up to this point," Bivens said.

The new possible sighting comes after Cavalcante was spotted twice on Friday in the Longwood Gardens area, where he was previously believed to have been hiding. Police said Friday's sightings "were actual visual sightings" rather than caught on surveillance cameras.

Police suspect Cavalcante may have slipped out through an underground tunnel or drainage ditch at Longwood Gardens to get past the perimeter. 

Residents in the Phoenixville area are now on edge after the sighting.

"I think I'm going to stay with my sister tonight, especially if they don't catch him. You never know," said Jessica Brown, who added that she doesn't feel safe staying at home.  

Chester County residents anxiously await for Danelo Cavlcante to be found 02:38

Cavalcante has now been spotted more than 10 times since his brazen escape from the Chester County prison last Thursday.  

WATCH: Video shows Danelo Cavalcante escape from Chester County Prison

Phoenixville is still within Chester County but is about 30 minutes from earlier sighting locations and where police have been searching. 

Cavalcante had about 30 days before being transferred to a state correctional institution after being sentenced to life without parole for fatally stabbing his ex-girlfriend, Deborah Brandao, 38 times in the Phoenixville area in 2021 in front of her two young kids.   

Chester County District Attorney Deb Ryan said Cavalcante has a horrific pattern of domestic violence. He's been described as "extremely dangerous" by Chester County prosecutors. 

Cavalcante also had a warrant in a murder case in his native country Brazil, where he arrived from several years ago as a fugitive, according to court documents.

ALSO SEE: What you need to know about Chester County Prison escape, timeline and more

Investigators said Cavalcante is fluent in Portuguese and Spanish and speaks some English.  

Officials are asking the community to check their surveillance devices and call 911 to report any sightings of the escapee. There is a $20,000 reward for information leading to the capture of Cavalcante. He is described as being 5 feet tall and 120 pounds, with brown eyes and long dark curly hair.

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